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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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back toward the place where their father was waiting - Fort de Ia Reine in Portage Ia Prairie.
La Verendrye was decorated with the Cross of St. Louis shortly before his death. His sons suffered financial ruin, and it was only by recording their names in history after their deaths that they were in any way rewarded for their courageous attempts to give the world a knowledge of western Canada.
Any of the Verendryes could have written a book about their experiences in the wild, Canadian west. What a treasure it would be today to read, in each of their own words, of their experiences in Portage la Prairie and their impressions of this part of the country!
Fort de la Reine was put to the torch by Cree Indians in 1752 but it will never pass into oblivion because of a museum, which is the pride and joy of Portagers, built in 1967, which immortalizes the name. La Verendrye's name will always be mentioned in connec tion with it, and many times again through the years when visitors to the Koko Platz residential section ask, "How did La Verendrye Crescent get its name?"
Over two hundred years have rolled by since the La Verendryes trod fearlessly into this unknown land, and since the days when furs were regarded as fortune and men risked their lives in an effort to a ttain them. Years, like a speck, in the sands of time of the universe!
THE FIRST WHITE SETTLEMENT
It fell to a churchman, Archdeacon Cochrane of the English Church Mission Society, to establish the first white settlement at Portage la Prairie.
In the spring of 1851, the Archdeacon purchased from Chief Pe-qua-ke-kan, the point of land on which the City of Portage la Prairie now stands, the purchase price being paid in goods. The land comprising the Island, opposite Slough Road (Crescent Road) was bought for the agreed payment of a bushel of wheat from every settler during the lifetime of the Chief; an agreement which was duly honored.
A number of parishioners from St. Andrew's with their families formed the nucleus of the new parish of S1. Mary's la Prairie in 1853. Among these were Peter, William and John Garrioch, Fred Bird, Charles and Martin Cummins, Gavin Garrioch and John and Henry Hudson.