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to give tri-weekly service along the Assiniboine River. Still, there were quite a few who found them a necessity to get to remote homesteads far from the wa ter route.

W. J. Pratt, an enterprising business man of those days, erected freight sheds and warehouses on the landing at the foot of River Road, and these structures, which serviced the river traffic, were the reason that the location became known as "Pratt's Landing".

By 1877, the town of Portage la Prairie had two churches, twen ty places of business, a school, and a population of three hundred. Settlers sending favorable reports to relatives and friends in the east and abroad, as well as land promoters who were eager to capitalize on a good thing, could have been the reason for the rapid growth which followed.

Alex Stintson established the Ontario Hotel on the corner of King Avenue and Main Street around 1877. It was subsequently sold to John G. Mellon and then to Harry Corriga1. (In 1882 it was taken over by James J. White, who enlarged the building to hold 100 guests and changed the name to "Queen's Hotel".)

Edwin Newell was a painter and decorator in the 1870s.

In 1878 a law office was opened in the west end by P. Vances Georgen. The same year, Charley Graban, a harness-maker by trade, came to Portage and tried his hand at store-keeping for awhile. He later went back into the leather trade along a different line (boots and shoes). Also, in 1878, Sam McIlvanie erected the first planing mill west of Winnipeg. After operating the mill for a short time, he started a chair factory down the River Road, southeast from the centre of the settlemen t.

The growth of the settlement got a further boost in 1879 when Edward, George and John Cook built a bank which they named "The Alloway and Champions Bank", John Duncan, a skilled carpenter and joiner, was supervising the building 'of the first Court House and Gaol, a Bank of Montreal, a Post Office and a Land Titles Office; H. S. Paterson went into partnership with J as. McLenaghen (whom he later bought out) and together built up a large trade in general merchandise; J. Peake had a livery stable where the Leland Hotel was later built, and where the Gordon Motor Inn is now; John Ross

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