Looking Back: 1987 Neepawa’s history turned around



Cecil Pittman
The Neepawa Press

80 years ago
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 1937
Several residents on Main Street have commended the editorial in the last issue of the Press regarding the surfacing of the part of #4 highway passing through town. They have suffered so much from the dust that they do not favour taking any chances on the salt road bed and there is some talk of getting up a petition to present to the town council at the meeting next Friday night asking that the bituminous treatment be applied to the road.

70 years ago

Thursday, Aug. 14, 1947

Warning to treat any suspicious symptom at this season as though it is “Polio,” comes from health authorities at the national capitol. Stomach flu, “summer complaint”  dysentery, or any other infection of the bowels, may predispose to infantile paralysis. If any suspicious symptoms are encountered and whenever in doubt, the official advice is “Call your family doctor.” Better be safe than sorry.

60 years ago
Thursday, Aug. 8,1957

Town, and district, lovers of western music and cowboy songs will be pleased to learn that Wilf Carter, Canada’s world famous cowboy vocalist, will appear here with his western variety show in the Neepawa arena at 8:30 pm tonight. The show features songs by Wilf Carter, delivered in the style he made famous and which has earned his reputation here and across the border, where he is known as “Montana Slim” to his many friends in the states. This is the eighth year Carter has toured the Canadian provinces. The Wilf Carter show has earned the reputation of always being a clean, wholesome type show that can be recommended to any member of the family.

50 years ago
Tuesday, Aug. 8, 1967

A good crowd was on hand at Hazel M. Kellington school auditorium Tuesday night for a performance of the CBC birthday band wagon show, which has been touring the prairie provinces for the past three weeks. Headlining the variety show were TV singers Peggy Nevile and Reg Gibson, backed up by Ted Komar and his orchestra, with several members being called on for solo instrumental performances. Master of ceremonies for the show was Dave Brodie, a CBC announcer, who also provided a short review of the history of Neepawa in the recorded portion of the program, for broadcast over the national network in October. The show also featured performances by Bernie Bray and his harmonica, as well as accordion, saxophone, trombone and guitar solos, and and exhibition of “go-go” dancing.

40 years ago
Thursday, Aug. 18, 1977

Neepawa residents who visited the post office on Monday morning were greeted by a strong odour of disinfectant - the result of some hard labour during the night. Postal employees’ spent most of the night fumigating the entire area after pranksters dropped a dead skunk through the mail chute late Sunday. Thanks to the employees hard work, the smell was hardly noticeable by noon on Monday.

30 years ago
Wednesday, Aug. 12, 1987

A part of Neepawa’s history turned into rubble last Tuesday, as the old Canadian Northern Railways Roundhouse was torn down, having outlived its usefulness. The building, which belonged to the Canadian Northern Railway (later Canadian National Railway) company, was built in the early 1900s. Having a train pass through a town was a guarantee of growth and economic security.

Neepawa’s town council at the time realized an engine house to repair the big steam locomotives would increase the prosperity, by bringing guaranteed railway traffic into town. In August 1902, Neepawa’s town council passed a bylaw which gave the go ahead to the CNR, “on the condition that the railway company maintained a roundhouse and other accessories of a divisional point.” In return the Town of Neepawa will grant and convey to the Canadian Northern Railway company lands in Neepawa, that is to say blocks “O” and “T” according to a plan of Neepawa, known as the “agricultural grounds” or “recreation grounds.” The proposed CNR Roundhouse was to be a “Substantial brick structure with a stone and cement foundation,” and was expected to cost several thousand dollars before completion. Along with their new Roundhouse, the CNR also built the station house and a water tower. In 1912 the CNR in Neepawa had 82 employees and a monthly income in the neighbourhood of $19,000.

The Roundhouse wasn’t equipped to service the diesel engines and gradually, as diesel replaced steam, more staff moved out of Neepawa and took different jobs as part of the CNR crew. On March 8, 1960, the CNR was granted permission to end the operation of the passenger train service in Neepawa. That same year, only diesel engines drove the trains passing through town, putting the roundhouse completely out of service.

20 years ago
Monday, Aug. 11, 1997

The summer is well half over, but the Margaret Laurence Home has never been busier. We had 14 groups coming from places such as Yorktown, Pearson, Erickson, Onanole, Killarny, Virden, Hamiota and Strathclair. The Margaret Laurence Home held an executive meeting with the Manitoba Heritage Federation on July 10. For the month of July, we had over 1,280 people and would you believe that that 561 people came from the Lily Fest? The Home’s major fundraiser, the antique and collectables, sale will be held on Aug. 4.

10 years ago
Monday, Aug. 13, 2007

The third annual Prairie Mountain toy run raised $1,775 for the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program in Neepawa, along with $400 worth of toys. Forty-two people took part in the day-long motorcycle ride held last month. The ride had previously been held in, but was switched to July in the hopes of getting more riders before they leave on holidays. The date will be reviewed for the coming year. In the first two years of the ride, $3,500 was raised for the hamper program in Neepawa. Toys are also collected to be included in hampers or needy families with children.