Buried Treasures of the Pembina Hills
Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre
5. A New Town
1The town of Morden has supported the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre (formerly the Morden and District Museum) ensuring that the fossil finds stay close to their source. The town of Morden provided employees to work the mines and is home to Mr. Henry Isaak who started the museum's collection.
3The Red River Valley, adjacent to the Pembina Hills, is rich with agricultural land. Many settlers and farmers were attracted to this. Adam Nelson Senior was one of these farmers.
Mr. Nelson Senior and his three sons built a saw and grist mill on Silver Creek. These mills attracted settlers, eventually supplying the settlement. Others joined and the settlement was termed Nelsonville in 1877. In 1882, Nelsonville was incorporated and became the Town of Nelson.
The Town of Nelson was prosperous, with approximately 1,000 people in 1881. Soon after, there was a town hall, country court and council chamber.
5The Canadian Pacific Railway was indicated to run through Nelson but unfortunately did not. As a result, the people of Nelson literally moved to the railway.
The community of Dunston now stands where the former town of Nelson was.
7From 1882 to 1884, the Canadian Pacific Railway laid down tracks through the Deadhorse Creek area, forcing the citizens of Nelson to move to the railway. In brief, the railway brought Morden into existence.
Locomotive steam engines required the assistance of water and one of the stopping places was the Cheval Water Tower. The tower was on the property of Mr. Alvey Baker Morden. Within a few months, the water tower stop was termed Morden.
9Since the town was established in 1882, Morden has made an impact over the decades. In 1885, it was an important trading post to surrounding settlers and communities. In 1884, Morden's population reached 200, and has grown steadily since.
11This photograph of Morden was taken in 1893 and the lower portion is a view of North Railway Street. Almost ten years after the town's incorporation buildings and businesses were prospering.
Two years later, in 1895, the village of Morden was declared. The first mayor was H. P. Hansen and the first council meeting was on January 13, 1895.
Unfortunately, none of the buildings in this photograph are standing today.
13The Hotel Manitoba was built in 1890 and represents one of the oldest buildings in the town of Morden. The building was built of bricks unlike many other buildings which were constructed of stone. This establishment became the Traveller's Inn in 1970 and still exists to this day.
15The Traveller's Inn, formerly Hotel Manitoba, still stands today.
17The Union Bank of Canada, built in 1892, was a prominent building on Stephen Street. Many of the important town businesses were located down this street.
In 1926, this building became the Royal Bank after having been the Commercial Bank for some time. Unfortunately, this stone building is no longer part of Morden's Stephen Street landscape as it was demolished in 1963.
19Composed of brick rather than field stones, J. A. Hobbs Druggist was located on the corner of Stephen Street and 7th Street. It still stands today.
21The building housing the drugstore known as J. A. Hobbs Druggist in 1896, is presently called Marathon Pizza. The outside structure has not changed.
23Many buildings and homes were constructed of field stones, primarily granite an igneous rock. Construction was by local stone masons and the field stones were from the fields nearby or from gravel pits. These materials were transported here by the glacier and have produced numerous long lasting buildings.
25This building, currently the Land Titles Office, was, in the late 1890's, the Bank of Hamilton.
27Victoria Hall, built in the late 1880's, was a central hall for functions and important public announcements. The building was located on the Northwest corner of Stephen Street and 6th Street.
In 1938 a fire claimed the building and unfortunately, nothing remains of Victoria Hall.
29The Court House is one of the largest field stone houses in Morden. The massive structure was built in 1904 officially opening in 1906... still remaining an impressive sight.
31This was the original home of the Post Office, built from 1913-1915. The present day Post Office was built in 1971, at a time when the Morden and District Museum (now named the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre) was incorporated and looking for a facility to house its collection. The museum was originally housed in this building until 1979.
After the museum relocated to its present day location at the Morden Recreation Centre the building was home to a library thrift store and presently, the Pembina Hills Gallery.
33The town of Morden, enticing tourists to visit, has prospered over the years. Among some of of its many attractions are the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, the Minnewaseta Golf Course and or course, the Annual Corn and Apple Festival.
The Morden and District Museum (now named the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre) opened during the 1982 Centennial Celebrations at the Corn and Apple Festival.
34The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre (formerly the Morden and District Museum) would like to extend a special invitation to all to come view the town of Morden and what is has to offer.
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