Are you visiting the R.M. of St. Clements? Do you want to learn some of its history?
There are many ways to explore the history of the R.M. of St. Clements.
Other Places of Interest
Lockport Provincial Historic Park
Located on PTH 44, east side of the Lockport bridge
The St. Clements area wasn't even habitable until 6300- 6000 B.C.; before that it was under Glacial Lake Aggasiz. There is evidence that first nations explorers came here from 6500 - 5500 B.C. Archeological surveys done in the Lockport area in the 1980s discovered that several different cultures lived there. Learn about these early people on a short interpretive trail (return distance 0.7 km) in the park called Gifts of the Red.
- Larter Culture (1000 - 200 B.C.): a nomadic group that followed the bison to the Red River valley in the winter
- Laurel Culture (200 B.C. - 100 A.D.): arrived from the Great Lakes area and set up more permanent camps; Left without a trace after a severe drought in 1160
- The First Farmers (1000 -1300 A.D.): a group from the Dakotas who were driven north by drought
- Selkirk Culture: lived along the Red River from Lockport north and are the ancestors of modern day Cree people
St. Peter, Dynevor Old Stone Church
River Lot 212, 8 Stone Church Road, St. Clements, Manitoba
St. Peter's Church is a provincial historic site and is listed in Canada's Historic Places Registry. The church was built in 1852 by Chief Peguis and his people, under the direction of Reverend William Cockran. The site was the first Indian Agricultural Settlement in western Canada.
During a floor restoration project in 2002, excavations under the floor one metre below the surface found fragments of pottery, stone tools, bison bones and traces of a hearth or fire pit. There were also fragments of Selkirk Culture pottery found dating back between 800 and 1750 A.D.
La Vérendrye Trail
The first recorded non-First Nation people in what is now St. Clements were Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye (1685-1749) and company arriving in 1734. La Vérendrye was searching for a route to the Pacific Ocean, and building posts and trading furs along the way. At the time it was thought either the Saskatchewan River or the Missouri River in what is now North Dakota, were likely routes to the Pacific. La Vérendrye chose to pursue the Missouri River route.
La Vérendrye, born in Trois Riviéres, Quebec, was a military officer, fur trader and explorer. His son Jean Baptiste built a trading post called Fort Maurepas at the mouth of the Winnipeg River on Lake Winnipeg. A sub-post was built "five leagues up the Red River on high ground where the marshes end". La Vérendrye kept travelling south on his quest.
The La Vérendrye trail traces his route through Manitoba. In St. Clements it follows the highways that hug the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg and the Red River. Watch for the sign along the roads.
Canadian Heritage River: Red River
Canadian Heritage Rivers is a rivers conservation program established in 1984 to promote, protect and enhance Canada's river heritage; The Red River is one of four in Manitoba and forty in Canada.
The Red River is the only major river on the Canadian prairies which flows north. It flows more than 500 kilometres from its headwaters at Lake Traverse in South Dakota across the former lakebed of what was Glacial Lake Agassiz, through some of the flattest and most productive agricultural areas in the world.
For thousands of years, Aboriginal peoples traveled the Red River and its tributaries, followed by the voyageurs, explorers, fur traders, immigrants and tourists. For many people of St. Clements, the Red River was central to life as a transportation route and a source of food and water. It now forms the western boundary of the R.M.