Many of you wrote in to say you enjoyed Monday’s spooky local stories.
Loved the ghost stories . . . Cool!!
Another reader wrote:
Love those stories! I bet there are more out there. I am forwarding this to those I know from Winnipeg, one from Eli.
This was awesome reading, as I live in Manitoba! Very, very interesting. I often wondered why some of those big old houses in Saskatchewan and Manitoba were abandoned.
I wonder why houses are abandoned too. I’ll see if I can find an answer to that in a future issue.
I live in Melville. First time I’ve heard of this highway (being) haunted. Been there too many times to count.
You are not alone, Karen. I wasn’t aware of any of the stories featured in last week’s issue until readers shared them with me.
I have also driven that highway a few times, and don’t recall seeing anything unusual. Though I’m not one to stop and offer people rides because I have watched way too many true crime documentaries.
Another reader wrote:
A ten-gallon pail is a huge pail to be lugging around, ghost or not.
Yes, but the pail contained banknotes, not water, so that could make it lighter.
Local, independent, in-depth.
Our Prairie stories.
Ghost stories like these are folklore. I interviewed academics a while back about the value of local folklore even if one can’t prove these stories to be true. I’ll have to dig those interviews up for a future issue of The Flatlander.
Remembrance Day – Flatlander reader stories
If you have any stories related to Remembrance Day, I would love to hear them and feature them in The Flatlander. Perhaps you have a war hero in your family, or your community has a unique wartime story or monument.
Christmas – The Flatlander “Buy Local” Holiday Guide
With the holidays fast approaching, I am also preparing a Manitoba and Saskatchewan gift guide for those of you looking to support local businesses and artists while doing your holiday shopping. If you have any favourite locally-made products or community stores that you think are must-haves and must-visits, please let me know.
And if you are the owner of a local business or artist who would like to reach this audience, consider buying an ad in the gift guide. Ad options start at $100, and the money will go towards hiring a freelancer to write some local business articles for The Flatlander in the New Year.
Five stories you may have missed from Manitoba
- Manitoba licence plate on missing, murdered Indigenous women in the works
- Province invests $3.6M to improve downtown Winnipeg safety, address homelessness and addiction
- Manitoba child advocate says more work needed to break colonial bonds
- Two arrested in Winnipeg Halloween cannabis incident
- For anyone wondering what to do with their pumpkin now that Halloween has passed, how about throwing it off the top of a parkade?
Five stories you may have missed from Saskatchewan
- Owners rebrand Riders Donair as Turkish Express, taking pride in Istanbul roots
- Should Indian Head, Sask., change its name?
- Thatcher speech invitation sparks calls for Sask. to fund longer-term housing for people fleeing abuse
- Shelves are literally empty’: Sask. parents fed up with ongoing baby formula shortage
- James Smith Cree Nation killer’s partner shares story of brutality, survival and hope
A small win?
The Google News Initiative featured the above section of my newsletter in a recent online workshop for global news startups. They thought it was a good way to share local news stories with readers, so that was a pleasant surprise for me.
Here is a screenshot of the slide deck from the presentation that they shared with news founders from around the world:
Five stories from The Flatlander archives you may have missed
- Where do the buffalo roam these days?
- Human trafficking on the Canadian Prairies
- Historic dance halls on the Prairies – gangs, fighting, Vikings and love
- Gophers are smarter and more interesting than we think
- How the Prairies helped win the Second World War
What’s in a name?
Since the name Indian Head is under discussion these days, I thought I would look at the origins of its name.
- It is said Indian Head was the name assigned to it by the Cree to commemorate the smallpox epidemic of 1837-38.
- People died in such large numbers that human remains could be found scattered throughout the area.
- Because smallpox was so contagious, there was concern that one could contract the disease from the deceased. Providing a proper burial was risky.
You can read more on the town’s website.
And here’s one for Manitobans…
Virden, like Indian Head, is along the TransCanada Highway.
- Virden used to be called Gopher Creek.
- Then it became Manchester before becoming Virden in 1883, named after the country estate of the Duke of Manchester, who served on the Canadian Pacific Railway Board of Directors. A lot of Praire towns are named after railway officials.
- Oil was discovered in Virden in 1957, putting the community at the centre of Manitoba’s oil patch.
You can read more about Virden here.
Until next time…
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Thanks for reading, and kind regards,
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