The Turtle Mountain – Souris Plains Heritage Association (TM-SPHA) has compiled a host of stories dating back hundreds of years to when buffalo roamed the prairies by the thousands, the fur trade was healthy and Manitoba was part of a large area known as Rupert’s Land. 

Rupert’s Land was a vast territory of northern wilderness that spanned Quebec and Ontario, the Prairie Provinces and the Northwest Territories.   From 1670 to 1870, the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) controlled these lands as it became the primary trapping grounds of the fur trade.  The territory was named Rupert's Land after the HBC’s first governor, Prince Rupert.

An 1872 picture of the approach to Sourisford taken by the photographer sent to cover the Boundary Commission.

The aim of the TM-SPHA is to ‘lift out lesser known stories of the region to add depth and breadth to the already intriguing attractions in the area’, and to share these stories through the printing of  Vantage Points, A Collection of Stories from Southwest Manitoba.

‘We’ve each taken on vantage points,” shares TM-SPHA Board member, local history researcher and storyteller, David Neufeld, “be they physical or philosophical, from which we assess our world.  Any site or story has many viewpoints.” 

It's through these unique viewpoints is where the uncovering, compiling and sharing of our rich history in the southwest corner of our Province came to be through the print of the Vantage Points historical books.

“We’re hoping to find a blend in which everyone in the region will recognize their heritage as being central to the past, present and future,” adds Neufeld.

Thus far there are 4 volumes of Vantage Points, with a 5th volume on the way.

Very close to the same spot as the 1872 photo, this is the approach to Sourisford today

The following story is written and shared by David Neufeld.  Goodbye to Sourisford is a story adapted from the second volume of Vantage Points.  Sourisford was a settlement south of Melita, where the Antler River meets the Souris River.

In 1870, three years after Confederation, the Government of Canada acquired Rupert’s Land from the HBC for $1.5 million, this being the largest land area transaction in the history of Canada.

Eventually, Rupert’s Land would be divided among the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, followed by Saskatchewan, Albert and the NW Territories.

Listen each Monday, Wednesday and Friday to CJRB Radio 1220 to another story of Vantage Points with David Neufeld.  Every week is a new story