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Welch Block

410-412 South Railway Street, Boissevain, Manitoba, R0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/02/20

View of main elevation of the Welch Block, Boissevain, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Main Elevation
Context view of the Welch Block, Boissevain, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage,  Tourism and Sport, 2005
Rear view of the Welch Block, Boissevain, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Rear View

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1900/01/01 to 1900/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/02/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Boissevain's Welch Block, built ca. 1900, with its rugged fieldstone construction, stands out among the modernized storefronts of its neighbours on the town's main business street. The site's municipal designation applies to the building and its lot.

Heritage Value

The Welch Block, with its traditional storefront facade, grey stone walls and recessed centre entrance, stands as a determined link to Boissevain's past. The building carries a strong association with pioneer entrepreneur and stalwart public servant Alexander R. Welch, who opened his first Boissevain business in 1894 and later moved into these premises. The Welch name was a presence in Boissevain's business district until 1961 and the Welch Block has been home to a succession of retail operations for over a century. Although the use of fieldstone for the construction of commercial buildings was not widespread in southwestern Manitoba, Boissevain's main street boasted several such structures, of which the Welch Block is the sole visible example.

Source: Town of Boissevain By-law No. 90-02, February 20, 1990

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Welch Block site include:
- the building's location on South Railway Street in the heart of Boissevain's business district, among other retail ventures and public facilities, with a narrow passageway between it and the structure to the east

Key elements that define the building's traditional two-part commercial design and rugged fieldstone construction include:
- the boxy two-storey form with a flat roof and a rear extension on the east side
- the random-rubble fieldstone construction, with large stones in predominantly lighter shades of grey set in light-coloured mortar
- the recessed front (north) entrance centred between large main-floor display windows, each topped with a row of six narrow rectangular round-arched panes, trimmed with painted wood and set upon smooth stone sills
- the upper-storey features, including a central doorway and two double sash windows with segmental-arched heads and rusticated stone sills at the front and more modest rectangular openings on the east side
- details such as the sidewalk-level basement openings beneath stone segmental arches, stone entrance steps, a transom window over the second-floor doorway, and wood trim and brackets, etc.

Key elements of the building's interior heritage character include:
- on the main floor, high ceilings covered with pressed metal in an elaborate diagonal-rectangle pattern with wide mouldings at the ceiling-wall junctions and painted window trim on the front display windows
- on the second floor, wood baseboards, doors and window casings




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Boissevain 420 South Railway Boissevain MB R0K 0E0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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