Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Sourisford Park is a spacious recreation and heritage area nestled in a quiet grove where a branch of the Antler River meets the Souris River near Coulter. The municipal designation applies to the approximately eight-hectare site and the buildings and structures thereon.
Sourisford Park, also known as Coulter Park for Francis Coulter, the original homesteader of the site who donated the land to the municipality in 1928, is the oldest regularly used recreation site in rural Manitoba. On July 1, 1882, three years after settlement began in the Sourisford district, residents gathered for a Dominion Day picnic at this location, which also was an important stopping point near the Boundary Commission Trail. Since then, the park, expanded through an additional donation of land by Norman Gould, has continuously hosted an annual celebration and has become a repository for some of the area's built heritage. It also is part of a network of historic sites, known as the Boundary Trail Heritage Region, near the international border in southern Manitoba. It was at this site that surveyors with the British North American Boundary Commission camped in 1873, followed the next year by members of the North West Mounted Police on their arduous trek into the western frontier.
Source: Rural Municipality of Arthur By-law No. 1572, February 16, 1990
Key elements that define the site character of Sourisford Park include:
- the location at the junction of the Souris River and South Antler Creek, just south of the Boundary Commission Trail and north of Coulter
- the organized park space, containing recreational and heritage structures, surrounded by a natural landscape of trees, shrubs and prairie grasses
Key elements that define the site's heritage function include:
- the formal memorial archway at the entrance, of reinforced concrete construction, with 'COULTER PARK' and '1929' boldly inscribed at the top, additional inscriptions in honour of Francis Coulter and the original members of the Arthur Pioneers Association, etc.
- plaques commemorating the history of the area
- a ca. 1885 log house and a 1 1/2-storey fieldstone house (1902) built by Alfred Gould and retained in situ on open prairie a short distance from the park's other facilities
- a portion of a paddlewheel built by H.R.J. Larce for the `Empress of Ireland', a boat used on the Souris River
Key elements that define the site's recreational character include:
- amenities for camping and picnics, playgrounds, a stage, etc.
- public access to the site
Local Governments (MB)
Manitoba Historic Resources Act
Municipal Heritage Site
1928/01/01 to 1928/12/31
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
Function - Category and Type
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
- Historic or Interpretive Site
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
RM of Arthur 138 Main Street Melita MB R0M 1L0
Cross-Reference to Collection