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Sourisford Park

Melita, Manitoba, R0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/02/16

View of gate, from the east, of Sourisford Park, Coulter area, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
View of Gate
Contextual view, from the southeast, of Sourisford Park, Coulter area, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Contextual View
View of log house, from the southeast, at Sourisford Park, Coulter area, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
View of Log House

Other Name(s)

Coulter Park
Sourisford Park

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/10/31

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.

Heritage Value

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

Character-Defining Elements

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




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1928/01/01 to 1928/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Historic or Interpretive Site


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

RM of Arthur 138 Main Street Melita MB R0M 1L0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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