Echoes of Our Past – Stories of the Seine River

Originally published in The Lance (2015 04 22)

You are invited to explore the lower reaches of the Seine River on Saturday, May 2nd. Jean-Pierre Brunet, author of The Seine River Trail – Echoes of Our Past – Suggestions for Historical Interpretation, will lead a guided walk through Old St. Boniface. The walk starts at noon at Lagimodière-Gaboury Park (at Thibault Street and Notre Dame Street). It will follow part of the picturesque Gabrielle Roy Trail. Along the walk, J.P. will share stories of how the Seine River shaped Winnipeg’s history from pre-settlement to present day.

Meet at the entrance to historic site of the Lagimodière-Gaboury homestead.

Meet at the entrance to historic site of the Lagimodière-Gaboury homestead.

You will hear the story of Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière and his wife Marie-Anne Gaboury. He was a renowned voyageur, trapper, and messenger. She was the first European woman to settle in the west. You will learn about the legendary trek Lagimodière undertook 200 years ago and discover how he was rewarded. You will learn about his famous son-in-law (the Miller of the Seine) and grandson (Louis Riel) and how the Métis shaped Manitoba’s history. You will hear about the Dawson Trail and the arrival of western Canada’s first locomotive – the Countess of Dufferin. You will discover how Des Meurons Street got its name. Your walk through time will end at 375 Rue Deschambault. Gabrielle Roy House Historic Site is the family home of world-renowned francophone author Gabrielle Roy (1909-1983). The museum will be open until 4 p.m. (admission $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for students and seniors).

Save Our Seine board members will assist with the tour. They will share stories about SOS and role it has played in cleaning, conserving, and restoring the river. You will see the largest remediation project ever conducted on the river. In 2009, the river was diverted so that contaminated material could be removed from the riverbed. This project was a major success story. But, the history of this grassroots organization rests in the stories of hundreds of people who have participated in river clean-ups, tree plantings, and other projects since 1990. SOS wants to hear your personal stories of the Seine River – whether you live, work, or play along the river. Send your stories (or pictures with stories) to saveourseine@gmail.com.

If you want to join the Seine River story, SOS is seeking four physically fit youth (ages 16 – 29) for the 2015 Green Team. The job is ideal for anyone who enjoys working outdoors and wants to improve the environment. Send your resume to the Summer Cleanup Coordinator at earthandgrass@hotmail.com.

Michele Kading is a community correspondent for St. Vital and the executive director for Save Our Seine. Go to www.saveourseine.com for details of this and other 25th Anniversary events.

Caption (photo of trailhead): Meet at the entrance to historic site of the Lagimodière-Gaboury homestead.

Caption (the “Seine-Mobile”): The Honorable Lieutenant Governor W. Yvon Dumont worked with his friend Nelson Saunderson and their sons behind Weststeel for two summers using their homemade “Seine-Mobile.” (Photo credit: Bob Tinker)

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