A Memoir of the Kelloe, Manitoba Curling Club in the Period Approximately – 1945-1955 Art Leganchuk August 2020
Disclaimer: This memoir is written completely from memory, without any serious research of other sources. As a result, dates, especially, may be in error by a year or two.
Note: The history depicted in the story is circa 1950 in Rural Manitoba.
The Picture (“featured image”) is from 1958 at another club.
Background: Rural Manitoba. Specifically, the Village of Kelloe.
Prairie farmland is surveyed in ½ mile squares. (Metric measurement makes no practical sense here.) The area of a farm was measured in acres… ½ mile by ½ mile is exactly 160 acres. 4 of such plots together will measure 1 mile by 1 mile, an area of 640 acres.
Today, a single farmer may control thousands and thousands of acres. In the late 1940s, very few farms were larger than 640 acres. It was common for a farmer to make a living from just 160 acres.
Therefore, the landscape was dotted with residences. A farm family was rarely further than ½ mile away from neighbours. The population of a relatively small area was sufficient to support a local village.
Circa 1950, Kelloe, Manitoba serviced (and was supported by) a farming community of approximately 150 square miles. I can only speculate what the population of that area might have been at the time, but I think a conservative estimate would be 1.5 to 2 people per square mile. Thus 200 to 300?
If you look up “Kelloe, Manitoba” on Google Maps today, they will show the “Pin” at an intersection in the middle of nowhere. Zoom in, and you see that the pin is at the intersection of Provincial Road 264, and a local road labelled “Rd 100N”. Immediately north of the Google pin is the Canadian Pacific Railway main line (from Edmonton and points west, through Saskatoon and Yorkton, Saskatchewan, continuing Southeastward on to Neepawa, Portage la Prairie, and Winnipeg. The Railway played an important part in Curling in those early years.
Immediately north of the Railroad, and parallel to it, is the Yellowhead Highway. With just a few deviations, the Yellowhead follows the Canadian Pacific Railway, all the way from west of Edmonton, until it joins the TransCanada Hwy 1, just west of Portage la Prairie. The Yellowhead did not exist in 1950, but it too, played an important role in the evolution of Curling in that area.
But for now, let’s get back to Google and its Pin for Kelloe.
Google lies. For one thing, Kelloe does not exist anymore. When it DID exist, Kelloe’s “village centre” was at the intersection of the local “Rd 100N”, (which follows westward from the Pin), and “Elm St”, about 200 metres west of the Pin. The village was so small that the pin location was easily “out of town” on the east side.
If you would like to keep reading click the picture to read the whole PDF article: