Coulter

(1901 – Present) Coulter was a station on the Lyleton Branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It grew into a small community.

Stories

**1909-1913** ## A Homemade Steamboat Plies the Souris River . . . The earliest form of transportation in the West—apart from First Nation travois or walking—was by water. For centuries the Souris River served as a highway of transportation, shipping people and goods from here to there. Birch bark canoes or other man-powered boats provided all river transportation in earlier times. In the days after settlement, however, a different sort of vessel appeared. [[inline:right:empress]] ##Large In 1908 “Captain” Hunt Johnston Rolston Large, a blacksmith from Coulter, Manitoba, got it into his head that he would build a steamship. Due to his winning personality and big Irish heart, everyone in the community had a good word to say about him, though some were sceptical that the vessel would float when the time came to test it. ##Building a Steamship Large’s workshop was not too far from the church in [Coulter](item=coulter), and the noise from his construction caused quite the disruption of the minister’s sermons on Sunday mornings. The minister finally had a chat with Large. When one of the church elders asked the minister how the meeting had gone, he replied “It was the biggest mistake I have ever made. He knows more about the Bible than I do.” After that, however, Large refrained from working on his boat on Sunday mornings. Large built his ship mostly out of recycled materials: a dismantled boxcar and the inside of an old house provided most of the wood he used in construction. The ...

#The fight to build and keep a rural railway line **1900-1966** ##CPR Monopoly No single event changed the fate of Western Canada more than the coming of the railroad. In 1881 the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR) received a charter to link the east and west coasts of Canada with tracks of iron. In addition to receiving a monopoly on the main transcontinental line, the CPR was also given the right and responsibility to build branch lines 80 kms to either side of the main line. No other Canadian company was permitted to build a branch line inside CPR territory, therefore the company was able to advance at their own convenience due to the lack of competition. ##Anticipation and Frustration Settlers in the area of Waskada and Goodlands in southwestern Manitoba waited in great anticipation for a branch line to be built through their communities. Year after year the CPR announced that there were plans in the works to build a line that would run southwest of [Deloraine](item=deloraine) to [Goodlands](item=goodlands), [Waskada](item=waskada), [Coulter](item=coulter) and [Lyleton](item=lyleton), yet year after year the rail line failed to become a reality. Locals were frustrated because they keenly understood that rural access to a mode of transportation was vital to an agricultural economy. The train brought supplies, without which the practice of farming was much more difficult. In addition to transporting farm machinery, lumber, and coal, the train also delivered passengers and mail. [[inline:right:lyleton-branch]] Repeated delays moved J. S. Thompson of Waskada to take the issue ...