Dand

(1913 – 1962) Dand was a station on the CPR's “Blue Flea” line which grew into a small community.

Stories

#The train that hopped between rail lines had its beginning in the community of Dand **In use between 1910 and 1962** ##"Not Being Able to Get From There to Here" The Blue Flea line was unique among railway lines. It was the only route that offered passengers the opportunity to jump from one line to another (much like a flea, thus one hypothesis behind its name). Generally railway companies strenuously resisted crossing tracks with another rail line. And even when these rare occurrences did take place (such as the Canadian National Railway and [Great Northern Railway](item=great-northern-railway) at Minto) the services necessary to exchange passengers or goods from one line to another were not present. The Blue Flea zig-zagged back and forth between the towns that had more than one station, solving the problem of “not being able to get there from here.” [[inline:left:blue-flea]] ##Thomas Dand The Lauder Subdivision of the CPR (which came to be known as the Blue Flea) was constructed due to a request which came from one Thomas Dand. Thomas Dand and his son James Morgan Dand had moved to Manitoba from England in 1882 closely following the death of Thomas Dand’s wife (James’ mother). They had been living in Exeter where Thomas worked as an engineer. It was due to his guidance that the city had one of the most state of the art water and sewage systems in England. Arriving in Canada, the Dands were put in charge of building bridges through the Kicking Horse ...

#The purpose behind these mysterious and unique features may never be determined [[inline:left:dand]] It is a mystery of the most intriguing sort that the story behind five stone features located on a quarter section 4.5kms southeast of the hamlet of Dand remains untold. In the absence of real knowledge concerning the site’s history, we have only archaeological facts and theories with which to paint a picture. The quarter section was homesteaded by [James Morgan Dand](article=blue-flea) in the late 1800’s. He didn’t allow anyone to use the land – not even for animal grazing. Mr Dand is reported saying that the site under discussion was visited annually by First Nations. Meanwhile the stone features were known about locally and the stone walls were used as blinds for shooting geese in the mid 1900s. ## Excavation Dand’s land was cleared after it came under new ownership and the stone features were then brought to light. Locals William Moncur and Bill Ransom brought the site to public attention which led the Parks Branch of Manitoba to arrange a one-year lease of the property from the owners. In the spring of 1967 the site was mapped out and investigated by a Parks Branch survey team and excavated by an archaeological team made up of graduate students from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Manitoba. The site was located in a dry slough depression surrounded by a grove of poplars and was made up of two massively constructed stone oval rings, another smaller ...