Lyleton

The CPR Lyleton Branch line reaching west from Deloraine terminated at Lyleton.

Stories

#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 ...

#Shelterbelts in the area around Lyleton ensured the viability of agriculture during years of drought **1936-1959** ##The Need for a Wind Break Stately rows of trees line the gravel roads near [Lyleton](item=lyleton), Manitoba. From the sky one could imagine the fields of the region resembling a striped tablecloth that has been draped over the landscape, changing colours with the seasons. Regardless of the poetry one could write while considering such a metaphor, the planting of the shelterbelts in and around Lyleton served a much more practical purpose. [[inline:right:lyleton-shelterbelts]] Settlers first arrived in the area of Lyleton in the 1880s. They found in front of them an almost endless expanse of native prairie grasses, bending to the will of the wind. The intended purpose of the settlers who populated the region was to farm. Therefore, these native grasses were tilled under without a thought to what their absence would mean: prairie winds gusting unhindered across the landscape. ##The PFRA In 1935 the Government of Canada launched the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act (PFRA). The following year two Lyleton locals, Baird and Will Murray, petitioned the PFRA to establish the Lyleton Shelterbelt Association. The PFRA provided $5 per mile of planted trees, with an additional $20 per mile, per year for the following three years of maintenance. ##Stately Rows of Trees The first of many shelterbelts to be planted in the region was completed in 1936. It consisted of 2,300 trees which were planted in a row measuring half a mile on C. ...