Site 11: The East Slough


The Hudson Bay Company (HBC) built a dock in the East Slough called Colvile Landing. It was so named for high ranking Company official Eden Colvile. The HBC vessel Colvile carried Lord and Lady Dufferin during their tour of Manitoba in 1877.


Lord Dufferin was the third Governor General of the Dominion of Canada. The following is taken from Lady Dufferin’s journal of their 1877 tour through Manitoba:


The S.S. Colvile that was to take them around Lake Winnipeg had run ashore amidst fog.


Sunday, the 9th: We were all up and ready for breakfast at 7:00, and by 9:00, had said goodbye to the Mackenzies, packed our canoes, and started afresh to Gimli, the Icelandic settlement.


We had made up our minds to “rough it”, in the way of provisions, and looked forward to a diet of pemmican. Ugh.


We were bearing our disappointment in the most Christian manner, and were cheerfully reading our papers and paddling along in our four canoes, when a cloud of smoke appeared on the horizon, and a cry of “The Steamer!” rose simultaneously from all the boats.


There she was off her mud bank, and on her way to meet us. We soon got on board and found her most comfortably fitted up.


I must confess, when I first saw her at Winnipeg in her working dress, that, with every desire to make the best of everything, my heart sunk a little at the idea of spending six days in her. Now she looks very nice.


She’s been repainted, and the hold has been turned into a beautiful dining room. It has been entirely lined with green bays, while the companion ladder is clothed in red, and she has a most cheerful and comfortable appearance.


The gentlemen sleep in the saloon. On the deck, we have a sitting room, and out of it are two cabins with two births in each. There is another large cabin for the Colonel and Mrs. Littleton.


Of course, we have fresh provisions on the Colvile, so the pemmican diet is postponed for a time.


Monday, the 10th: The longest day I have spent for some time. Lake Winnipeg is so large, we were out of sight of land, and the Colvile is a terrible ship for rain. In this fine weather, she rolled all day, and even when we anchored at night, she went on swaying from side to side.