Ridgeville, Manitoba is a shrinking community in southern Manitoba, about ten miles northeast of Emerson, or sixty miles southeast of Winnipeg. The average visitor would never know it today, but about 9,000 years ago, Ridgeville was beachfront property. Glacial Lake Agassiz (one of the largest of all the glacial lakes and larger than all of the Great Lakes combined) created a successive series of beaches in the Ridgeville area as it drained. Today, the soil remains sandy, but Lake Agassiz is long gone.
St. Mary’s Anglican church was built in 1906 and proved to be a welcome construction, since Ridgeville’s only other church, a non-denominational church built in 1881, was relocated and reused a half dozen times. St. Mary’s was to be a permanent home for Ridgeville’s faithful. As the population shrank, however, St. Mary’s was eventually vacated. A local history of Ridgeville updated the story of this church last in 2010, saying “It supposedly was sold to a Baptist group headed by Ken Nedohin but they decided against the needed repairs and gave it back to the municipality. It now has supposedly been sold to Dennis Froom.”
Most of the fixtures from St. Mary’s remain inside the church.
The former Agricultural Repair Company shop.
The building shown above is the former garage of W.H. Post, built in 1932. Mr. Post operated the garage until it was purchased by Ted Walters in 1946, who ran it until 1960, when he moved to Emerson. The structure was reportedly vacated at that time and the roof was heavily damaged just a few years later, on July 1st, 1965, when twin tornadoes struck Ridgeville. The debris was eventually cleaned-out and it appears to be mainly a playground these days.
Photos by Troy Larson, copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media