One of the communities On This Spot has content for in the province of Manitoba is Stonewall, located 25 kilometers north of Winnipeg. As part of our participation in the month-long initiative of Culture Days, we are today featuring our two Stonewall self-guided walking tours on this blog. Both tours are available for free online and through the On This Spot app.
Stonewall got its start in the 1880s as an industrial town with a multinational workforce who toiled in the limestone quarries. The quarries and the limestone kilns that served them are the foundation upon which the town of Stonewall was built. Although the production of lime ceased in the 1960s, Stonewall still proudly celebrates its quarry roots with a Main Street lined with notable limestone buildings and a former quarry that has been developed into a heritage recreational park.
Our first tour in Stonewall focuses in on its industrial past, taking a look at its economy throughout the years. The ten-stop tour meanders through Quarry Park as it explores the story of the limestone quarry that once defined the town. In this tour, we will begin with the formation of the limestone some 450 million years ago and move on to tell the stories of the people who worked in the quarries, the techniques and technologies they used, and the economic forces they contended with.
The second tour moves away from industry to discuss the development of the town itself. Since its founding in 1880, Stonewall has transformed from a collection of homesteads into a successful town with a rich history. In this tour, we will take a stroll down Main Street and learn about how Stonewall was founded, what drew people here, and what it was like to grow up in the first few decades of Stonewall.