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Fort Dufferin Memorial

Fort Dufferin was named after the third Governor General of Canada, the Earl of Dufferin. It was established bу the Bound­ary Trail Commission in 1872 and served as the base for the North American Boundary Commission, which defined and marked the 49th Parallel. In 1874 the North-West Mounted Police began their ride west from Fort Dufferin to bring law and order to western Canada before the Fort served as headquarters for ‘D’ Division in 1874-1875.

Bringing some of the first Mennonite families to the West Re­serve were riverboats that docked at Fort Dufferin between 1875 and 1879, when the Fort served as a significant port of entry to Manitoba and western Canada. It was at Fort Dufferin where  Mennonites organized them­selves, confirming their church leader, the Aeltester (Bishop) Johann Wiebe, and appointing а settlement director (Obervorsteher), Isaak Mueller. 

WestMenn is proud to partner with the Post Road Heritage Group in developing a permanent interpretive display regarding the Mennonite experience at Fort Dufferin. Eleanor Chornoboy, John Giesbrecht, Graham Schellenberg, Conrad Stoesz, Lawrence Klippenstein, and Sean Goerzen all contributed to its development. The display is set to be unveiled later in 2020. 

Many celebrations have taken place at Fort Dufferin, now a National Historic Site of Canada. In 2000 the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society celebrated the 125th anniversary of Mennonites in Manitoba at Fort Dufferin, and the 140th anniversary in 2015. More information on the latter celebration can be found by watching this PembinaValleyOnline video.