The History of Pilot Mound
In 1878, the first settlers from Ontario came west to this area, spending the winter in small shelters at Barbour's Lake, a few miles from the present town.
In 1881, a town site was chosen, on the slopes of the 116-foot high Mound, an elevation visible for up to 16 miles. It was a prominent landmark, a beacon to the wagon trains as settlers crossed the prairies.
Here it was that a well-planned town site was laid out with hundreds of lots being sold. (Click here to see the lot plans, who bought them and how much they paid!) Businesses, a church and a school, as well as private dwellings soon appeared on the Mound. The town was incorporated and the future looked bright, even attracting a visit by Sir John A. MacDonald who addressed a political rally on the slopes of the Mound in 1885, on his only journey to the West.
However, when the CPR Railway skirted the town by a mile, there was nothing to be done but move all the buildings to a new site and reincorporate again in 1904. Soon only the stone bank vault remained on the Mound, as evidence of the former Town. It is still visible to this very day.
The Old Mound, as local people affectionately call it, is one of the most important historical landmarks in this province. Geologists tell us that it was the result of an upheaval of natural gas as opposed to a formation left by the last Ice Age. It has on its summit the remains of a small circular hill, which, authorities state, was built by ancient Mound Builders. In 1908 a Professor Montgomery of Toronto University directed excavations, which unearthed relics of Mound Builders, who would have considered it a temple or holy hill.
Pilot Mound was in the heart of Indian country in the days of the Hudson's Bay Company. The Plains Indians called the Mound "Little Dance Hill" (Mepawaquomoshin). They came great distances to hold their ceremonial dances on its summit.
During the first half of the 19TH century the area was well known to the buffalo hunters of the old Red River Settlement. Various clashes resulted between the buffalo hunters and the Sioux with a fierce battle being fought on the northern slopes of the Old Mound in the mid 1850's.
The buffalo hunters were camped at Barbour's Lake preparing to hunt a large herd of Buffalo, which was located in the area and had driven them northward to the edge of the bush. Finding two of their members missing and their horses and rifles gone, it was later learned the Sioux had killed them. As night was falling the hunters returned to camp.
The next day, a beautiful September Sunday, the hunters advanced in strength toward the Mound. The Sioux were assembled a little over a half-mile north of the Mound. Here the battle took place, a running fight, on horseback in Indian style, which resulted in the complete wiping out of the Sioux. Five hundred and ninety-seven were killed and buried on the western slope of the Old Mound. Two survivors were allowed to carry the story of the massacre back to their people. When the fight was over there were 1500 buffalo hunters on the Mound.
A party of Sioux came up from the south during the early days of white settlement and carefully examined the burial place of their people on the slope of the hill. In recent years, descendents of the slain warriors drive from Belcourt, North Dakota, to hold a memorial ceremony on the Mound each fall. They welcome local people to come with them as they walk over the Mound, hold a smudging ceremony, scatter tobacco and offer food for the spirits of their ancestors.
The mysteries of the Old Mound continue to fascinate and unfold.
A recent book entitled "The Vinlan Calendars" by ex-Manitoban John Samson, suggests that the mounds on top of the Old Mound were not burial mounds but remains of astrological observation cones built of sod. These allowed the Aztecs to accurately navigate the globe, and also the Druids and Vikings, using archeological astronomy, possessed the navigational knowledge necessary for global navigation, making many trips to the Americas.
With the town almost in its shadow, the Old Mound remains shrouded in mystery - an important part of our heritage.
OUR CLAIM TO FAME:
The Old Mound
A 116-foot elevation, one mile from the town of Pilot Mound, is one of the most important historical landmarks in the province. Learn more...
Pilot Mound is known as Hockey Town in Manitoba
Every year boys and girls of all ages have the opportunity to play on teams at different age levels. Novice, Atoms, Peewees, Bantams, And Midgets.
In recent years several local players have gone on to play and coach with provincial and North American teams:
"Black Jack" Johnny Stewart - inducted into the National Hockey Hall of Fame, began his NHL career in 1938, playing until 1951 with the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Black Hawks.
Delaney Collins - University of Concordia and University of Alberta women’s teams and Canada Women’s National Team.
Lyle Phair - NHL Los Angeles
Bob Leslie - Professional hockey coach in Europe: 9 Team Canada Postings: Spengler Cup and Deutschland Cup Champions; German Elite League (DEL): Hamburg Freezers, Cologne Sharks, Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg, Krefeld Penguins, DEG Dusseldorf; Spengler Cup Champion with Cologne Sharks, 2000; Swiss National A League: Zug (Swiss League Champions 1998), Basel, Langnau, Zurich Lions; British Super League: London Knights; Austrian Elite League: EHC Feldkirch
Rod Collins - International League
Rick McConnell - Pembina Valley Hawks coach
Jim Moore - American Hockey League
Riley Weselowski- Rapid City Rush, American Central Hockey League
Rock Lake United Church Camp
For nearly a century this beautiful camp on the north shore of Rock Lake has provided excellent camping experiences for hundreds of youth across the southern part of the province. Please visit its website: www.rocklake.com for more information
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
Duncan Campbell Stewart, (1858-1936) prominent pioneer educator and Parliamentarian, served as a Liberal MP from 1902 -1904
John L. Brown, (1867-1958) Clergyman and Parliamentarian served as a Liberal-Progressive member of Parliament from 1921-1935.
OTHERS WHO HAVE MADE US PROUD!
Brett Sheffield While attending the University of Manitoba, Brett Sheffield was named Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship's 2012 Student Regional and National Champion, winning $10,000 and a spot in the global competition in New York, where he finished in third place.
Eileen Collins is appointed to the Order of Manitoba - 2006 - for her many years of volunteering in the community of Pilot Mound.
A. Gordon Craig - founder of the Sports Network TSN, spent his early years in Pilot Mound where his father, Alexander Craig served as the Agricultural Representative.
Clare and Dorothy Geddes - 2002 inductees into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame. Prominent Canadian Charolais Cattle producers who introduced the first Charolais breeding herd to Manitoba in 1964. Since that date they have done much to promote this breed of cattle across Canada.
Dr. Paul Hiebert (1892-1987) noted scientist and author, who received the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour for his novel "Sarah Binks" was born in Pilot Mound where his father operated a general store.
Mary Speechly - 1873-1968 "Renaissance Woman" after whom Mary Speechly Hall at the University of Winnipeg is named. During 14 years spent living in Pilot Mound (1902-16) as the wife of the local doctor, this early feminist, through involvement with the local Agricultural Society strove to provide better education, health care, and to promote women's suffrage and other women's issues. She later founded the Pilot Mound Home Economics society in 1912.