This white brick house close to the Red River and north east of the St. Norbert Nursing home was built in 1912-3 for the Henri de Moissac family. It replaced the log house the family had occupied since 1901.
Born in France, Henri(1879-1944) married Angès Lachance of St. Norbert. They had 11 children. Before becoming secretary-treasurer of the RM of Fort Garry in 1912 (position held until 1923), Henri taught at the Boys’ School and worked for the RM of Ritchot. He worked for the City of St. Boniface for 11 years, returning to the RM of Fort Garry in 1934 and remained there until his death.
The three-storey home has interesting features including the windows on all sides on the third floor allowing a vista of the river, the bedrooms are a good size, and a safe is in place in the basement for the secretary-treasurer’s safekeeping responsibilities. Some early meetings were in his house, as the Municipal Hall was not ready to accommodate the newly-formed council.
Residents after the de Moissac family were ones by the name of King and that of Auguste Thorimbert, the Provincial Fire Commissioner in the 1960s.
A park at the corner of rue La Barrière, avenues du Couvent and St-Gabriel, remembers the de Moissac family.
The present resident is Father Albert Lalonde (269-6554) who is informed about the plaque program.
Labelled ‘a character cutie’ when put up for sale during late summer 2010, this two-storey frame dwelling was built in 1902-3 by carpenter Bruno Verrier (1863-1926) for his family.
Subsequent residents were the J.-B Lavery family and Auguste and Bernadette (nèe Ferland) Ritchot who occupied the home for nearly four decades.
Renovations over the years saved many of the interior features including main floor boards. The gingerbread trim on the porch was also retained.
It is the first house on the La Salle River side located east of a small park as one turns off Pembina Highway. Its location and attractiveness often led visitors to think of it as a bed and breakfast establishment.
A street in Richmond Lakes remembers the Verrier family.
Of all the homes and businesses once on the Pembina Highway, it is the last of that vintage still standing on the west side. During the latter part of the 19th century, a hotel run by Napolèon Lemay was on that property, a short distance from the railway station.
In 1912, the old structure was torn down by the new owner, Cyrille Leclaire (1874-1946), to make way for a two-storey boarding house/restaurant. It appears the Board and Room facility came about to discourage residents to introduce a liquor outlet in a new hotel. Earlier, the sign read “St. Norberts House”, but was known as “Leclair’s Cafè” until c1956. It was a stopping place for salesmen, members of snowshoe clubs and Sunday drivers late into the 1930s. Orders for chicken dinners were ready within half an hour. In addition to his wife (nèe Marie-Louise Laporte), the business employed a few locals to wait on the tables and set up the rooms. There was a telephone connected early on.
Son of pioneer Michel Leclair (on the first RM of Fort Garry Council) and Annie Leroux, Cyrille was born in Quebec before the family came to farm at Lot 78 Turnbull Drive, site of the present St. Norbert Provincial Heritage Park. He married in 1898. There were no children. A street name in Richmond Lakes remembers the pioneer family.
The restaurant was a small main dining room and two smaller private ones with huge mahogany tables. Fried chicken, boiled potatoes, cabbage, pickled beets and dills, (corn on the cob season) and fritters in maple syrup, were the menu as early as the 1920s. The vegetables were home-grown. The price of the meal in the late 1940s was $1.75.
In 1924, Albini Toupin and his wife started working at the Boarding House, purchased the business in 1940 and moved upstairs.
The house was the residence of Wilfred Dowbiggan in 1990 (Henderson Directory for that year). It now appears to be a duplex.