May 30: Happy Birthday, Brandon; Duff Roblin remembered; Lord Selkirk's land grant.

May 30, 1882 - The City of  Brandon is officially incorporated. It went from a settlement to a full-fledged city in less than a year.  As Pierre Berton recounts:

This  began in Brandon: A man called McVicar  had a farm in Grand Valley and  General Rosser, who was then the  engineer, rode out and said to  McVicar, "We want to buy your land.  What's the price? He offered him a  price and McVicar was going to take  it until his friend said, "No, this  is the CPR, ask for more." So  McVicar raised the price about $10,000  and Rosser looked at him and  said, "I'll be damned if there'll ever be a  town at Grand  Valley"-and  there never has been. He drove off to the  Brandon Hills and formed the  town of Brandon in what was virgin  territory…

(Excerpt from “The Last Spike 100th  Anniversary” speech  to the Empire Club  by Pierre  Burton)

Brandon land ad from the Free Press, February 18, 1882

For more Brandon history see Hillman WebHeritage Brandon.

May 30, 1811   - The HBC grants Lord Selkirk 70 million acres (300 000 km2) of land   along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers for the sum of 10 shillings. In return , he agreed to populate Assiniboia with settlers from the United Kingdom.

After a number of natural disasters, including crop failures and floods the land reverted back to the HBC in 1836.

May 30, 2010 Dufferin Roblin  dies in Winnipeg. He served as an MLA for nearly 20 years, 11 of them as Premier.

He is best remembered as the man behind the Red River Floodway, nicknamed Duff's  Ditch. In a 2008 Winnipeg Free Press contest he was voted 'The Greatest  Manitoban'.

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