Brandon Electric Light Company far ahead of its time
Brandon claims the distinction of being the first city in the Canadian Northwest to be lighted by electricity.
The Brandon Electric Light Company built a steam generating station in 1888 to supply residents with electricity and on February 19, 1889, the first lights were turned on.
– Brandon: A Prospect of a City
In 1901 they built Manitoba’s first hydroelectric generating station, west of Brandon on the Little Saskatchewan River.
The project was also the first integration of hydroelectric and steam power into a composite system in Manitoba.
It is thought to be the first dam to be built on a river in Manitoba.
The project also required the first transmission line of any significant length.
The log dam and powerhouse, designed by local architect Walter H. Shillinglaw, cost $48,000.
Two five hundred horse power turbines spun the water into electrical energy which was sent into Brandon over almost ten miles of transmission line.
The station provided the city with 600 kilowatts of power.
There was only a reliable source of water from April to November so the plant was not operated during the winter months.
The system was then connected to the steam plant on Tenth Street and Lorne Avenue in Brandon (now the site of Manitoba Hydro’s customer service office).
The new hydroelectric technology was just beginning to be developed in Canada.
Brandon’s achievements were commendable in view of the level of electrical power development reached by larger centres at this time.
The Brandon station preceded the Pinawa Generating Station, which provided power to Winnipeg, by six years.
1629 Lorne Avenue
This beautiful Queen Anne-style home was built in 1909 for James Mooring, chief engineer of the Brandon Electric Light Company.
He and his family resided there until 1914.
In 1921, the home was purchased by druggist and optometrist Wilbert A. Robertson. The Robertson family lived here for over thirty-five years.
The design’s most prominent feature is the hipped roof with hip-shaped dormers, cresting, and a finial.
The house also boasts a detailed chimney, an enclosed porch, and an enclosed verandah.
Also contributing to the beautiful exterior are display windows, decorative sills and voussoirs, and both ornamental and stained glass windows.
photo: Heritage Brandon
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5 things to consider when shopping for your first/next RV
What type of unit are you looking for?
A travel trailer (or bumper hitch) tows longer behind the tow vehicle, but opens the box up for bikes, bbq’s, and extra storage.
Travel trailers are excellent for seasonal sites as they usually provide more floor space and no steps inside the unit.
A 5th wheel puts more weight on the back of the truck and eliminates the box for larger items to be stored in.
However, you’re ‘towing’ less trailer behind the vehicle, making your load shorter and easier to manoeuvre in tight spots.
How big are you looking for?
Are you looking for something smaller and lighter weight for towing longer distances every week?
Or, something that will be parked seasonally or only moved once or twice a year so the weight and size aren’t as big a factor?
Other things to think about when size is mentioned could be where it will be stored in the off-season.
Must-haves vs. Nice-to haves?
What are the features or options that you absolutely won’t compromise on?
What are your must-haves when purchasing this unit?
What are the features that you want in your RV, but wouldn’t be considered deal breakers?
Essentially, what are the options you could live without the easiest?
How many do you need to sleep on a regular basis?
Who will use the unit on a consistent basis?
Are there bunks needed for kids or extra storage area?
Will the kids be there most of the time or could you get away with a convertible sofa bed/dinette table?
New or ‘new to you’?
By law, an RV dealer must do a complete re-safety and re-conditioning of any used unit sold in Manitoba (your neighbour or the guy down the road does not).
This ensures that everything will be working in correct fashion, the way it was designed to be.
You have a dealer standing behind you should you have problems when you get the unit to the campground.
New units come complete with manufacturers warranties and dealer support as well.