The Tread of the Pioneers (on CD)


Cat No.:   CA0440: (See also product CA0440-DL for this "book" as a downloadable file and save the mailing cost.)

Published by The Portage la Prairie and District Old Timers’ Association - 1932. Written and Edited by Joseph Henry Metcalfe (1870-1938)

Gathering the background for this book began in 1922 through the efforts of The Portage la Prairie and District Old Timers’ Association. This background information, particularly the responses to questionnaires distributed on behalf of the Association, became the core of the book’s content although it was not until 1927 that the actual compilation of the book was started. In 1929 Joseph Henry Metcalfe was appointed as Editor and Compiler by the Publication Committee and he set about the massive task of compiling the information into the book we have today.

Prior to this Mr. Metcalfe’s primary professional interests had been with the Grain Industry and civic office, and this may be the reason for the somewhat unusual structure of the book. The book provides no major sub-divisions, or Chapters, so it stands as just one monolithic block of text with major shifts in the subject only being marked by in-line, centered, upper case, headings. This does not, in any way, reflect on the extent or quality of the information contained, but navigating from one part of the book to another, without the benefit of either a more traditional Index, or a Table of Contents, can be a little tedious. It is fortunate then that we are able to introduce “bookmarks” in our digital edition, allowing the reader to navigate around, and within, the text block.

In the Foreword there are a number of Acknowledgments for the incorporation of information from other sources, which have been incorporated to give the book a greater depth and breadth in its revealing of the story of the inception, and growth, of Portage la Prairie. One of these sources is the archives of the Hudson’s Bay Company, a body whose presence has to be considered as a key part in the successful development of the settlement.

By far the largest portion of the book is dedicated to the alphabetical list of “memoirs” - the word used in the book to describe the “individual biographies” - which are clearly the responses received from the personal questionnaires issued by the Association. These are subdivided into two alphabetically arranged lists, the first list being individuals from the nearby, but outlying, settlements, and follows a brief synopsis of the origins of these outliers. The second, and main, list follows immediately after the first and comprises of all other pioneer families. It occupies 231 pages, well over two thirds of the total pages in the book. This leaves but a few pages at the front for Introductions, and towards the rear of the book, for the recapitulation of lists from public records, e.g., of council representatives, and of those holding public office.

Without the benefits that our high quality digitization can offer this might be a difficult book to use, but this version will provide you with all the tools you could need to make this a very valuable resource for your research. The whole of the book is computer searchable for every word it contains and care has been taken in making the reproductions of the 13 pages of illustrations (Including the full colored frontispiece) as faithful to the printed originals as possible.

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   978-1-927503-59-1 ;