On Highway 259, about fifteen kilometres west of Rivers, at the junction with Road 354, there is a well-tended graveyard with an iron gate marked “St. Matthews Ancrum Cemetery”. Visible from the road, a bit to the north in the English Museum, sits St. Matthews Church, moved there from south of the Cemetery where it had stood for eighty-five years. A bit to the south, a stone cairn by the roadside commemorates Ancrum School.
That, and memories, are about all that left of a town that never was.
The district had been settled since 1881 and
In 1900, when the Great Northwest Central Railway proposed to cross the region, the original plan included a railway station at the location. At that time it was just the school, church, a Canadian Order of Foresters Hall and one small house originally intended as a manse. But if a station were to be placed there, commercial growth would surely follow.
But the site was on valuable land, and when the Common family offered a right-of-way on their property, just to the west, free in exchange for the right to sub-divide and sell lots for a town site, the siding was located on the future site of Bradwardine.
The site switch was a common tactic used by railway companies to minimize costs by obtaining cheaper land.
A small settlement, consisting of a school, church, cemetery and hall that was abandonned when the railway chose present-day Bradwardine as a location for a station.
Its Anglican Church has been moved to the nearby English Museum.
Heritage Site Maps...