Our Heritage  People / Index

We Made Baldur


Photographer and Publisher Fred Stevens



In the summer of 1882, Fred Stevens came to Manitoba from England, to seek his fortune in farming. After looking around, he decided on W 28-4-14. If he had known how many stones would have to be removed, he would have located elsewhere. He and his neighbours erected a log house in 1882. The house was lived in until 1937.

In 1883, Fred's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Stevens, arrived accompanied by Elizabeth Avis. Fred and Elizabeth were married that year. Fred's sister, Sara, married Jim Graham the same year. Jim and Sara homesteaded the land which was later purchased by the Waitt Brothers. They moved to the Neelin district. They had four girls: Jean, Dora, Maggie, and Beth.

Fred and Elizabeth had six boys; Charlie, Sydney, Arthur, Alfred, Harry and Frank, and one girl, Olive. All the children were raised in the log house.

Fred taught school at Roseberry for a few years, returning each night to his wife and family on the homestead. He continued to farm until the boys were old enough to carry on. Fred and Elizabeth moved to Baldur in 1920, where Fred had earlier purchased the "Baldur Gazette". 

The Stevens Family

Elizabeth has told a little story of the early days when she was alone so much. She looked out and saw a huge bull, down at the hay stack where their only cow and calf was tethered. Fearing they might be hurt, she grabbed the broom to chase the bull away. The chase was soon the other way around, she got back to the house in time to slam the door in the bull's face. He roared around the house so fiercely that she grabbed up her baby and went upstairs to wait until Fred got home.

Adapted from Come into our Heritage, page 657.

The Baldur Gazette

The first publication of the Baldur Gazette took place June 30th, 1898, with Mr. S. R. P. Cooper as proprietor and editor.  A Special Historical Edition from September 1899 offers a valuable record of the beginnings of the community.
In 1907 Mr. Cooper left and Walter Fredrickson took charge of the mechanical department of the paper under Mr. P. F. Curtis, who at that time purchased the Gazette. In February 1909 the ownership passed from Mr. Curtis to Miss Annie Playfair, who immediately disposed of it again to Mr. Fred Stevens. In early October Mr. Stevens assumed the complex duties of editor and proprietor, and continued until his death in 1939. In October 1939 Mr. Dickenson purchased the Gazette with Mr. Lorne McLeod as editor.

Earl and Joy Johnson took over the Gazette in 1963 from Earl’s mother, Edna Johnson, who operated the business since 1948. So the weekly newspaper has been operated by the Johnson family for the past 65 years (As of 2013)

The Photography of Fred Stevens

From the Baldur Gazette Special Historical Edition, Sept. 1899


Winnipeg Elevator, Dominion Elevator, Roller Mill, Rink, Northern Elevator


Second Street, Baldur, Looking North

Our Heritage  People / Index