This community is named on a CP Rail map dating back to 1876. Though only 15 families are identified in voting records for the settlement that year, the community subsequently grew rapidly and by 1891 included regular train service, a telegraph, grain mill and elevator, grocery store, post office, hotel, cheese factory, blacksmith, an agricultural machinery dealer, and a school. (Source: Centre du patrimoine)
In 1912 the Clercs de St. Viateur of Montreal constructed a 3-story building which served as an orphanage until 1954. The Roman Catholic church then used this as a secondary school known as St. Joseph College until 1967. In 1970 the property was acquired by Winnipeg Bible College, who we now know as Providence University College & Theological Seminary. (Source: Manitoba Historical Society)
While this Route is farther from Steinbach than any posted so far, we think you’ll find the 22-minute drive worthwhile. From Steinbach, drive west on the #52 to the #59 highway, then turn left. After driving two miles south on the #59, you’ll see the green sign indicating Providence University College at the next right turn. Follow Road 34N just over two miles east, then turn left on the Providence main driveway. Park on their main lot on your left.
While classes at Providence University College do not resume until fall, President Dr. David Johnson has welcomed Village Runners to park on campus to start their tour of Otterburne.
Starting from the tower, run south on the foot path to connect to the campus road, turn right and follow the road around toward the trees and river. As the road swings right, step off the left side of the road onto the grass of the disc golf course and follow it around the bend in the river. Join Main Street and take the path across the bridge and past Canada Post. Turn left on Avenue St. Viateur, then right on Rue Ducharme, then left where it ends. Follow this gravel road for 2.3 km, then go left on River Oak Road. Follow River Oak for 1.5 km as it winds past homes tucked into the trees and crosses the Rat River.
Go left on Rat River Road for 3.5 km past the Schreimer Family Farm. Cross the Morin Seed driveway and turn left on the Providence driveway. Run past the new College residence on your left and the Reimer center on your right, then turn right on the foot path to return to the tower.