History and Heritage

The area of Sainte-Anne was one of the earliest settled areas East of the Red River. The first settlers to the area were Métis and people from Québec and are reported to have arrived at Pointe-des-Chênes in 1856. The area was selected for its farmland and forest areas. The 198 families that settled into the area tried to make their living through agriculture. In order to supplement that living, the first industry to spring up in the area was that of supplying lumber for the construction of the St. Boniface Cathedral.

In the 1860's and 1870’s a Hudson Bay Company trading post, a hotel, a general store, a blacksmith and even a jail were erected in Sainte-Anne south of the Seine River and East of the present community. From 1868 to 1871, the construction of the Dawson Trail linking Fort William with St. Boniface was completed. This permitted the area of Sainte-Anne to further develop with the influx of travelers along this new Canadian trail. In the 1870’s the settlement gradually moved north of the Seine River in the present town site. From the late 1880’s to late 1890’s the Canadian Northern Railway (now CN) was built through Ste-Anne-des-Chênes.

The Town of Sainte-Anne today is a thriving community of some 2,891 residents. It boasts all of the amenities of comfortable living. Its residents enjoy fine churches, schools, indoor/outdoor recreational facilities, and municipal services. Situated within easy commuting distance of Winnipeg, the Town of Sainte-Anne will undoubtedly continue to be a community that attracts and retains its citizens.

Historic Dates

This is a brief list of historic dates of the Town of Sainte-Anne:

    • 1852 - First settlers to establish themselves at Oak Point
    • 1856 - Parish of Saint-Alexandre is founded at Oak Point
    • 1857 - William Perrault, the first child of Oak Point settlers, is born
    • 1858 - The first mass was held in Pointe-des-Chênes.
    • 1865 - The first teacher arrives, Mrs. Jean Baptiste Gauthier, maiden name Rosalie Germain
    • 1867 - Blessing of the first chapel, named Saint-Alexandre Chapel Msgr Taché entrusts the parish at Oak Point to Sainte-Anne, patron Saint of Breton and Canadians
    • 1868 - Construction of the Dawson Trail begins. It is completed in 1871
    • 1869 - First baptism in Parish registers was of Virginie Perreault daughter of Damase Perreault and Anny St-Germain
    • 1870 - Construction of the Hudson Bay store. Arson in 1980’s.
    • 1871 - First marriage in Parish registers was of Johnny Cyr and Madeleine Perreault daughter of Jean-Baptiste and Catherine Grouette
    • 1880 - Construction of the first Hotel between Ste-Anne and La Coulée along the Seine River
    • 1881 - RM of Ste-Anne incorporated
    • 1883 - Arrival of the Gray Nuns
    • 1885 - Arrival of the first doctor, Dr. François-Xavier Demers at 25 years of age. He served the community till his death in 1939
    • 1889 – 1898 - Building of Canadian Northern Railway (now CN) through Ste-Anne
    • 1890 - 1908 RM of Ste-Anne and RM of La Broquerie amalgamated under RM of La Broquerie name
    • 1895 - The cornerstone for the first church is blessed. Church opens to the public in 1898 on River Lot # 56
    • 1906 - Construction of CNR station
    • 1908 - RM of Ste-Anne re-established
    • 1910 – Construction of the Municipal Hall on Central Avenue
    • 1916 - Arrival of the Redemptorist Father
    • 1917 - Construction of the Redemptorist Monastery. It was demolished in 1992
    • 1921 - Construction of the Piney Bridge (old cement bridge). It was demolished in 2007
    • 1931 - Ste-Anne Co-Operative incorporated
    • 1937 - Salle Paroissiale – Ste-Anne Parish Hall built in 1937 for Parish activities such as theatre, movies, etc. It served as a sewing factory before being demolished in the 1980’s
    • 1939 - Caisse Populaire of Sainte-Anne founded
    • 1954 - Blessing and official opening of the Sainte-Anne Hospital
    • 1959 - June 11, 7pm: The worst flood in Sainte-Anne's history. Water rises at a rate visible to the eye. The hospital is evacuated. It passes quickly. By morning, all danger is past
    • 1960 - Completion of the Seine River diversion project
    • 1963 - Incorporation of the Village of Sainte-Anne
    • 1964 - Blessing and official opening of the Villa Youville
    • 1971 - Blessing and official opening of the Seine Medical Centre
    • 1997 - Town of Ste-Anne incorporated
    • 1999 - New Ste-Anne Co-op Station built at corner of Traverse and Centrale Ave.
    • 2018 - Ste-Anne Co-op name changed to Clearview Consumer Co-op
    • 2021-2022 – Construction of new Town of Sainte-Anne Municipal Office at 14 Centrale Ave.

Sainte-Anne Pioneer Families

In recognition of our Pioneer Families, a list of some 290 Pioneer Families between 1850 and 1890 has been researched and presented in two formats; one in alphabetical order of the men and the other in alphabetical order of the women. In so doing it is much easier to locate your ancestors on the male or female side.  View the list of Sainte-Anne Pioneer Families below either by order of the men or the women.The ethnic origins and the names of the spouses, which are too often overlooked, are based on a variety of sources, such as the 1871-1881-1891 Manitoba Census, the Ste-Anne Parish 1876-1976 Centennial book, cemetery lists and internet research.  One can notice that our pioneers are from a variety of ethnic sources, but that the Métis and the French from Québec and those repatriated from the States are of primary importance. 

Have a good look by clicking on either of the badges below, and maybe you can discover some of your ancestors.

(Research by: Norman Lavack)

Men Women