NewsNews & UpdatesThe photo shows a historic shot of lumber being loaded from the red river onto the shore of Selkirk.

In 1882, James Colcleugh was the man of the hour.

After the Town of Selkirk became a recognized town under the provincial Municipal Act, he served as Selkirk’s first mayor and is often thought of as the founder of Selkirk.

Originally, Colcleugh was a contractor working on a telegraph line between Rat Portage and Manitoba. Eventually, he reached a spot where the rail line would have to cross the river. The spot was just a dot on the railway map — barely a village.

After surveying the area, Colcleugh realized that the railway would have to cross the river near his telegraph.

This was his opportunity to make a fortune, and how the Town of Selkirk was born.

Colcleugh was a true visionary of his time — so much so that he even got a street in Selkirk named after him.

Soon, Selkirk was a booming little town on the banks of the Red River. The town became the center of the Lake Winnipeg lumber trade and in 1883, a park was established for day tourists.

1882 to 1883 were huge years for Selkirk — from the town’s founding to the building of a railway, to the inclusion of over 14 new businesses, the spot that was previously no more than a map dot would soon become an integral part of Manitoba’s history.

To read more about Selkirk’s founding years, head over to our timeline and check out The Beginning: 1882-1883.