Manitoba historian and author, Gordon Goldsborough, has launched his third book in the series of Abandoned Manitoba. He says the summer trip he took with fellow history lovers down the original Trans-Canada highway inspired the cover of the new book, 'On the Road to Abandoned Manitoba'.
Goldsborough participated in an across-Manitoba trip where a small convoy of antique vehicles travelled from the Ontario border to the Saskatchewan border during the month of July.
"We drove in 5 antique cars, the oldest of which was 100 years old, and we did it along the original route of the Trans-Canada Highway at a speed of about 40-50 km/hr." shares Goldsborough. "And I have to tell you, when you're driving that slow you can see so much more of the countryside. I would heartily recommend it as a way of seeing Manitoba!"
The Head Researcher with the Manitoba Historical Society had been delving into the history of the original highways of Manitoba going back almost 100 years. Upon sharing his interest in driving that route with a friend, Goldsborough was offered the use of a 1923 Ford Model T to make the trip. The venture grew to five cars, with backup vehicles just in case of breakdowns.
"We had such a great time! Everyone had a great time along the old stretches where we could relax, look at the scenery while going by," he shares. "Well frankly, if we were magically transported back a hundred years ago, we would have seen all those things. It was literally like having a time machine!"
The Model T is featured on the cover of his latest book, as well as the bridge in the background north of Oakville, a favorite type of bridge for Goldsborough, known as a bowstring arch bridge.
At one time there were dozens of these bridges, possibly hundreds of them across the province, he says. These bridges are quite narrow, only wide enough for one vehicle and not conducive to modern day traffic.
"So, the vast majority of those bowstring [bridges] have been removed so now there are just five left," he explains. "I find them gorgeous! They're really quite an attractive bridge and they're an important reminder of the way that our highway network used to look."
As with his first two books, this third one shares unique and intriguing places that only locals are aware of. He says one of the under-lying themes of most of the chapters is the places one can see if you get out and travel.
"I really do hope that one of the reasons that people read my book is to find out about the places that they can go and see for themselves. So, to that end I provide the coordinates to every place I go to so people can literally go and see them themselves."
Gordon Goldsborough will be presenting his new book, 'On the Road to Abandoned Manitoba' this week at the Virden Library Thursday evening, November 30th at 6:30 pm, AND he will be at the Prairie Skills Building in Deloraine, on Friday afternoon, December 8th at 2pm.
Please listen to more with Gordon below!
(Photo credit Holly Thorne)
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