The Jim Dandy Park was established on Railway Avenue between Cameron Agencies and the Post Office in 2016 by the Parks & Community Rejuvenation Board. An interpretive sign was erected by the Turtle Mountain Souris Plains Heritage Association
to highlight the importance of Jim Dandy to the early development of Pierson.
Mr. James (Jim) Dandy moved to Pierson from Ontairo in 1891 with his parents and siblings. In 1892 her became the first postmaster, a position he held until 1908.
In 1897 he built the towns first hardware store which he personally operated. In 1898 he enarged the building adding furniture and a lumberyard to the business in addition to providing space for the Post Office. Jim an his bride, Clara Henderson
lived above the hardware store until they built a fine home on Railway Avenue in 1901. They raised two children, Gladys and Eric.
In addition to being a prominent businessman, Jim was active in the Pierson Football Club and was a charter
member and treasurer of the International Order of Toasters.
Dandy was also responsible for building the Leland Hotel. The new hotel was built on three lots owned by Dandy. It was a two-storey frame stucture with a large dining room,
reading room, lobby and kitchen. It also had a sample room on the main floor wher travelling sales people could display their wares. The upper storey had twelve rooms, each equipped with a bed and dresser, a wash stand with a china pitcher and
basin and a chamber pot.
The hotel was opened in 1901, first as the Annondale Hotel and later as the Leland Hotel. It was popular with many travelling salespeople and also served doctors, dentists and others who maintained office hours there
a day or two per week.
James Dandy, who did so much to shape his community, was not destined to grow old here. In 1914 he went on an overseas trip heading for Scotland. He board the Empress of Ireland in Quebec City unaware the he
would be part of one of the largest and most tragic Maritime disasters in Canadian History. A scant few hours after the ship had left harbour, a massive fog bank emerged, and the Empress was struck by an oncoming coal vessel. The ship took a mere
14 minutes to sink, claiming 1012 lives with it. Dandy survived by swimming in the icy waters of the St. Lawrence long enough to be rescured, one of only 462 who made it through alive. He died a year afterwards due to complications that arose from
spending too much time in the cold water. He was only 49 years old. Dandy's wife and children moved to California after his death.