Jim Dandy Park

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.  

Norman Breakey Park

The Norman Breakey Park is located at the inersection of Railway Ave. & Government Road Allowance and is named after Norman Breakey; an inventor from Pierson. 

Norman James Breakey was born February 25, 1891 in Pierson.  He spent his younger years in the region, but after WWI he relocated to Toronto.  It was there in the 1940`s that Norman invented the Paint Roller. 

Breakey started selling his invention locally, but he either didn`t patten his invention or wasn`t able to patent it.  Meanwhile, other manufacturers seized the idea and produced their own versions of the product.  The invention was quite popular, but it appears that both fame and fortune eluded Breakey who died in 1965 a realatively poor man. 

Breakey may not have profited from his invention, but it has aided generations of painters.  The Norman Breakey Park in Pierson is named in his honour for his invention of the Paint Roller!

Three Corners Cairn

An intersting attraction nearby is the Three Corners Cairn marking the location where the three boundaries of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota meet.  On June 25,1970 during Manitoba`s 100th Birthday, the Cairn was unveiled by Manitoba`s Premier at the time, Ed Shreyer. The plaque commemorated the surveying of the International Boundary, and the unveiling ceremony paid tribute to the work of the early surveyors. 

The Ralph Wang Gainsborough Creek Trail

This trail provide a glimps into the past, when native prairie once stretched beyond the horizon.  Today grasslands like this are rare, as are many of the birds and plants you can see here. 

Gainsborough Creek is a travel corridor for wildlife, so is is a good place to see deer, fox, coyotes and other animals.  The cottonwood trees provide an oasis for songbirds, while the prairie is home to a variety of rare grassland birds. 

Along the trail you will notice how the land transitions between the uplands of native mixed-grass prairie and the wet meadows of the lowlands.  As the trail moves closer to the water, you can observe how the vegetation changes from grasses and wildflowers to willows and cordgrass. 

This area is protected and managed by the Municipality of Two Borders in cooperation with Nature Conservancy of Canada and a local cattle producer.  The Pierson and Area Birding Committee maintains the trail. 

To get to the Ralph Wang Gainsborough Creek Trail, travel 1 mile west of Pierson on Highway number 3 and turn south on the Antler Road for 5.5 miles.  Look for the trail head sign on the east side of the road.  Maps are available at the RM office, the Post Office and Heritage Restaurant.