Monday, June 06, 2011

Customs Stories IV: F.T. Bradley

One of the clearest copies of this photo that I've ever seen!
In 1871, a customs house was opened on the west side of the Red River, and the first Collector of Customs, F. T. Bradley, (seen in above photo) was appointed. Bradley became an important figure in Emerson’s early years, becoming also a director of the Emerson and Northwestern Railroad and organizing the first Masonic Lodge of which he was Grand Master. By 1872, the customs building also served as a telegraph, express, and post office for what was known then as North Pembina and came later to be known as West Lynne. It was later discovered that this “Canadian” customs building was actually sitting on the American side of the boundary—and was hastily dragged north! The customs house, the first in Western Canada, is now located on the north side of Highway 75 on the west side of the river, along with Emerson’s first jail, also a well-preserved log building.

Source: Manitoba Historical Society, Tour of Emerson