Between 1878 and 1890, thousands of settlers from the East moved to take up the 160 acre homesteads offered by the government of John A MacDonald to settle the Big Plains. Their wives and children began to arrive in 1879, and the farming district of the Carberry Plains was born, whose outlines coincide almost exactly with the boundaries of the Rural Municipality of North Cypress, an area of 278,000 acres. Many of the farmsteads around Carberry today bear the names of the settlers who arrived in 1878.
Public meetings followed shortly with a view to establishing a Post Office (in Fairview in 1879), Agricultural Society (1883), Council for the Municipality (first meeting in 1882 with W. Spence as the first Reeve and W.G. Rogers as the first Clerk), and a School (1883).
The Town of Carberry Early 1900’s
The town of Carberry owes its origin to the CPR, as well as to the RM’s enterprising settlers.
In 1882, the CPR established a station at De Winton, a small town-site about 1 1/2 miles east of the town’s present site. Several of the railway’s officials quietly purchased much of De Winton’s town-site property, hoping for great profit as the town grew. Such speculation was strictly against the Railway’s company rules, however, and on discovering the violation, the Railway Company, using 100 specially-hired men, in one night physically moved the new station to the present site of the town of Carberry!
Carberry was named after Carberry Tower in Musselburgh, Scotland (belonging to Lord Elphinstone, a director of the CPR) by James J. Hill, another CPR director and later President of the Great Northern Railway.
Carberry’s 100+ years of history are described with endearing humor and loving attention to detail in several books to be found in the Carberry Library. They paint a fascinating picture of life through the years in a richly populated, creative and exciting prairie town. We urge you to visit the library and learn more about our town!