We are three weeks into our tourist season and The Plum has already welcomed over 500 visitors! I have had the pleasure of talking to people from Elgin to Australia. Other international visitors to Souris call places such as Belgium, China, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Trinidad, and the United States home. Many Canadian visitors, like those from Ontario, Newfoundland, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, have included Souris as a stop on their cross-country road trips.
The most frequent question I get asked at the Visitor’s Centre is “where is the Bridge?” For those who live or have grown up in Souris the answer seems obvious, however, one visitor did point out that the signs to the Swinging Bridge (which start on Highway 1) suddenly disappeared once they entered town – however, he, and many others, were able to find their way with a few simple directions. Another visitor told me her approach to finding the Bridge without signs, “we decided to try and find the low point in town where the water was, as we crossed the [iron bridge] we looked left and, wouldn’t you know it, there it was!”
The second most common question is, “what’s with the peacocks?” The peacocks were originally brought to Souris to add exotic variety in Victoria Park’s bird sanctuary. They have become more comfortable and more commonly sighted downtown and outside of the Park since the 2011 flooding. Peacocks do not fly south in the winter – they are kept in a barn and, thanks to donations from local farmers, are fed seed throughout the colder months. I have yet to find an answer to who originally brought in the peacocks and when they first arrived. The brass serving tray that is on display at The Plum belonged to Mr. H.E. (Al) Wright, Mayor of Souris from 1954-57 & 1960-65 suggests that they could have been here since the late 1950s-early 1960s, although the locals I have spoken to cannot confirm when the peacocks arrived in town. If you have any further information about the peacocks please let me know!
I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to all of The Plum’s visitors and supporters. Special thank you to Parks Board members and Mayor Darryl Jackson for your efforts in helping keep the Plum Grounds clean and welcoming. If you would like to volunteer at The Plum – talk to visitors, answer questions about the museum, or help with the gardens and grounds, please contact Nicole either in-person at The Plum, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via facebook @ThePlumVisitorCentre.