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Hecla Village

Hecla Village church © Craig Fast

The largest village on Hecla Island, Hecla Village is a short distance south of Hecla Oasis Resort. Originally settled by Icelanders in the 1870s, it is easy to see why they chose to make Hecla their new home: an island, grassy in summer, snow-covered in winter and next to Manitoba’s largest body of water – Lake Winnipeg could easily be mistaken for a freshwater inland sea.

We followed the self-guided village tour; a one kilometre walk past the village’s original ice house, sawmill, school house, village store (still in use) and homesteads. The village’s first church was built in 1890. The one in this image was built on the same site in 1927.

One of the best ways to get a flavour of Hecla Island’s Icelandic heritage is to wander around the church’s graveyard where gravestones bear names such as Tomasson, Helgason and Sigurgeirson. It is also a sobering indication of how tough life on the island was.

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See related features and images
Review: Radisson Hecla Oasis Resort
Feature: A brief introduction to Hecla Island, Manitoba
Images: Manitoba’s quirky roadside statues


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Overland Traveller copyright © Emma Field 2010