South Beach is Changing

by Evelyn Ward de Roo

Demolition 1 Hansson St

In a matter of hours this old cabin on Hansson Street met its demise. Short work of over 70 years of cottage history.

Demolition 1 Hansson St

Old cottages are getting torn down. It’s a difficult thing to see. Yet with the advent of sewers this trend will no doubt continue. The flavour of the beach is changing from seasonal to permanent residences. It may become more difficult to hold on to our sense of neighbourhood. Let’s hope not.

A South Beach Breakfast

Shelly D

by Evelyn Ward de Roo

Possibly no better breakfast, apart from brunch on my own deck, can be found in the Interlake than at Shelley D’s Restaurant on the corner of South Colonization Road and Highway 9. The building has always been a South Beach landmark, the gateway to cottage fun. As a kid I knew that we were “almost there” when we were on the highway and I saw that little lighthouse. An odd place for a lighthouse indeed. But as we turned off onto South Colonization Road it signified that my Dad could enter relax mode.

It’s been there since 1954, always as some type of restaurant. For 31 years it was The Greek’s, the Gimli Drive Inn. There you could get the best Greek salad anywhere. I remember my Grampa taking me there.

Four years ago Shelley Dale and Barry Hayes came up from Winnipeg to open up their dream.

You don’t go there for the view. Not that a prairie sky and fields are not beautiful. You go there for great food and fast service. Hot and tasty, the best Western 3 egg omelette surrounded by photos of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Coke memorabilia. Follow the South Beach lighthouse, it won’t lead you astray.

Beached Well

Ethel well

by Evelyn Ward de Roo

At the end of Ethel Street is our one and only public artesian well. Running 24/7 summer and winter this lowly water source has been operating ever since I can remember.

Some still rely on this well as their one source of water. There used to be many public wells throughout South Beach. Down to the corner of Third and Hansson Street we would walk. Two kids with a yellow pail carried on a stick. Still screwed to the wall of our cottage as some kind of family trophy, this said piece of wood has two screws in the middle, between which the pail handle rested. It’s the same stick my mother and her sister used to fetch water in 1938, so their names are at each end, Sylva and Maxine.

We take fresh water for granted. Walking to get it makes you slow down a little. Not to spill a drop because the pail was heavy and you required to fetch perhaps two to three times a day.

Up until recently the well had a nice wooden structure around it. Now it’s been minimized to a barren pipestand and used cheese pail.

After a swim, who hasn’t rinsed off their feet in this freezing cold blast? Many a kid has sailed their little plastic boat in it or dammed up its stream for fun. This little well is now only feet from the approaching mighty Lake Winnipeg. This one last stand of beach allows us to walk into the lake on pure sand with no dike to navigate. But for how long?