I love Wolseley. We're proud of who we are, and we've always got a story to tell.
—Laina Hughes, author
Anyone who has ever lived in the Wolseley neighbourhood of Winnipeg will surely have a tale to tell. So many people either spent their childhood there, or returned as adults to raise their own families.
For Laina Hughes, growing up in Wolseley ignited her interest in history, with all the old homes and stories of characters who lived in the area.
So as part of her studies at Red River College in the Creative Communications program, she chose to compile a book about the Wolseley neighbourhood.
SCENE asked Hughes to tell us more about Wolseley's Stories.
I wrote this book because I wanted to get to know Wolseley. All of it. I wanted to know the stories of the people who lived in my house 100 years ago. I wanted to know who built the houses and planted the trees. I wanted to find these stories and compile them in one neat package that other Wolseley lovers could hold and share and pass on to friends.
I soon found out that one of Wolseley's many charms is that it isn't that simple. Who could tie down over a century's worth of stories? How could you possibly wrangle such a distinct community flavour and fit it into one little book?
Over a hundred years of existence - that's thousands and thousands of stories. While there are a few that are part of Wolseley's common lore - the Wolseley Elm, for one - I thought, why not get to know this neighbourhood as it is today?
Wolseley is always evolving, but there seems to be one thing that stays consistent: passion. The people I interviewed for this book all have a deep-seated love for their community. Their stories were of appreciation for Wolseley's history; its creaky old houses and aging elm trees. Its beauty - the sprawling gardens that are lovingly tended to in summer.
Most of all, there is a genuine sense of community. Back in 1957, a group of strong-willed Wolseley women banded together to help save an elm tree, and though the tree eventually died, this unwillingness to take things sitting down never did.