Skip to content

Local History


Formerly known as St. Pierre, “Jolys” was added to the name of this municipality in commemoration of pioneering cleric J. M. Jolys.

Incorporation History: Village of St. Pierre (31 December 1947), Renamed Village of St-Pierre-Jolys (1 January 1977)

Adjoining Municipalities: De Salaberry

Land Area (square km): 2.66

St-Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba, incorporated as a village in 1947, population 1099 (2011c), 839 (2006c). The Village of St-Pierre-Jolys is located 56 km southeast of WINNIPEG near the Rat River.

St-Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba, incorporated as a village in 1947, population 1099 (2011c), 839 (2006c). The Village of St-Pierre-Jolys is located 56 km southeast of WINNIPEG near the Rat River. The village has had several name changes. Its post office was first called Rat River in 1879 and changed to Joly in 1883. In 1897 its name was changed to Laurier and then to St Pierre, after Saint Peter. In 1922 “Jolys” was added to honour Father Jean-Marie Jolys, the first priest in the settlement. He encouraged the development of the village and the surrounding area.

The settlement first developed as a wintering place for cattle from St Norbert and St Vital (now suburbs of Winnipeg). The first settlers in the area were Métis, but in the mid 1870s colonization societies, like the French Colonization Aid Society in St Boniface, tried to attract additional French-speaking settlers to Manitoba. A number of families from Québec and from among the Canadian population of Massachusetts were convinced to resettle in Manitoba here and in other communities along the RED RIVER, south of Winnipeg.

Present Day
Today St-Pierre-Jolys is primarily a service centre for the surrounding agricultural district. The majority of the population is still French speaking so the village has adopted a bilingual policy. Each year the village hosts the Frog Follies, which features the Canadian National Frog Jumping Championship. The French heritage of St-Pierre-Jolys is celebrated each spring during its Sugaring Off Festival.

RM of DeSalaberry

Situated 30 minutes south of the City of Winnipeg and 30 minutes north of the United States border via Highway 59, the location of the Local Urban District of St. Malo, De Salaberry’s largest community, and the hamlets of Otterburne, Dufrost, La Rochelle and Carey makes De Salaberry, with a population of 3,349 residents, an attractive area to work, live and play.

With these natural settings and peaceful country living it is no wonder why De Salaberry has quickly become one of the most sought rural residential and cottage country destinations in the Province.

This municipality was named for soldier and civil servant Charles d’Irumberry de Salaberry.

Incorporation History: Rural Municipality of De Salaberry (22 December 1883)

Adjoining Municipalities: Emerson-FranklinHanoverMontcalmMorrisRitchot

Constituent Communities: CareyCrystal Spring ColonyDufrostLa RochelleOtterburneSte-ElizabethSt. MaloSt-Pierre-Jolys

Land Area (square km): 670.29

Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry, British army and Canadian militia officer, military figure in the WAR OF 1812 (b at Beauport, Qué 19 Nov 1778; d at Chambly, Lower Canada 27 Feb 1829). At age 14, de Salaberry enlisted as a volunteer in the 44th Foot.

De Salaberry, Colonel Charles-Michel
Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry, British army and Canadian militia officer, military figure in the War of 1812 (b at Beauport, Qué 19 Nov 1778; d at Chambly, Lower Canada 27 Feb 1829). At age 14, de Salaberry enlisted as a volunteer in the 44th Foot. In 1794, through the patronage of Prince Edward Augustus, a family friend who later became the Duke of Kent, de Salaberry became an ensign in the 60th Foot.

De Salaberry’s Early Career
De Salaberry distinguished himself during service in St. Domingo, Guadaloupe and Martinique before his first posting to Lower Canada, and returned to the West Indies in 1797. At the end of 1799, de Salaberry was promoted to captain and in June 1803, received command of a company in the 1st Battalion, 60th Foot. Early in 1806, de Salaberry was transferred to the 5th Battalion of the 60th Foot, which was commanded by Francis de Rottenburg, a pioneer in light infantry and rifle tactics. Between July 1806 and March 1807, de Salaberry was involved in recruiting. In June 1810, de Rottenburg was posted to Lower Canada and took de Salaberry with him as an aide-de-camp.

De Salaberry Commands the Voltigeurs
In July 1811, de Salaberry became a brevet major and in early 1812, as war with the US seemed imminent, he proposed raising a provincial corps, the Canadian Voltigeurs. Recruiting began in April and the unit became perhaps the finest provincial unit of the war. In the autumn of 1812, the Voltigeurs went to the frontier of Lower Canada and de Salaberry took charge of the border defences. He led the forces that repelled the Americans at Lacolle in November 1812, defended Odelltown in September 1813 and led an abortive raid on the American camp at Four Corners in early October 1813. He was then placed under the command of Major General Louis de Watteville, a Swiss officer in British service, who commanded the entire frontier. De Salaberry was responsible for defending the Lower Châteauguay River.

The Americans launched a major offensive against Montréal in the fall of 1813. A 3700-man division under Major General Wade Hampton was concentrated at Four Corners on the Châteauguay River, just south of the border with New York State. Another division was ready to move down the St Lawrence River to Montréal.

Hampton crossed the frontier on the 21st. De Salaberry had the advantage in being familiar with the terrain he was to defend. Following the attack on Hampton’s camp, he had spotted a wooded and swampy area with ravines that intersected the Châteauguay River at right angles. When he learned the Americans were advancing toward this spot, de Salaberry turned it into a strong position. He had a polyglot mixture of 1800 regulars, provincial troops and embodied and sedentary militia; most of them were Canadiens. A contingent of First Nations warriors was also present. De Salaberry arranged his position in four lines on the west side of the river. A picket of warriors, light infantry and militia were placed ahead of the first line and another picket was established near a ford across the river.

The Americans attacked at first light on 26 October. One brigade advanced toward de Salaberry’s main position, while another moved along the opposite shore. Both were stopped and soon in retreat. Hampton then returned to the US. One part of the American offensive had been thwarted and the second would end at Crysler’s Farm in November.

De Salaberry’s Final Years of Service
De Salaberry was so angered by the lack of recognition he received in the dispatch about the action released by Lieutenant General Prevost, the commander-in-chief of British North America, that he offered his resignation. The Duke of Kent intervened and de Salaberry remained in the army. He saw no other action during the war and relinquished command of the Voltigeurs in early 1814. He left the army in 1815 and settled near Chambly, where he became a wealthy landowner and businessman. He received an Army Gold Medal for Châteauguay and was made a companion of the Order of the Bath. He also became a member of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada. His military service had ruined his health and he died in 1829, at the age of 50.

St. Malo

The community of St Malo was founded in 1892 by Quebec-born pioneer Louis Malo. Being dubbed the “Mini Clearlake of the South”, St Malo is proud to be closely associated with the St. Malo Provinicial Park.

St. Malo is a community of over 1000 predominantly bilingual residents, many of whom enjoy a leisurely lifestyle. St. Malo sits on rich agricultural land, amongst the best in Canada, and has many natural resources, which provide opportunities for many businesses.

St. Malo is also a popular tourist destination known for its scenic beauty, beaches, campgrounds, cottages, and friendly people. A place where visitors, cottagers, campers and residents all adore.

Old School House
The Avon School District was organized formally in July 1919 and a one-room, wood frame schoolhouse operated at NE-6-4-5E in the Rural Municipality of De Salaberry. The district was dissolved in 1962 and its area became part of the St. Malo Consolidated School District.


Otterburne was founded along the first operating railway in Manitoba, and thus all of the western Canada. This was the branch line built from the United States to Pembina and completed late in 1878. Its construction was a prerequisite to the building of the CPR mainline, because it provided a supply route for the material necessary to construct the western portion of the transcontinental.

The Roman Catholic Church of Saint-Viateur located on this community’s main street, stands the test of time and continues to serve its parishioners and visitors well.Providence College was founded in 1925 and re-located to Otterburne in 1970. Today, it is one of the largest Christian colleges and seminaries in Canada.Old SchoolhouseThe Otterburne School District was established in March 1909 and a one-room schoolhouse operated at NE24-6-3E in the Rural Municipality of De Salaberry. In 1962, it was consolidated into Otterburne Consolidated School District No. 2400.


Carey, originally known as an English community, was named after M. Patrick Carey who, at the time, owned all the land between St-Pierre West and the railway. Carey is a village of 10 homes and 5 commercial businesses. Carey is well known for its picturesque elevator and beautiful sunsets. The first shareholders of this elevator were Arthur Boaler & M. Cook were. Later on, Mr. Boaler served a term as the Reeve of the RM of De Salaberry. Carey was also a focal point for local school aged children as the one room Carey School house, built directly West of the Village, was next to the Marais River, a local fishing hole for the students.

The Carey School District was established in June 1912 and a one-room schoolhouse operated at SE2-6-3E, west of the village of Carey in the Rural Municipality of De Salaberry. The district was dissolved in 1961 and its area became part of the St. Pierre Consolidated School District. No vestige of the former school building remains at the site.


Dufrost, founded in 1877, was named in memory of La Vérendrye’s nephew, Christophe Dufrost.

Most farms in the area have been in the same family for three generations.The Dufrost community hall was renovated in the mid 1990’s. It proudly speaks of the Ukrainian heritage of many families still living in this small community.The Dufrost School District was organized formally in July 1909. As of 1944, a one-room schoolhouse was operating at the northeast corner of SW18-5-4E in the Rural Municipality of De Salaberry.The district was dissolved in 1953 and its catchment area was distributed between Carey School, St. Pierre Centre School, St. Pierre South School, and Frontenac School. No vestige of the school remains at the site.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle is the oldest community in the rural municipality of De Salaberry, established in 1859. It was first settled by the Métis and later by French Canadian and Ukrainian families.

In 1890, Mr. De la Borderie and Mr. St-Exupéry established La Borderie butter production.At the intersection of PTH#59 and PTH#23, a stone memorial now lies commemorating La Rochelle’s school house. It had as many as 30 students at one time, and was one of the first schools in the area.


  • Welch, Deborah and Michael Payne. “St Pierre-Jolys”. The Canadian Encyclopedia, 16 December 2013, Historica Canada. Accessed 29 March 2021.
  • Grodzinski, John R.. “Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry”. The Canadian Encyclopedia, 04 March 2015, Historica Canada. Accessed 29 March 2021.
  • © Rural Municipality Of De Salaberry. Accessed 29 March 2021.
  • Manitoba Historical Society Geographic Names of Manitoba, Manitoba Conservation, 2000.  & Accessed 29 March 2021.