A brief history of Carman and the RM of Dufferin

A brief history of Carman and the RM of Dufferin

You may know Carman and the RM of Dufferin as a quiet agricultural area in Southern Manitoba. You may even know it as a “bloomin’ great” place to buy your flowers and other plants, camp in the summertime, cross-country ski in the winter, and simply get away from the city without straying too far off the beaten path. But do you know how it came to be the town and RM of nearly 6,000 residents we know and love today?

Here’s a quick history lesson on one of Manitoba’s most desirable locations to do business, enjoy some quality time with your family, and have some fun.

The birth of a burgh

The Province of Manitoba was formed in 1870, and droves of new settlers flocked to the wide-open prairie in search of a place to raise a family and eke out an honest living. Since roads were not yet built, the accessible Missouri Trail and the fertile area surrounding it became prime real estate for pioneers. Businesses opened in 1878, which led to a period of growth and a desire to name the Boyne settlement. The railway was built in the area in 1888 and the village of Carman was created in 1899 and the Town of Carman was officially incorporated in 1905 as Carman City, with “City” being dropped from the name years later.

Carman is named for Reverend Albert Carman, who was the Chancellor of Albert College in Belleville, Ontario, as well as Bishop of the Episcopal Methodist Church and General Superintendent of the Methodist Church in Canada. A Carman local, Rodmond P. Roblin, suggested the name, since he was educated at Albert College. Reverend Carman dedicated the first church built in the community in 1882.


The RM of Dufferin was first organized in 1880 and is thought to have been named after Lord Dufferin, then-Governor General of Canada. Once referred to as North Dufferin, the municipality stretched south to Nelsonville, near present-day Morden. After multiple restructuring attempts, the current boundaries of the RM were established in 1908.

Who were the original settlers?

The people who first settled Carman and the RM of Dufferin were Protestants from Ontario, which caused many Catholic and Métis residents to abandon the area as tensions rose over land ownership. Later on, Mennonites from Russia and post-WWII Dutch immigrants arrived, helping to strengthen the agricultural base that’s still so important today.

Small groups of Francophone and Ukrainian families settled in the northwest of the RM and even more Mennonite families settled down in the western part of the municipality, thus rounding out Carman and the RM of Dufferin’s rich Germanic heritage.

Carman and the RM of Dufferin today

Many of the traditions and industries that built up the area are still alive and thriving today. Carman and the RM of Dufferin is still considered one of the most prosperous agricultural districts in Manitoba, offering proximity to American markets and access to key Canadian transport routes.

Major nurseries in the area ship various plants and trees all over Canada, and Carman and the RM of Dufferin are home to a number of farms, food science facilities, and processing facilities.

The Dufferin Agricultural Society’s Carman Country Fair is one of the longest-running events in the region, having been established all the way back in 1879, and takes place every July.

Visit, bring your business, and live in Carman!

With plenty of reasons to do business in the area, visit, and live in Carman and the RM of Dufferin, the area has been growing for well over 100 years and will continue for another century and beyond.

If you have any questions about how Carman is the perfect place for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Tyler King, Director of Economic Development, at 204-745-2675 or via email at tyler@townofcarman.com.