Carman was settled in 1870 when Winnipeg settlers used the Missouri Trail to locate around the Boyne River.
Businesses began to open in 1878 and it was during this period of growth that the settlers became interested in founding and properly naming a village on their Boyne site.
A vote was taken and Carman City was chosen, later shortened to Carman, after Episcopal Methodist Church bishop Rev. Albert Carman.
Located at the junction of Highways #3 and 13 just minutes southwest of Winnipeg, Carman is situated in the heart of a rich prairie agricultural belt and just 100 kilometers north of the United States border.
Incorporated as a town in 1905, the community served as an agricultural, manufacturing and commercial service centre to the surrounding areas, a role it continues today.
A story about the Negro Leagues baseball players who came to Manitoba (Brandon, Carman & Winnipeg) to play baseball and the social and athletic effects they had on a community.
by: Robert Huculak and Buffalo Gal Pictures
In 1947, Baseball segregation ended when the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson. The immediate result was a disaster for the players of the Negro Leagues. Suddenly, hundreds of black ball players found themselves looking for work.
Some of the best of them (and they were as good as anyone in the Majors) found spots on teams in the Manitoba Senior League as well as the ManDak League, a group of rural and urban teams around Manitoba and North Dakota, included Winnipeg, Brandon, Carman and Minot..
The period they played here – from 1948 until 1954 – was the absolute Golden Age of Prairie Baseball, attested to by the incredible popularity of the players and the unmatched attendance at their games.
Lois Bentley, from Brandon Manitoba, was a teen-ager in those years and she and her family befriended some of the players from the American South and as far away as Cuba.
As they dazzled the crowds with their unique brand of “tricky ball”, they charmed their way into the lives of people open enough to receive them. Lois – and Prairie baseball – remembers those as the best years of their lives.
In 2005, filmmaker Bob Huculak brought Brandon Greys teammates Dirk “Bubble Gum” Gibbons and Armando Vasquez back to Manitoba. They were reunited with Lois and a couple of local players in an emotional, evocative and memory-filled reunion on the fields of their youth. The personal celebration expanded to a public one when the Old Boys of Summer threw a few balls at Winnipeg Goldeyes game and relived the glory days with a standing O from enthusiastic fans.
For, along with all the adulation and fan support, from 1948 to 1954, there was an undercurrent of suspicion and resentment. The racism that pervaded US society had its expression here, too.
The film has already been shot, the old photos and films gathered or located. Together, they tell a story of nostalgia, golden memory and good times, a story given depth, poignancy and edge by the dark and abiding experience of the ugly side of black-white history.
When he began shooting, Huculak thought it would end there – but wonders, as we know, never cease. The publicity generated by the reunion and Lois Bentley’s unceasing efforts finally, and to everyone’s amazement (especially hers), bore fruit – In June of 2006, Lois’s friends Dirk Gibbons and Armando Vasquez were inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame – a first for the Hall of Fame and a victory for decency, persistence and some damn fine ball playing.
The Boys Who Came to Play is a touching and provocative story with resonance for our times, and a film that was just waiting to happen.
Manitoba Free Press Newspaper – MAY 17, 1930
Carman, Man., May 16, 1930
At the monthly meeting of the Carman Young Men’s Board of Trade last evening, a special committee was formed of K. McGregor. A.S. Bowes. W. A. Hallett and S. N. Cochran to ask the town council that in the business interests of the town they seriously consider the installation of a talking movie machine in the local theatre. The tourist committee were instructed to have a few more tourist camp signs erected on highway No. 3 and other surrounding highways. Dr. Munn, M.L.A., gave a short talk on certified seed growing, P. Stewart, of the Dominion extension service unexpectedly joined the meeting and gave a short talk on the achievement of the Boys’ and Girls’ Sheep clubs. The Carman fire insurance rates question again came up for discussion, and it was decided to write the Western Canada Fire Underwriters’ association concerning the re-adjustment, as Carman has a first class firefighting equipment but has the same rating as other smaller towns that have no water system. The next regular meeting of the board of trade will be held in the “Carmania” at 6.30 p.m., June 3.Talkies were movies with sound. Link to Movies of the 1930’s