Exploring Gimli’s Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee’s website is a great way to discover our community’s rich culture and history and the pride we share in our collection of heritage buildings and sites.
Whether you are a visitor, an historic building owner, or researching your family’s history, here you will find the story of the settlement of New Iceland, the wave of immigration from Eastern Europe that followed and the legacy of artifacts and buildings left for us to enjoy and preserve for future generations.
The next few years will be an exciting time for the Rural Municipality of Gimli as the community celebrates the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Icelandic settlers who landed on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg in 1875.
The Tergesen store in Gimli was constructed in 1898 by Hans Pjetur Tergesen and opened for business on 1 January 1899. It has been owned and operated by three generations of his descendants. It is the oldest operating general store in Manitoba and an excellent example of a rural community store. It originally was a two storey structure. The interior possesses most of its original furnishings.
The 1899 general store was a two-storey structure clad in pressed tin to resemble brick. In 1912–13, a two-storey addition provided more space for Tergesen’s dry goods and clothing sales, and room for a drug store, dentist’s office, ice-cream parlour, and a barber shop. A second floor that had first served as the Tergesen family living quarters was removed in the 1920s.
A plaque beside the store was unveiled in 1999 by the Manitoba Heritage Council. In the 2000s, the building was part of the Manitoba Prairie Icons Program.
(Information courtesy of The Manitoba Historical Society)