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Carberry is the largest town in the Rural Municipality of North Cypress in southwestern Manitoba, Canada. It is home to 1,502 people and is located 50 kilometres east of Brandon, Manitoba.
Carberry and the surrounding Rural Municipality of North Cypress are known as "King Spud Country", a nickname which pays homage to the high quality potatoes grown in the area due to ideal soil conditions for the crop. Many businesses in Carberry offer services and supplies to support the robust agriculture industry. Food processing makes use of locally produced crops and is a major employer in the community. A local plant owned by McCain Foods makes various potato products, and is a major supplier for McDonald's Restaurants in Canada and the United States as well as producing potato products that are found in other well known restaurants, grocery stores and other varied world markets. It is one of the most highly advanced plants of its kind in North America and normally operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Along with potatoes, the local agriculture industry is very diverse and includes other vegetable, grain, pulse, and industrial hemp crops as well as dairy, poultry and livestock, among other mixed farming.
The close proximity of Carberry to Spruce Woods Provincial Park and the many unique recreational activities in the area make Carberry a popular tourist destination. Many businesses and services cater to tourists both on a seasonal and year round basis.
In the late 1760s, a small fur trading post called Pine Fort was established by independent fur traders from Montreal, south of Carberry's present site in what is now Spruce Woods Provincial Park along the Assiniboine River. At that time, a diverse group of Native peoples were travelling through the area and harvesting rich crops of beaver and other furs. Early fur trade accounts indicate that the Sioux from the south, resident Cree and Assiniboine, and eastern groups such as Saulteaux, Ottawa and various Ojibwa bands were all trading or hunting in the area. Pine Fort was later taken over by the North West Company, and was eventually abandoned in 1811.
Native people continued to pass through or reside in the Carberry area and did so until the late 1870s when European settlement began to affect the landscape and game resources. The Native population in the area was eventually settled onto reserves according to treaty provisions with the Federal Government of Canada.
The town of Carberry was officially founded in 1882. It was settled primarily by settlers coming from Eastern Canada who were of British origin, and was named after the Carberry Tower located near Musselburgh, Scotland.
As is the case with most towns in the southern districts of Western Canada, the present town of Carberry owes its origin mainly to the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1882, the CPR established a station at De Winton, a now defunct town-site about 3.5 kilometres east of Carberry's present site. At the time, several CPR officials covertly purchased much of De Winton's town-site property, hoping for large personal profits as the new town grew around the new train station. This kind of speculation was strictly against the CPR's company rules, and on discovering the violation, the rail company decided to use 100 specially-hired men to physically move the train station to the present site of the town of Carberry. The extensive and secret operation was conducted in the middle of the night and was completed in less than 12 hours. When the station reached its new location, the town of Carberry was born. Carberry quickly grew into a prosperous town and was an important stop along the Canadian Pacific Railway. The CPR main line route runs through Carberry to this day, however the passenger train station has since been removed.
The Trans Canada Highway, another major national transportation route, was originally constructed on a routing that passed directly through the town of Carberry, which it did until the 1960s when the route was changed according to plans for it to be upgraded to a 4-lane divided high-speed highway. Many businesses were established in Carberry to service the heavy traffic on the highway, many of which still exist. Today the Trans Canada Highway is located 3 km north of Carberry, and the old Trans Canada Highway route which passes directly through the town is known as PR 351 (within town limits it is known as 1st Avenue).
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