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This article was published 26/6/2014 (1099 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Police are scouring the site of a suspicious blaze that burned the historic Criddle/Vane home last night.
Blue Hills RCMP were called to the site at about 10 p.m. on Wednesday night, where the big, historic home was found fully engulfed in flames.
Firefighters from Wawanesa were unable to save the home, which was completely destroyed by the fire.
The Criddle Vane historic site, located about 12 kilometres south of Shilo, housed the first entomological field station in western Canada, built in 1917 for the cost of $50.
Norman Criddle, one of the homestead’s many tenants, was a pioneer in the field of entomology. The Criddles and Vanes, two families from England, settled the house 1882. The two families were known for their eccentric lifestyles.
The last family members left in 1960. In 1970, the Manitoba government acquired the homestead, which includes the family home, the field station, a cemetery, and remains of landscape features like a tennis court and golf course.
The eight-bedroom home that burned last night was built in 1906.
This is not the first time that the site has been hit by vandals. In 2012, five rural Brandon youths were nabbed by police after substantial damage was done to the property. It was damaged again earlier this year.
RCMP are asking that anyone with information contact the Blue Hills RCMP detachment at 204-726-7519, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com or text "TIPMAN" plus your message to CRIMES (274637).