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Tour of ‘Brandon's Ghetto’ showcases north end

Local history buff and Brandon Sun columnist David McConkey, centre, leads a tour through the city’s north end during Sunday’s 13th annual Doors Open heritage tours of the once dubbed “Brandon’s Ghetto.”

BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Local history buff and Brandon Sun columnist David McConkey, centre, leads a tour through the city’s north end during Sunday’s 13th annual Doors Open heritage tours of the once dubbed “Brandon’s Ghetto.”

Tours of "Brandon’s Ghetto" were a popular addition to the annual doors open event over the weekend.

Local history buff and Brandon Sun columnist David McConkey, centre, leads a tour through the city’s north end during Sunday’s 13th annual Doors Open heritage tours of the once dubbed “Brandon’s Ghetto.”

Enlarge Image

Local history buff and Brandon Sun columnist David McConkey, centre, leads a tour through the city’s north end during Sunday’s 13th annual Doors Open heritage tours of the once dubbed “Brandon’s Ghetto.” (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)

Local history buff and Brandon Sun columnist, David McConkey, lead four tours of the former ghetto on Saturday and Sunday.

"It is great to see so many people coming out to learn more about the history of Brandon," McConkey said.

More than 50 people took part in the tour on Sunday at 1 p.m. Organizers estimated nearly 100 people were on the Saturday tours.

"Brandon’s Ghetto" earned its name from an article written by a Brandon Daily Sun reporter in 1902. The unnamed reporter wrote about the foreigners living in poor conditions on the flats.

"Since even the 1880s this area just north of the railway was considered the other side or the wrong side of the tracks," McConkey told the crowd.

Each tour took about an hour stopping at seven locations in a one-kilometre loop around Brandon’s north end, which in the 1900s was home to immigrant workers and families from Eastern Europe.

Participants were eager to chime in with additional history they had heard about the area and its historic residents.

McConkey quoted former Brandon MP Clifford Sifton and several articles from the Sun archives throughout the tour.

"It has been great fun researching Brandon history," McConkey said. "I have been doing these tours since 2011."

Participants agreed that the tour of the ghetto was fascinating and an interesting way to learn about Brandon’s history.

» Brandon Sun

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 21, 2014

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Obviously you have not been in a REAL ghetto! Brandon is lightyears from anything in the states fitting the description of what a ghetto is! Are there any cars sitting on NO tires with windows smasmed out on the street? Building with no doors or windows? No! This is so not news!

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Tours of "Brandon’s Ghetto" were a popular addition to the annual doors open event over the weekend.

Local history buff and Brandon Sun columnist, David McConkey, lead four tours of the former ghetto on Saturday and Sunday.

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Tours of "Brandon’s Ghetto" were a popular addition to the annual doors open event over the weekend.

Local history buff and Brandon Sun columnist, David McConkey, lead four tours of the former ghetto on Saturday and Sunday.

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