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Chapter 1: Introduction

1.12: Patterns at St. Francois Xavier

The DLS system, used over most of Agro-Manitoba, produces a pattern of squares (a checkerboard pattern) based on sections one square mile in area. The DLS system is seen in the northeast 1. However, along the Red River, the Assiniboine River as far west as Portage la Prairie, as well as in several other small areas in southeastern Manitoba, the French-based long lot system is used. In this system strips of land, often narrow, run back from the river. This system is clearly seen in the centre of the photo with strips 2 based on the east flowing Assiniboine River 3. The saw-edged contact between the two systems 4 is the boundary between the RM of St. Francois Xavier and the RM of Rosser to the north.

Both systems have a profound influence on road locations and directions and on the distribution of settlements. Note for example the road running northeast 5 from St. Francois Xavier parallel to the strips of the long lot system and compare this with gravel roads running north/south and east/west along section lines in the northeast 6. In the latter area farmsteads are widely distributed along section lines 7, whereas close to the river farmsteads are closely spaced at the south end of strips of land 8.

The photo also illustrates the capacity of the human eye to distinguish minor variations in grey tone. On the northeast side of First Creek 9, which flows southeast to join the Assiniboine River, numerous fields can be identified simply on the basis of their tone ranging from almost white 10 to very dark grey 11. Fields that have a uniform tone exhibit a smooth texture 12, whereas the more irregular tones of the areas within meander necks of the Assiniboine (areas of deciduous woodland) have a rough texture 13.

Figure 1.12: Patterns at St. Francois Xavier

Figure 1.12: Patterns at St. Francois Xavier

Figure 1.12

Vertical air photo: MB89021-6-153

Flight height: 30,800 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.860 mm.

Scale: 1:59,200 (approx.)

Date: August 7, 1989

Location: Junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and PTH 26 Latitude: 49º 53'N

Longitude: 97º 30'W

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62H Winnipeg

1:50,000 62H/13 Elie