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Call Number: Mss Sc 154 (A.96-43)

Title: Skapti Arason fonds.

Dates: [ca. 1900].

Extent: 0.01 m of textual records.

Biographical sketch: Skapti Arason, born in Iceland in 1850, immigrated to Quebec in 1874 with 360 other Icelanders on a ship operated by the Allen Ship Lines. He proceeded to Toronto with the majority of the other Icelanders. In 1875, the Canadian government sent Arason to scout out settlement prospects in the new province of Manitoba. It is believed that Arason was one of the first Icelanders to visit Manitoba. Upon arrival in Winnipeg, Arason and three other Icelanders traveled up the Red River to the western shore of Lake Winnipeg before choosing to begin a settlement near present day Gimli. In 1881, due to repeated crop failure, Arason left the settlement in the Interlake and resettled on a homestead near what would become the town of Glenboro. Arason farmed in the Glenboro area until his death in 1903.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated by Herman Arason, Skapti Arason's grandson, in 1996.

Scope and content: The fonds consists of a copy of a memoir by Skapti Arason, one of the first Icelandic settlers in Manitoba. The seven-page memoir tells of Skapti's immigration to Canada, his subsequent travels to Manitoba, the settling of the Icelandic community on the western shore of Lake Winnipeg and the founding of the town of Glenboro. The Icelandic Department of the University of Manitoba has an Icelandic version of the same memoir. It is not known who translated the memoir.

Source of supplied title: Title based on provenance of fonds.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Finding aid: An on-line finding aid for this fonds is available at the link below:

MSS SC 154 (A.96-43).

We greatly acknowledge the financial support of the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism and the Heritage Grants Advisory Council in the creation of this finding aid.