WHERE IT ALL BEGAN...
The RM of Blanshard came into existence when in 1883 the county of Ivanhoe, to which the land belonged, ceased to exist. A municipal by-law, was passed by the provincial government and in the fall of 1883, municipal elections took place. Then on Tuesday, January 8. 1884, the first council meeting took place and Blanshard's records began. With Reeve Chas E. McCullum in the chair and supported by councillors Mear, Barr, Evans, Johnston, Hogarth, and Huston, the towns of Oak River and Cardale sprung up.
Oak River, originally situated two miles north of the present day site, was built on the assumption that a railway passing close by. It consisted of a post office and a small store. However, plans of the railway were abandoned and the town and its few occupants moved on. Then, in 1889, rails were laid on 28-13-22, south of the original site and once again settlers and merchants alike came to start a new life. It wasn't long before the bustling new village of Oak River rose from the prairies. The town grew quickly and became prosperous with - at one point in time - five elevators to handle the grain from the fertile soil.
Cardale, located on NW 32-14-21, began to shape the bald prairie in 1907 when word spread that the railroad was to pass through that area. The first resident was Mr. R. Elmwood Mr. Elmwood was recruited by Bawlf Elevator Co. to hold land for a new elevator. Cardale was first incorporated a village in 1909 when it was given its name in memory of one of the first settlers of the area, John Cardale. From here Cardale grew into a fairly substantial village. A store and other businesses came and two more elevators popped up.
The Rural Municipality of Blanshard celebrated its centennial during the summer of 1984. The municipality's population decreased to 643 people (according to Stats Canada's Census) in 1991, its lowest point recorded. Since 1991, the municipality has begun to redevelop, increasing the population to 655 people as of 1996 (Stats Canada's Census). The population is continuing to climb as the developments continue within the municipality. Several projects are in the development process providing 18 new employment positions by July 2001. The Rural Municipality of Blanshard has once again become a gathering spot for economic development and increasing population. The new millennium promises an optimistic future, as the R.M. of Blanshard is becoming one of the most progressive communities in Manitoba!