Some aspects of the Settlement Geography of Southern Manitoba
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This study is an attempt to deal with some aspects of the Settlement Geography of Southern Manitoba. After a preliminary examination, it was observed that the entire area of Southern Manitoba was too large for the scope of this work. Therefore an area of some eight hundred square miles in South Central Manitoba was chosen. It covers the rural municipalities of Rhineland and Stanley, and was set aside in the 1870s as a "Reserve" for Mennonite immigrants from Russia and to this day the region retains its strong ethnic character. The settlements are dominated by three towns' Morden, Winkler and Altona. The first step was to find out how close the towns in the area were with regard to rank and size... It was found that the towns of Morden, Winkler, and Altona were close together in rank and size. It was also observed that the population distribution in both the municipalities was uniform and that the density was about thirty persons per square mile... The pattern of settlement was examined statistically after a nearest neighbor method used by L. J. King for areas in the United States... The morphology of the settlements was then examined. It was a well known fact that the major settlements in the area came into existence as railroad towns... The functional structure of the three towns was then examined to determine their relation to the rest of the municipality and to observe any similarities or differences in function that came out of the examination. The next step was to examine the settlements of the area to see if a hierarchy of service centres was present... The final step was to examine this hierarchy for variations from theory, and to explain these differences with regard to the ethnic and cultural character of the region. An effort was also made to evaluate the contribution made by cultural factors on the present day spatial system of settlements and their functional role in the municipalities.