May 25, 2018 Update: BDNMB.CA caught up with Don Ditchfield today and Don let us know that he plans on opening an 18-hole mini golf course at Crow’s General Store in the summer of 2019. For the next several months, as time permits, Don said that he will work on the layout of the course. He plans to incorporate many different items (old tractors, signs, antiques) so that the course is both fun and educational. Once fall rolls around he hopes to have much of the work completed so that he can plant the trees, shrubs, etc. The last step prior to opening in the summer of 2019 would involve covering the course with green carpet.
Every now and again a person stumbles into a location, or some local attraction, that makes them ask themselves “how is it that I did not know that this place existed before?”. Crow’s General Store in Brandon, MB is just one of those places. Located at 33-17th St. East (just up the street around the corner from the Greenspot) you will find this hidden gem that is a must see for locals and out of towners alike. The main floor of the building has been converted into a throwback ice cream shop complete with an old soda fountain, classic milkshake mixers, sundae glasses, coke machines and signage that takes a person back down memory lane. Inside the ice cream shop you can find the old cream sign which was once located in the store next to Danceland at Clear Lake. The tin roof is from the old Oddfellows dance hall in Neepawa and the chairs are all over 100 years old. Initially the concept was to have the building resemble an old general store and one quick look at the outside you can clearly see the vision.
The project is the workings of Don Ditchfield, who prefers to go by his lifelong nickname of Crow. He purchased the property approximately 26 years ago and has spent the last 20+ years turning it into what it is today. By trade, Don was a landscaper, and over the years he accumulated most of his merchandise from garage sales, auction sales and flea markets all over Brandon and Manitoba.
Currently hard ice cream and novelty ice cream are available for sale to those who visit the attraction. The plan is remain open all year round. In the winter months people who are out snowshoeing or cross country skiing will be able to stop in for a hot chocolate or coffee. If you have a few minutes to spare it’s the perfect spot to head out for a nature walk, grab an ice cream, and enjoy both the craftsmanship and detail that has gone into this unique attraction.
This summer alone he has had visitors from Vancouver to Toronto and he said what he enjoys most is seeing the smiles on people’s faces. Originally Don built the attraction thinking it would appeal to the older generation who were looking to relive a little of their youth and reminisce about the old days. Much to his surprise Don said that he finds it extremely gratifying that teenagers have enjoyed visiting his establishment as much as they have. He said that it can serve as a history lesson for many who have never before experienced such a place. The word has quickly spread and now teachers have started to inquire about day trips for their students to tour the site and to also serve as a quick history lesson for their students.
Crows General Store is the perfect place to host your event, go for a nature walk or enjoy an ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Wedding parties looking for that special, unique place to take their wedding photos will love the spectacular backdrop that Crow’s has to offer. Interested wedding parties are encouraged to call Don for a booking at 571-6875.
Don wanted everyone to know that “Time spent here, is time well spent!”