The Elma Pool Hall and Residence

A designated provincial heritage site, built in the early 1900s in the village of Elma, preserves and recalls aspects of early twentieth-century social life. For several decades, it featured a games room and lower-level lunch counter.  Of greater intrigue is the separate residence. Deceptively ordinary on the outside, the building contains upper boarding rooms, a basement gambling den and concealed crawl space connected to a network of tunnels and escape hatches running off-site, all redolent of the kind of baser entertainments frowned on by polite society in the early 1900s. The escape routes, likely constructed in 1916, when Prohibition made the sale and consumption of alcohol illegal in Manitoba, are rare reminders of how some determined Manitobans sought to circumvent anti-drinking laws, which were repealed in 1921. The buildings are also valued for their unique vernacular construction.