Parks Canada History
Park Summaries

Park Summaries
Saskatchewan

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All text and photos are copyrighted by Parks Canada or the Canadian Register of Historic Places (except as noted) and were extracted from either the Parks Canada or Canada's Historic Places Websites. Parks with a grey background are managed by Parks Canada.



©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Addison Sod House National Historic Site of Canada
Kindersley, Saskatchewan

The Addison Sod House National Historic Site of Canada is located in the rural municipality of Oakdale, Saskatchewan. Set in an open, flat, prairie environment the low one-and-a-half storey massing, inward sloping exterior walls and the angle of the low, hipped roof combine to give this small house a distinctive, almost pyramidal appearance. Triangular-shaped dormers light the upper floor. Set back from the road the house forms the centre of an original prairie homestead amongst outbuildings surrounded by a garden and shelterbelt plantings.

Carpenter Jim Addison built Addison Sod House in 1909-1911 as the residence for his family on his homestead. The care with which the sods were prepared and constructed ensured that this house survived for much longer than many others of its kind. On recognizing its durability, the owner further developed the home, enhancing its interior layout and finishes as well as adding a lean-to. The house is set within a grouping of outbuildings, gardens and shelterbelt plantings typical of a prairie farmstead from the early 20th century.

The heritage value of Addison Sod House resides in the integrity with which this house represents a prairie "soddy", specifically its form, construction techniques, sod brick building materials, and setting.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2014
Batoche National Historic Site of Canada
Batoche, Saskatchewan

Métis village; site of 1885 Battle of Batoche; Northwest Resistence/Rebellion

Batoche displays the remains of the village of Batoche on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. It was the last battlefield in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. Louis Riel selected Batoche as the headquarters of his "Provisional Government of Saskatchewan". Several buildings have been restored within the site. The site depicts the lifestyles of the Métis of Batoche between 1860 and 1900 - the trails they walked, their homes, their church, and the Battle of Batoche, May 9-12, 1885.

Batoche National Historic Site of Canada is located near the South Saskatchewan River north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The site, which encompasses the vestiges of the Métis village of Batoche where the Carlton Trail crossed the river, is dominated by a church and rectory of the parish of St.-Antoine-de-Padoue, established by the oblates of Mary Immaculate in the late-19th century. Batoche was also the site of the 1885 battle between forces of the Métis provisional government and those of the Canadian government.

The heritage value of Batoche National Historic Site of Canada lies in its historical associations with the 1885 armed conflict, the Métis community from 1879 to the present, and the river lot land use pattern as illustrated by the relict landscape and cultural resources surviving as witness to those themes. The original village site was abandoned by 1920 but continued to be the centre of Métis cultural activities. After that time, community life revolved around the parish buildings and commercial establishments near the Caron House. River lot farming persisted but the Métis population decreased as many left the area.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1989
Battle of Cut Knife Hill National Historic Site of Canada
Cut Knife, Saskatchewan

Battle of Cut Knife Hill National Historic Site of Canada is located on the Poundmaker Reserve of the Cree Nation, 16 kilometres from the town of Cut Knife Hill, near Battleford, Saskatchewan. The site of the conflict is now marked by a plaque at the top of a steep hill surrounded by gently rolling grassland, ravines and hills with occasional stands of small trees. There are no visible remains of the battle during which Canadian military forces attacked gathered camps of Cree and Assiniboine bands before being forced to retreat. The site now contains the grave of Chief Poundmaker, a monument to Chief Big Bear, a tepee village, and a small interpretive museum.

In 1885 fighting erupted on the western prairies between Canadian government forces and the Métis and First Nations peoples over land and treaty issues. The Battle of Cut Knife Hill, as it is often referred to, occurred after the relief of Battleford when Lt. Col. W.D. Otter and over 300 men, accompanied by artillery, launched an attack on the gathered bands of Cree and Assiniboine camped at Poundmaker's reserve at Cut Knife. These bands of Cree and Assiniboine were viewed by the government as rebels. The government troops, composed of North-West Mounted Police, "B" Battery, "C" Company, Foot Guards, Queen's Own and Battleford Rifles, were ranged against Cree and Assiniboine led by Chief Poundmaker and Chief Fine Day. The surprise attack failed and the government forces encountered a very strong defence. After six hours fighting Otter withdrew his column in good order across a deep creek and retreated to Battleford. On Poundmaker's orders the warriors ceased fire and did not pursue the retreating troops. Despite prevailing in the battle, when word came of the Métis defeat at Batoche, Chief Poundmaker ended hostilities by surrendering at Battleford on 26 May.

Battle of Duck Lake National Historic Site of Canada
Duck Lake, Saskatchewan

The Battle of Duck Lake National Historic Site of Canada is located on a spacious, 12-hectare grassed lot near the town of Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. It was the site of the first battle of the North-West Rebellion/Resistance of 1885. Located within the Beardy's and Okemasis Reserve, the site includes an Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada cairn and plaque, placed there in 1950.

The Battle of Duck Lake took place on March 26, 1885. While on the way to confiscate guns and ammunition from Hillyard Mitchell's store near Duck Lake, a group of North West Mounted Police and civilians encountered a larger group of Métis, led by Gabriel Dumont. After a shot was fired, the group of North West Mounted Police and civilians retreated. As news of this encounter spread, Superintendent Leif N.F. Crozier gathered 52 North West Mounted Police, as well as 43 civilians, and they made their way along the Carlton Trail toward Duck Lake into Chief Beardy's reserve. Chief Beardy made it clear that he wanted no part in the upcoming skirmish, and that he did not support Riel. Meanwhile, the group of Métis had grown to include Isidore Dumont, Louis Riel, and Cree allies. The two groups eventually met, and the battle began when a North West Mounted Police interpreter, fearing an ambush, fired and killed Isidore Dumont. After 30 minutes of fighting with casualties suffered on both sides, Crozier ordered a retreat, and Riel ordered his followers not to shoot at them as they left.

The Battle of Duck Lake was considered a successful battle for the Métis. The area was of strategic importance, since it controlled Hillyard Mitchell's store and trails from Prince Albert and Fort Carlton National Historic Site of Canada. The Rebellion/Resistance of 1885 was a result of the issues between Métis peoples, Aboriginal peoples, settlers, and the federal government; the Métis in particular felt that their claims had gone unanswered, and that their future in terms of land rights was uncertain. The Battle of Duck Lake marked the beginning of this conflict and other significant battles would occur in the eight months that followed.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2008


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2007
Battle of Tourond's Coulee / Fish Creek National Historic Site of Canada
Fish Creek, Saskatchewan

Site of battle between Métis and Canadian forces, Northwest Rebellion 1885

The Battle of Tourond's Coulee / Fish Creek National Historic Site of Canada (NHSC) commemorates the place — la coulée des Tourond — where on April 24, 1885, Métis led by Gabriel Dumont, and Cree and Dakota First Nations, held back the advancing North West Field Force. It was the first time the Métis encountered the Canadian military. Greatly outnumbered, and despite losing the element of surprise, the Métis, Cree and Dakota stopped Middleton's progress on Batoche. Exhausted from the day's battle, both forces withdrew from la coulée des Tourond to fight another day. Middleton's advance on Batoche would be delayed for two weeks. For Middleton and his mostly untested troops, time was needed to reorganize, tend to the wounded and better prepare for a formidable opponent. For Dumont and the Métis people, la bataille de la coulée des Tourond was a victory that gave them time to rally Métis and First Nations support and prepare for the defence of Batoche.

The Battle of Tourond's Coulee / Fish Creek National Historic Site of Canada is located along the banks of Fish Creek, a tributary of the South Saskatchewan River, 25 kilometres south of Batoche, Saskatchewan. The site consists of a parcel of land totalling 36 hectares, including the main battleground, Tourond's Coulee as well as archaeological remains and landscape features associated with the battle. This location was the site of a battle between the Métis and their allies the Cree and Dakota from the Beardy and One Arrow First Nations, and the North West Field Force during the 1885 North West Rebellion / Métis Resistance.

The North West Rebellion / Métis Resistance of 1885 grew out of the political and territorial tension that developed between the Métis people, Aboriginal peoples, settlers, and the Canadian federal government. The defeat of government troops by the Métis at the Battle of Duck Lake on 26 March 1885, prompted the creation of a new army called the North West Field Force under the command of Major-General F.D. Middleton. On 24 April 1885, this new group encountered the Métis and their Cree and Dakota allies at Fish Creek, beginning the first major military engagement between these two forces.

On April 24, Gabriel Dumont led the Métis and their First Nations allies across Fish Creek into Tourond's Coulee, with the hopes of ambushing Middleton's troops While Dumont was outnumbered, Middleton's forces lacked experience and training as Fish Creek was the first combat experience for the 800 Canadian troops involved. Lacking reinforcements, Middleton sent his troops north on both banks of the Saskatchewan River. The Métis and their allies had planned to attack under cover of darkness, but they were unable to locate Middleton's troops, and instead stationed themselves in Tourond's Coulee, hidden in the ravine just off the main trail. At approximately 9:00 a.m., the battle began with shellfire from the North West Field Force. Though the Métis were sheltered from the attack, the Tourond homestead was destroyed. When the North West Field Force tried to move to a better position, they exposed themselves to the Métis, resulting in heavy casualties. By evening, the Métis had retreated to the east side of the coulee; many Métis had fled, but 70 reinforcements arrived from Batoche that evening. Dumont, acknowledging the lack of ammunition and arms, set fire to the prairie in hopes of pushing back the militia.

Middleton withdrew his troops to a camp approximately one kilometre from the battlefield to regroup. With 10 soldiers dead and almost 45 wounded, his confidence was shaken. The militia remained at the camp for two weeks, recuperating, training, and waiting for supplies and reinforcements. Métis casualties, of which there were 6, were relatively few. The Battle of Tourond's Coulee / Fish Creek provided a psychological victory for the Métis; they had suffered fewer losses, prevented Middleton from moving into the coulee, and delayed his advance.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2003
Battleford Court House National Historic Site of Canada
Battleford, Saskatchewan

The Battleford Court House is a three-storey square brick and limestone public building of eclectic design located in the town of Battleford in west-central Saskatchewan. The court house is now attached by a link to the former Land Titles Building next door. Its eclectic Romanesque Revival-style exterior, dramatic interior layout, and high quality finishes have been preserved with great integrity. The court house continues to serve the community in its original role.

When the new Province of Saskatchewan as it took control of its own judicial system in 1905, it launched a series of public works that included several new court houses in urban areas serving large districts within the province. The architecture expressed this confidence, as well as the sombre impartiality of the justice system.

The Regina architectural firm of Storey and Van Egmond designed at least three court houses in the province. An earlier and more subdued version of the Battleford design was erected in Arcola. In 1908—09, a full-blown similar version (now demolished) was also erected in Saskatoon just prior to the construction in Battleford. The Battleford Court House was a refined variation of what was clearly a popular and successful genre. Its eclectic design is inspired by the then-popular Romanesque Revival style. Its decorative features rely on classical inspiration, with five bay façade centres on a sober pedimented entrance, flanked by evenly spaced windows separated by brick piers topped with limestone caps tied to a belt course and accentuated with brickwork and a keystone above the window arches. The grand interior spaces carry through this formal aesthetic.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1990
Biggar Railway Station (Grand Trunk Pacific) National Historic Site of Canada
Biggar, Saskatchewan

The Biggar Railway Station (Grand Trunk Pacific) National Historic Site of Canada is a large, one-and-a-half-storey, light timber frame structure built in the first decade of the 20th century. It is located on the southern boundary of the town of Biggar, Saskatchewan.

The heritage value of this site resides in its association with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway as illustrated by the building's location, setting, and architecture. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was created in 1903 to provide its parent company, the Grand Trunk Railway Company with a western line and connections. Construction of the station at Biggar, a virtually uninhabited spot on the prairies, illustrates the role that railway companies played in the development of western Canada. Built in 1909 to a Grand Trunk Railway Company standard plan, the Biggar Railway Station (Grand Trunk Pacific) is a good example of pre-First World War, western Canadian, rural, railway station design. Its design was influenced by the "artistic" bungalow style of the early 20th century. As with other towns created by the railway, Biggar grew from the station and its status as a divisional point provided a sustained period of economic growth.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1990
Canadian Bank of Commerce National Historic Site of Canada
Watson, Saskatchewan

The Canadian Bank of Commerce is a two-storey, wood-frame bank building, designed in a restrained neo-classical style. Its formal elegance stands out amongst the more vernacular commercial buildings in downtown Watson, Saskatchewan. Since July 1980, it has housed the Watson and District Heritage Museum.

The Canadian Bank of Commerce was designated a national historic site in 1976 because of its prefabrication technology and the entrepreneurial imagination of the bank. The heritage value of this site resides in its historical associations with the expansion of eastern banks into the Canadian west as illustrated by the building's physical characteristics.

The former Canadian Bank of Commerce (CBC) bank at Watson, Saskatchewan is the largest surviving example of the prefabricated bank buildings erected by the CBC in railway towns across the prairies. Designed by Toronto bank architects Darling and Pearson, and prefabricated in Vancouver by British Columbia Mills, Timber and Trading using a patented sectional wall system, the bank structures were shipped by railway to newly established towns and assembled within days. The neo-classical styling of these wood-frame buildings mimicked the stone and brick bank buildings of larger urban centres at a minimum cost, and projected the same air of respectability and confidence. By erecting these buildings quickly and early, the bank hoped to monopolize local trade. The use of three standard designs created by Darling and Pearson allowed the bank to convey a consistent and immediate impression of stability, at a minimum investment. Erected in 1906-07 using the largest of the three designs, the Watson Bank is the most intact example. While other banks also made use of prefab technology, it was the CBC that most fully exploited the potential of the prefab banks and made them enduring features of the western Canadian landscape.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2003
Carlton House National Historic Site of Canada
Duck Lake, Saskatchewan

Carlton House National Historic Site of Canada is located in Fort Carlton Provincial Park, approximately 100 kilometres north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The site consists of the remains of forts constructed here, on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, between 1810 and 1885. There are no visible remains of the 1810 and 1845 forts, but building foundations and other archaeological remains exist from the 1855 fort. The Province of Saskatchewan has created a reconstruction of Carlton House based on archaeological findings, which includes five buildings and a stockade. Surrounding the fort is a flat grassed area, woods, and the low foothills of the plains.

The Hudson's Bay Company established the first Fort Carlton in 1795 below the confluence of the North and South Saskatchewan rivers. It operated there for nearly a decade before being relocated approximately 150 kilometres southwest. This new site was strategically located on major transportation and communication routes linking the north and south branches of the Saskatchewan River. Several generations of forts were constructed at this site including structures built in 1810, 1845 and 1855. The North West and Hudson's Bay companies jointly established the 1810 fortified post in response to hostility from the Cree and Blackfoot Nations. The two companies operated as separate entities within a single palisade. The Hudson's Bay Company portion of the joint fort was referred to as "Carlton House." From then on, this name was used to refer to the site as a whole. The 1845 and 1855 forts were constructed after the union of the two companies to accommodate increased personnel and to repair structural deterioration. During its occupation, Carlton House was an important fur trade and supply centre; and, for a short time, the fort was leased from the Hudson's Bay Company by the North-West Mounted Police as their main base in the Saskatchewan Valley region.

Between 1871 and 1877, following the purchase of Rupert's Land, the Canadian government signed seven treaties with the First Nations peoples of the Northwest. Indian Treaty No.6 negotiations took place at Carlton House in mid-August 1876. The treaty was signed on August 23 by representatives of the crown and representatives of the Plains and Woods Cree. Carlton House remained in continuous operation until it was destroyed during the North-West Rebellion/Resistance in 1885.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, HRS 1035, 1995
Claybank Brick Plant National Historic Site of Canada
Claybank, Saskatchewan

Claybank Brick Plant National Historic Site of Canada is a former industrial complex used for the manufacture of clay bricks from 1914 to 1989. It is located in a predominantly rural area of south-central Saskatchewan, along the Dirt Hills of the Missouri Coteau, near the communities of Claybank and Avonlea. The core of the 132-hectare site is a 37-hectare plant area containing buildings dating from the 1912-1937 period: a factory building, 10 kilns, a laboratory, an office building, a boiler room, stock sheds, a carpentry shop, residences, outhouses, and a bunkhouse. The site as a whole extends over a broad area encompassing internal road and path networks, the main approach to the plant, vestiges of industrial processes, the narrow-gauge rail line and a spur line that were used as part of an internal and external transportation system, and the clay pits in the Dirt Hills, from which clay was extracted for brick construction.

The heritage value of the Claybank Brick Plant lies in the relatively intact state of the physical resources from the late 1930s, including all of the key structures, equipment and industrial landscape elements from the 1912-1937 era. As such, it is representative of the way in which functional requirements and efficiency were primary drivers in the design and construction of industrial facilities. The plant, designed by Richardson-Lovejoy Engineering Company, was one of Canada's major producers of domestic clay refractory products, supplying fire-proof, heat-resistant, non-corrosive bricks for construction across the country, but especially in Western Canada. The complex is also an intact example of a self-contained manufacturing enterprise that used materials extracted on site.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Hucker, 2000
College Building National Historic Site of Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

College Building is an early twentieth-century, stone university building constructed in the Collegiate-Gothic style. It is situated at the heart of the campus of the University of Saskatchewan, amongst the campus' oldest buildings which are sited around a grassy oval known as 'The Bowl'. Recently additions have been appended to the rear of the building.

The heritage value of the College Building lies in the building's historical and visual dominance on the University of Saskatchewan campus, particularly as illustrated by its prominent siting and its design in the-then prestigious Collegiate Gothic style. Originally designed by the Montreal architectural firm of Brown and Vallance as the College of Agriculture, the building has been expanded with additions in 1985 and 2002.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Cumberland House National Historic Site of Canada
Cumberland House, Saskatchewan

Cumberland House National Historic Site of Canada is located on Pine Island in the Saskatchewan River in the district of Cumberland Lake, Ontario. Cumberland House was the Hudson's Bay Company first inland fur-trading post, around which Saskatchewan's oldest permanent settlement was founded in 1774 by Samuel Hearne, explorer and fur-trader. This community's only visible remnant today is a thick, stone-walled 1890s powder house, once used for storing gunpowder. Also preserved at the site are parts of the Northcote, a fur trade steamboat used at Batoche during the North-West Resistance. Adjacent to Cumberland House is the Cumberland House Cree Nation Reserve, part of the original Cumberland House settlement.

Cumberland House is the Hudson's Bay Company's first inland fur-trading post, and also Saskatchewan's oldest permanent settlement. By the late 1700s rival Montréal traders were intercepting trappers on their way to trade with the Hudson's Bay Company posts on Hudson's Bay. To counter this Samuel Hearne set out from York Factory and founded Cumberland House in 1774. This, the company's first great inland trading post, marks a change in policy. Protected by a palisade the site was strategically located near major canoe routes and potential First Nations trading partners. From this time the Hudson's Bay Company no longer traded primarily at its forts on Hudson Bay. In 1793, the original post relocated two kilometres west to a site, on and adjacent to present-day Provincial Park property, where it continued operating until 1965.

As the Hudson's Bay Company extended its posts inland, Cumberland House became an important administrative, distribution and trading centre. Its role, however, declined after the Hudson's Bay Company's 1821 union with the North West Company, and as more direct trade routes to the interior developed. Norway House on Lake Winnipeg eventually became the inland headquarters. Today the powder house, a rare example of a 19th century HBC gunpowder storage facility, is the only remaining original structure at Cumberland House. From 1874 the Hudson's Bay Company's first steam-powered sternwheeler, the Northcote, began plying the Saskatchewan River. Cumberland House became an important centre for steamboat freight and passengers. During the 1885 Resistance the Northcote transported troops and supplies for the assault on Batoche and afterwards evacuated causalities to Saskatoon. In 1886 the Northcote was beached and by 1900 the Hudson Bay Company's steamships ceased operations. In 1925 Cumberland House's 150 year role as transportation hub and distribution centre ended when the railway reached Flin Flon.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Cypress Hills Massacre National Historic Site of Canada
Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan

1873 attack on Assiniboines by wolf hunters, North West Mounted Police restored order.

Cypress Hills Massacre National Historic Site of Canada is located about 2 km south of Fort Walsh National Historic Site of Canada in a broad valley bottom where American traders attacked a Nakoda camp. The rolling Prairies landscape is broken only by reconstructions of two former trading posts, Farwell's and Solomon's, involved in the massacre.

The heritage value of Cypress Hills Massacre National Historic Site of Canada resides in its witness to the event of June 1, 1873 when a group of American "wolfers" attacked the Nakoda camp near Farwell's and Solomon's trading posts in a dispute over horses. Value lies in those landscape and archaeological resources associated with the battle, in the setting, and in the spiritual identity of the locations where the remains of those who lost their lives were interred. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reconstructed Solomon's and Farwell's trading posts as a centennial project and Parks Canada conducted selective archaeological investigation of the trading post sites in 1972.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Kate MacFarlane, 2007
Doukhobor Dugout House National Historic Site of Canada
Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan

The Doukhobor Dugout House National Historic Site of Canada is located alongside a tributary creek on the western shore of the North Saskatchewan River. It is now an archaeological site found in a steep coulee surrounded by cultivated parkland. One of many such dugout houses constructed by Doukhobors before relocating to their nearby village of Oospenia, the visible remains of this one-room structure include portions of its log walls, dovetailed joints, dowel pins, door hinges, and a window frame.

The Doukhobor Dugout House was one of several practical yet temporary 'cave' dwellings constructed at this site in 1899 and used until 1904 when the Doukhobors moved to their nearby village of Oospenia. When originally constructed in the side of a ravine, the hollowed out area was enclosed with three walls built of logs. The front wall was pierced by a door and a window and protected by a sod roof. During these five years, nearly 300 people lived in one of several structures such as this, with a single dugout house capable of housing nine families, who cooked and slept in an area of about 40.5 square metres (436 square feet). Although these temporary structures were usually stripped or plowed under when they were abandoned in favour of more permanent dwellings, the surviving remains of this dugout house recall the challenges faced by these early settlers and the practical solutions they employed to overcome them. This site speaks to the experience of not only the Doukhobors but to other immigrant groups who played a crucial role in settling the Canadian prairies.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Judith Dufresne, 2004


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Judith Dufresne, 2004


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Judith Dufresne, 2004
Doukhobors at Veregin National Historic Site of Canada
Veregin, Saskatchewan

Located in rural Saskatchewan, the Doukhobors at Veregin National Historic Site of Canada was a centre for the larger Doukhobour communities in the general area. The site itself is a level plot surrounded by roads, the central feature of which is a large and very handsomely designed prayer home. Buildings original to the site, and others moved to the site combine to provide an understanding of the history of the Doukhobor people in Canada.

The Doukhobors originated in southern Russia as a breakaway sect from the Russian Orthodox Church. After several moves within Russia, the Doukhobors began immigrating to Canada in the early 20th century. Inspired by their leader, Peter V. Verigin, the Doukhobors created the Veregin Settlement. This settlement played an essential role as an administrative, distribution, and spiritual centre for the Doukhobor community in the region. The settlement was established in 1904, and was the headquarters of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood between 1917 and 1931. The community declined after this point, but the settlement was revived in the 1980s as a heritage village dedicated to presenting the history of the Doukhobors. The spectacular two-storey prayer home, which originally served as the residence of the head of the community as well as the spiritual and administrative centre for Doukhobors arriving in Canada, currently operates as a museum and continues to play an important role within the Doukhobor community.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, A. Roos, 2007
Esterhazy Flour Mill National Historic Site of Canada
Esterhazy, Saskatchewan

Esterhazy Flour Mill National Historic Site of Canada is an early 20th-century flour mill located near the western end of the village of Esterhazy, Saskatchewan. Situated on an open uneven lot, the site consists of a flour mill and attached grain elevator; three storage sheds, one with an attached office; a small engine room; and a metal-clad oil storage shed. The mill is a rare and complete illustration of flour milling technology that was crucial to the grain industry in Saskatchewan and contributed to the development of communities such as Esterhazy.

The Esterhazy Flour Mill is a rare and complete illustration of a period of flour milling technology that was crucial to the early 20th-century grain industry. Soon after the village of Esterhazy was established in 1903, interest was expressed in having a flour mill built in the community. After receiving positive feedback for the enterprise, James Saunders acquired property in the village and began the construction of a flour mill and an elevator. By 1907 the Esterhazy Flour Mill was in full operation, and by 1913, had ground 40,000 bushels of wheat. During the early development of Saskatchewan and the West, milling and supplying flour to communities was very important for local and regional economies. Such an enterprise facilitated prosperity for the community and contributed to the growth and development of villages such as Esterhazy. The presence of a successful flour mill also encouraged immigration and settlement in the area.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2003
Fleming Lake of the Woods Grain Elevator National Historic Site of Canada
Fleming, Saskatchewan

Fleming Lake of the Woods Grain Elevator National Historic Site of Canada is a wooden, hipped roof grain elevator, located along the Trans-Canada Highway, five kilometres west of the Manitoba border. It is situated south of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) mainline, between the highway and the community of Fleming, Saskatchewan. This National Historic Site was demolished by fire in February 2010.

Once part of a row of four grain elevators, the Fleming Lake of the Woods Grain Elevator now stands sentinel on a flat landscape along the Trans-Canada Highway and the CPR main line. One of the oldest known surviving wooden crib-construction grain elevators in Western Canada, the Fleming Lake of the Woods Grain Elevator has an overall vertical emphasis and a typical late 19th-century design, in which the main structure's four exterior walls terminate at eaves about two-thirds of the way up, at which point a hipped roof supports a square cupola. A sloped-roof, wooden lean-to receiving shed is attached at the base on one side and has a ramp leading into it with a shallow incline. Constructed in 1895, the Fleming Lake of the Woods Grain Elevator is associated with the genesis of the modern system of grain handling, which took place between 1876 and 1900, and is one of only two surviving grain elevators from this period. By the early 20th century, construction of this hipped roof style of grain elevator became less common, as the monitor-roof "standard plan" design became more dominant. Grain elevators have come to be accepted as icons of the Prairies, and the Fleming Lake of the Woods Grain Elevator, with its surviving wooden massing and rare roof profile, standing tall against the horizon, next to the CPR main line, is a rare surviving example of this evocative symbol of the early history of the grain industry in Western Canada.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1988
Forestry Farm Park and Zoo National Historic Site of Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Currently operating as a zoo and park within the city of Saskatoon, the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo opened in 1913 in the community of Sutherland as a tree nursery station and model farm under the Forestry Branch of the federal Department of the Interior. The complex eventually grew to include staff residences, tree packing and storage areas, a pumphouse for the irrigation system, a greenhouse, botanists' research facility, a blacksmith shop, as well as a barn. Laid out to resemble a progressive farmyard, these buildings have all been adapted for use in the Saskatoon Zoo.

The balance of the site was taken up by the field operations of planting and harvesting tree seedlings, planting shelterbelts to protect the site and demonstrate the effectiveness of trees on the prairie, fields of experimental plantings, and park-like grounds around the farm buildings to illustrate the benefit of ornamental landscaping. A significant amount of this landscape remains. Closed as a tree nursery in 1965, the site became the Forestry Farm Park and Saskatoon Zoo in 1972.

The Forestry Park Farm and Zoo was designated a national historic site in 1990 by virtue of its role as a Forest Nursery Station. The challenges of settlement and agriculture on the prairies prompted the development of new and scientific farming methods, supported by the Department of the Interior. Trees and shelterbelts were found to be part of the solution. Two tree nursery stations were built by the federal Forestry Branch in Saskatchewan, in 1903 at Indian Head and in 1913 in the community of Sutherland, a rail divisional point near Saskatoon.

The rectangular site was organized into an idealized model farm, with the "farmyard" containing the Superintendent's residence set in landscaped grounds, with the operational buildings to the rear. To the south, east and north stretched propagation fields, trial shelterbelts and experimental plots. As the trees grew, the Nursery Station also acted as a park for visitors and residents of Saskatoon. Trees were distributed across the Prairies to become vast reaches of protecting shelterbelts that changed the landscape of the agricultural districts.

By the time that most agricultural lands were settled in 1936, both Indian Head and Sutherland nursery stations were administered by the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration ( PFRA ), because tree planting was integral to efforts to combat the drought and soil drifting of the Depression. In 1965, nursery activity was consolidated in Indian Head. The eastern half of the Sutherland site was turned over to the Research Branch of the Canadian Department of Agriculture, while the remaining 144 acres were sold to the City of Saskatoon in 1966. In 1972 a zoo featuring indigenous animals opened adjacent to the nursery station buildings.

The ornamental plantings and larger landscaping features have been maintained and enhanced, including the addition of two new theme gardens. The fields that once provided oats, graze and hay for the farmhorses now provide hay for the zoo. The nursery supplies trees to the City of Saskatoon.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1980
Former Prince Albert City Hall National Historic Site of Canada
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Two storeys high and made of brown brick veneer on a rubble stone foundation, the Former Prince Albert City Hall National Historic Site of Canada is located in the town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Its bell tower signals time and events in this multifunctional space. Presently, as the Prince Albert Town Hall and Opera House, the building shares a landscaped public square with the new city hall.

Incorporated as a town in 1885, the Prince Albert civic council hired Hamilton architect F.J.Rostrick and Son to design the building. A local contracting firm, A. and W.B. Goodfellow, used brick and lumber manufactured locally in the construction. The lot was raised from the street, a common practice to enhance its perceived size, with a yard planted in trees and shrubs. The building's grand scale and formal detailing offset the restrained design of the exterior. Little of the interior remains beyond the layout of the front entry and some of the door and window trim. The opera house space has been reconfigured into two floors, while the main staircase and council chambers room across the front are more intact.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Fort à la Corne National Historic Site of Canada
Kinistino, Saskatchewan

This region was important in the fur trade from the time that Louis de la Corne built Fort St. Louis, the most westerly of the French posts, near here in 1753. The area was occupied in the 1770' s by independent Canadian traders and, after 1794, by the North West Company's Fort St. Louis and the competing Hudson's Bay Comapany's Carlton House. The site was abandoned in 1805, but about 1846 the Hudson's Bay Company re-established a post, naming it Fort à la Corne. This post was moved slightly up-river in 1887 and closed in 1932.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1995
Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada
Battleford, Saskatchewan

North West Mounted Police headquarters, 1876

Fort Battleford showcases the role of the North West Mounted Police in the Canadian West. The fort was established in 1876 and abandoned in 1924. It offers five original buildings, four with period furniture. The stockades and bastions are reconstructed, and the barracks has an interpretive display.

Fort Battleford is an early North West Mounted Police post located on the edge of the town of Battleford at the junction of the Battle and North Saskatchewan rivers. Built resources include several small wooden buildings within a stockade.

The heritage value of Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada lies in its historical associations with the NWMP presence in what was then the North West Territories, 1876-1885, as illustrated by the site and its surviving resources. Fort Battleford was established by the North West Mounted Police in 1876 and closed in 1924. At the time it was built, Battleford was capital of Canada's newly acquired North West Territories. The site is now operated by Parks Canada and is open to the public.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Fort Espérance National Historic Site of Canada
Rocanville, Saskatchewan

Remains of 2 North West Company fur trade posts.

Fort Espérance National Historic Site of Canada is an archaeological site that is believed to contain the remains of two late 18th- and early 19th-century fur trade forts, both known as Fort Espérance. It is located in the Qu'Appelle Valley between Rocanville and Spy Hill, Saskatchewan.

The heritage value of the site lies in its historical associations with the North West Company as illustrated by its natural setting and archaeological remains. Robert Grant established Fort Espérance in 1785-87 as the chief fort of the North West Company in the Great Plains. It was later named after Alexis L'Espérance, a famous guide and canoeist. It was abandoned in 1810, then rebuilt on a nearby knoll in 1816 (Fort Espérance II), and replaced in 1819 by another North West Company post 22.5 kilometres (14 miles) to the east. From 1821 to 1824 it came under the control of the Hudson's Bay Company. It ceased to exist in 1824.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Elaine Rohatensky


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2005
Fort Livingstone National Historic Site of Canada
Pelly, Saskatchewan

Original headquarters of North West Mounted Police.

Fort Livingstone is located in east central Saskatchewan near the Manitoba border. Fort Livingstone, built in 1874, was the first permanent post of the North-West Mounted Police and it briefly housed the territorial government of the North-West Territories prior to its move to Battleford in 1878.

Fort Livingstone National Historic Site of Canada is an archaeological site that once housed the first North West Mounted Police barracks in the west. Located on an upland peninsula above the east bank of Snake Creek near its junction with the Swan River, it is approximately 16 kilometres north of the town of Pelly, Saskatchewan.

The heritage value of Fort Livingstone lies in its historical associations with the Government of Canada and the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) as illustrated by the setting of the fort and the remnants it contains describing life during NWMP occupation. Fort Livingstone was built in 1874-75 by the Department of Public Works, and was originally known as Swan River Barracks. In 1884, shortly after the territorial capital was removed in 1876, the fort was destroyed by prairie fire. The fort once housed 185 men and contained sufficient buildings to accommodate them in a remote location. The fort included Married Men's Quarters, Men's Quarters, Officers' Quarters, a hospital and three unidentified buildings or structures of which remnants remain.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2007
Fort Pelly National Historic Site of Canada
Pelly, Saskatchewan

Remains of Hudson's Bay Company fur trade post.

Fort Pelly National Historic Site is located in east central Saskatchewan near the Manitoba border. Fort Pelly was a fur trade post established by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1856.

Fort Pelly National Historic Site of Canada is an archaeological site that contains remains of Hudson's Bay Company fur trade post located at the elbow of the Assiniboine River near Swan River, Saskatchewan.

The heritage value of Fort Pelly lies in its associations with the Hudson's Bay Company as illustrated by the site, setting and archaeological remains. Fort Pelly was established as a fur trade post by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1793, but the present fort was not constructed until 1856. It was built on higher ground than its predecessor by Chief Factor W.J. Christie, and was a large establishment with a strong agricultural focus. It was abandoned in 1912. The fort was sold in 1921 at which time all of its buildings were torn down or removed. Since becoming a National Historic Site of Canada managed by Parks Canada in 1959, it has been the site of archaeological investigation.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Fort Pitt National Historic Site of Canada
Fort Pitt Provincial Park, Frenchman Butte No. 501 Municipality, Saskatchewan

Fort Pitt National Historic Site of Canada is located in Fort Pitt Provincial Park, approximately 5km north east of Hewitt Landing in western Saskatchewan. The site consists of a field located on the North Saskatchewan River. Archaeological remains of two forts on the site have been located, partially excavated and presented for interpretive purposes. As a result of these excavations the outline of all buildings and of the palisade is visible. A reconstructed building from the second fort can also be seen. There is an HSMBC cairn in addition to two plaques commemorating Fort Pitt and Big Bear.

In the winter of 1829-30 Chief Factor John Rowand of the Hudson's Bay Company established Fort Pitt as a provision post for travellers. Fort Pitt also served as a trading post for the local Cree, Assiniboine and Blackfoot. In 1873 a new post was established approximately 100 metres southwest of the original site which was subsequently abandoned. In 1876 Fort Pitt was the site of the signing of Treaty No. 6 and that same year a North West Mounted Police base was established on the site. As a result of several skirmishes during the 1885 rebellion Big Bear's followers burned several of the fort's buildings to the ground after the police had withdrawn. The Hudson's Bay Company rebuilt some of the buildings but the area was no longer profitable so they abandoned the fort by 1890.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Fort Qu'Appelle National Historic Site of Canada
Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan

Fort Qu'Appelle National Historic Site of Canada is situated in the town of Fort Qu'Appelle in southern Saskatchewan. This fort was originally a small trading post surrounded by a log palisade on the open prairie. The site, overlooking the Qu'Appelle River, is now located at the town's northern perimeter on a grassy lot edged with trees. All that remains from the 19th-century Hudson's Bay Company trading post is one original building that now houses a museum. A 20th-century addition has allowed for expansion. An HSMBC plaque is also located on the site.

Fort Qu'Appelle, a trading post just south of the Qu'Appelle River in southern Saskatchewan, was established in 1864 by the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) at the centre of a network of trails. Although numerous HBC posts had used the name 'Fort Qu'Appelle' since the early 1800s, the post established in 1864 was a major provision post for the southern Prairies. The post was forced to close after approximately eight years of operation due to the diminishing bison population. The post would form the basis for the town of Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. The fort was also the site of the negotiations for Indian Treaty No. 4 in 1874 and served as a temporary camp of the Canadian Militia of General Middleton's command during the 1885 Rebellion.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1982
Fort Walsh National Historic Site of Canada
Merryflat, Saskatchewan

Early North West Mounted Police post.

This former North West Mounted Police/Royal Canadian Mounted Police post (circa 1878-83) was later used (1942-68) to breed horses for the force and the Musical Ride. Take a guided tour of the fort's buildings, the Fort Walsh townsite, and two cemeteries. Visitors can also explore the ridge along Battle Creek on self-guided trails and view exhibits in the Visitor Reception Centre.

Fort Walsh National Historic Site of Canada is the site of an early North West Mounted Police post set among the rolling Cypress Hills in southern Saskatchewan. In the mid-twentieth century, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police constructed 10 log buildings on the site for its remount ranch. The siting and architecture of these buildings was intended to evoke the original nineteenth-century fort.

The heritage value of Fort Walsh National Historic Site lies in the historical associations as illustrated by the setting and archaeological evidence of North West Mounted Police presence and activities during the 1875-1883 period. Fort Walsh was constructed in 1875-80 under commander James Morrow Walsh using local resources, NWMP and Métis labour, was abandoned in 1883, scavenged for parts to build new posts nearby, and then burned in 1886. In the mid-twentieth century, the RCMP built a remount station on the site for breeding and raising horses and symbolizing the force's bond to its history. Parks Canada now operates the post as a historic site open to the public.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Frenchman Butte National Historic Site of Canada
Frenchman Butte, Saskatchewan

Site of 1885 battle, Cree and Canadian troops; Northwest Rebellion.

Frenchman Butte is one of several locations making up the armed conflict of 1885. Violence erupted as First Nations bands and the Canadian Government became frustrated over treaty obligations. A group of First Nations under the leadership of Big Bear's War Chief, Kah-Paypamhchukwao (known as Wandering Spirit), encountered the Canadian Militia under General Strange at Frenchman Butte. Shots were fired and both sides retreated. It illustrates a period of transition from a traditional way of life to a new life within the Dominion of Canada.

Frenchman Butte National Historic Site of Canada is a 7.2-hectare (18-acre) site located along Little Red Deer Creek in western Saskatchewan. The site marks the place where the Wood Cree and the Alberta Field Force waged a battle on May 28, 1885 as part of the larger North West Rebellion. Warrior, Field Force, and civilian pits are visible along the contours of the rolling landscape.

In 1885, tensions between the Canadian government, Métis and First Nations peoples over land and treaty issues erupted in a series of battles long referred to as the North-West Rebellion. On May 28, 1885, in one of the last armed encounters of this conflict, Cree warriors led by Wandering Spirit clashed here with Canadian troops under General Strange. Both sides withdrew after several hours; Strange's forces to await reinforcements, and the Cree to flee north to Loon Lake. For the Cree and other Prairie First Nations, 1885 was a turning point in the difficult transition to reserve life.

©Government House, Jimmy Emerson, 2009
Government House National Historic Site of Canada
Regina, Saskatchewan

Government House, the former residence of the Lieutenant Governor of the North-West Territories, is set in a landscaped park in Regina, Saskatchewan. The original building is a two-storey, brick mansion set on a stone foundation, featuring a low-hipped roof, a porte-cochere, an attached greenhouse, designed to accommodate formal public areas, vice-regal private quarters, as well as kitchen, pantry and staff facilities. The building has been rehabilitated with the addition of a large wing to one side and now is a large bustling complex that serves as an administrative building with offices of the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, a museum, and a venue for state occasions.

At the time of its completion in 1891, Government House served as residence for the chief administrator in the territorial capital for what was then a vast portion of Canada. The capital had moved in 1883 from Battleford to temporary quarters in Regina when the railway confirmed its southern route across the prairie. Then, on a 22 hectare (53-acre) site on the south side of Dewdney Avenue, the permanent residence was built from plans supplied by the office of Thomas Fuller, Chief Architect for the Federal Department of Public Works. In 1891, Joseph Royal was the first of four Lieutenant Governors to take up residence here; with the creation of the Province of Saskatchewan in 1905, Government House continued its administrative and ceremonial functions for the province's six Lieutenant Governors until 1945.

Government House was built on the open prairie but was intended to evoke an English country estate. In the spirit of self-sufficiency, the vice-regal complex had a gardener's cottage, stables, a windmill with a well and storage tanks for its water system, an icehouse, a henhouse and extensive vegetable gardens. The gardeners made extensive plantings along the model of a small mixed farm in Edwardian England, combining formal areas of trees, shrubs and flower beds delineated from the outlying service areas. Much of the original acreage was sold to the City of Regina for various adjacent developments. While the outbuildings are gone, some of the original landscaped spaces remain.

The house was designed in the Italianate style, chosen for its simplicity and economy. The original building is two storeys high, clad with buff brick with limestone trim on a stone foundation, and a low hipped roof of grey metal. A greenhouse was added to the west side in 1901. In 1907-1908, the heating system was overhauled, electricity was introduced, and a line connected from the city's water system. In 1921, a sunporch was added to the north side, and in 1928 a two-storey ballroom was added on the south side, and additional bedrooms upstairs. Renovations were also undertaken in the mid-twentieth century and again in 2005, when a major addition was constructed.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2014
Grasslands National Park of Canada
Headquarters: Val Marie, Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan's rare prairie grasses, dinosaur fossils, and badlands.

With over 70 different species of grass and over 50 different species of wildflowers, Grasslands has an important role in protecting the prairie ecosystem! We often hear about problems in the rainforest, but we don't realize that one of the most endangered ecosystems is right in our backyard — the native prairies! At least 80% of our native prairie has been lost. In our southwest corner of Saskatchewan, Grasslands National Park contains the most intact and greatest example of the remaining native prairie in Canada.

The grasses are the heart and soul of the prairies and without them, there wouldn't be a home for such unique animals! This is one place in Canada where you can see the Buffalo roam and the Deer and the Antelope play. Grasslands is home to the Black-footed Ferret — often considered North America's most endangered mammal! Also, the park is the only place in Canada where you can see Black-tailed Prairie Dogs in the native habitat!

Grasslands National Park also tells the amazing history of the prairie! A story of survival and persistence! Ancient teepee rings and bison drive lanes a just a few remnants of the First Nations people who once called the prairie wilderness home. Old corrals using river willow fenceposts and remnants of early ranching homesteads dot the landscape to remind us of the end of the 'wild west' and the transition to settlement.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Gravelbourg Ecclesiastical Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan

Gravelbourg Ecclesiastical Buildings National Historic Site of Canada is located in Gravelbourg, a small town set in the open prairie landscape of southern Saskatchewan. This religious complex comprises a Cathedral, Bishop's Residence, and Convent. These, the principal elements of the early settlement, were designed and built by Roman Catholic French-Canadians during the early 20th century. Prominent at the south end of Main Street, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is visible for miles around. The large four-storey Convent of Jesus and Mary, with its monumental façade, contains a college, two schools and the regional library within its former chapel. The Bishop's residence is an attractive, large three-storey brick structure. Stylistically, the buildings follow a Classical Revival theme. This group of Ecclesiastical Buildings speaks to the French-Canadian colonization efforts of the Roman Catholic Church in Western Canada.

Gravelbourg has been an important centre for the Roman Catholic Church and for French-Canadian culture since it was founded in 1907, by Father Louis-Pierre Gravel. The settlement was declared a town in 1917 and a diocese in 1930. The church's elevation to cathedral status underlined the town's position as the principal French speaking community in Saskatchewan. Designed by Architect Joseph-Ernest Fortin, the religious complex was the heart of the early community. The Cathedral (1918-1919) is a dignified composition combining design elements from both the Romanesque and Italian Renaissance period and is notable for its twin towers crowned by cupolas. Monseigneur Charles Maillard painted its elaborate interior between 1921-1931. The Convent, an imposing structure, was constructed for the Sisters of Jesus and Mary as a convent and boarding school for girls in 1917. In 1927, two large additional wings extended the structure's length to 300 feet and its capacity to 400 students. This former convent is now a multi-educational centre containing two schools, a library and a continuing education college. The Bishop's residence (1918), one of the largest houses in the community, reflects the presence of the church through its proximity to the Cathedral and its Classical Revival Style.

Gray Burial Site National Historic Site of Canada
Swift Current, Saskatchewan

Gray Burial Site National Historic Site of Canada is located on a farm north-west of the town of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. At the site numerous ancient human burials are concentrated in a small area on a hillside, the slope of which gradually becomes a ravine south of the site. The area surrounding the Gray Burial Site comprises moderately rolling hills composed of Aeolian sand covered with short grass vegetation.

The heritage value of Gray Burial Site National Historic Site of Canada lies in its association with it being one of the oldest burial sites in the Canadian Prairies. This outstanding example of a mortuary site is determined to have been established in 3000 B.C. Gray Burial Site appears to house archaeological and technological remains associated with the Oxbow Complex. The Gray Site constitutes a unique window on the human occupants of the Canadian prairies in the third millennium B.C. Gray Burial Site is associated with a hunter-gatherer group whose members primarily hunted bison herds, other mammals and birds, and who were seasonal gatherers. They regularly returned to this location to bury their dead over an extended period of time. To date approximately 87 burials containing the remains of about 154 individuals have been identified. The individual burials display a remarkable degree of variation in burial techniques.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Holy Trinity Church National Historic Site of Canada
Stanley Mission, Saskatchewan

Holy Trinity Church National Historic Site of Canada is situated on a rocky point on the banks of the Churchill River in Stanley Mission, Saskatchewan. The church was built near a Cree settlement between 1854 and 1860, as a part of an Anglican missionary complex. The oldest extant building in Saskatchewan, Holy Trinity Church is a large, white, wood-frame building built in the Gothic Revival style. Towering to a height of 23 metres, its white spire can be seen for a great distance against the boreal forest.

Reverend James Settee of the Church Missionary Society of the Church of England established the mission at Lac La Ronge for the Cree people in 1845. The mission moved to its present location in 1852, as it was considered more suitable for farming and fishing. Construction began under the new minister, Reverend Robert Hunt, on a complex that eventually included a carpentry shop, warehouse, school, parsonage, barn and ice-house. The site for the church on a rocky point was cleared in 1853, while timber was cut to dry from the surrounding mixed boreal forest.

Reverend Hunt designed the mission church and hired a chief carpenter from Red River, but much of the construction work was done by local people. Locally cut, heavy timber was used in the frame, with mud and rubble infill and split weatherboard sheathing. Stone footings for the foundation and wood shingles were also made of local materials, while tools, nails, hardware, coloured glass and hardwoods were imported from England. The spire and weathervane were secured in late winter of 1860, after six years of labour. Holy Trinity held its first service, in Cree, on June 10, 1860.

Inside is a collection of Gothic architectural motifs such as pointed wall openings between the tall nave and the side aisles, a ceiling with an elaborate beamed vault, the clerestory and first floor windows with squares of coloured glass, a narrowed chancel at one end and the entrance at the other end beneath the tower.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Humboldt Post Office National Historic Site of Canada
Humboldt, Saskatchewan

At the most prominent intersection in the Saskatchewan city of Humboldt (113 km east of Saskatoon) is located the Humboldt Post Office National Historic Site of Canada. Constructed in 1911-1912, it is a two-and-a-half-storey, red-brown brick building with a high mansard roof sheathed in silver metal. A four-storey bell and clock tower anchors the principal corner. This Romanesque Revival style former post office has buff limestone coping and foundations. A low addition on the north side along Main Street picks up the shape and spacing of the original windows.

When the town incorporated in 1907, it was experiencing a lively period of growth fueled by successful agricultural development in the surrounding parkland. The decision by the federal government to install this Government of Canada building, which included a post office, a customs and excise building and its telegraph office, confirmed the rise of Humboldt over neighbouring towns. Like many Saskatchewan towns, its growth plateaued creating a stable and prosperous population. The Humboldt Post Office remains one of the dominant buildings on Main Street and is a landmark in the community.

The Humboldt Post Office was constructed between 1911 and 1912 using a particularly attractive design supplied by the Department of Public Works in Ottawa as part of the Federal Government's push to provide essential services in developing areas. Its plans were signed by David Ewart of the Office of the Dominion Architect. It is a two-and-a-half-storey building with large dormered gables and stone labels set into the steeply-pitched mansard roof. A four-storey clock and bell tower anchors the corner and also becomes the double entrance to the post office. The customs entrance, less used by the public, is through a third door halfway along the south elevation on 6th Avenue. The windows, doors and dormers on the first floor are round-headed in the Romanesque style, detailed with brick voussoirs and lugsills, while windows on the second floor and tower are flat-headed. A belt course at the roofline and along the base of the tower creates visual interest.

Within its walls were a range of federal government services, including a post office, customs, and weights and measures office located on the first floor, and a customs and inland revenue building and an office for the commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) located on the second floor. Remains of the caretaker's quarters are still readily apparent under the angled trusses of the third floor. The RCMP maintained living quarters for its officers here from 1935 to 1964 after the customs office closed. Humboldt's local police force also kept an office here in the 1940s.

Île-à-la-Crosse National Historic Site of Canada
Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan

Indians and Europeans have lived together here for over two centuries. Long before the arrival of the white man, the Indians had been congregating here each summer to fish, feat, hold councils and play lacrosse, whence the name of the lake. The first trading post, established by Louis Primeau in 1775, became, after 1790, an important provision and storage depot for the North West Company, as well as a key staging point on the route to the rich Athabasca district. The Hudson's Bay Company established its first post here in 1799.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1990
Keyhole Castle National Historic Site of Canada
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Keyhole Castle is a private residence, set on an ample lot in Prince Albert's most refined older residential neighbourhood, East Hill, which is located on a ridge commanding a view of the downtown commercial district and the North Saskatchewan River. Constructed in 1913, it is a two-and-a-half storey red brick mansion in the Queen Anne Revival style that features an exuberant use of massing and detail, giving the architecture both its energy and its individualism. The name derives from the "keyhole" shape of the windows in the dormers of its corner tower and in its red tile roof. All of its details are painted white for vivid contrast with the dark brick.

Keyhole Castle in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan was designated a national historic site in 1975 because it was erected in the Queen Anne Revival style which exemplifies the eclecticism and individualism in late 19th and early 20th-century architecture.

The Queen Anne Revival style of architecture is known for its lively juxtaposition of a variety of stylistic motifs, creating a rich and exhuberant whole. This is illustrated at Keyhole Castle where the exterior of the brick house makes a distinctive statement on the street with its scale, massing, roofline and detailing. It rests on a spacious double lot of mature plantings. A ''porte cochère'' on the tower side balances the gabled front entrance with the one-storey sunroom and gallery on the opposite side. The fanciful roof of red Cuban tile is punctuated by a conical tower and several scrolled gables with white trim, keyhole windows and a bracketed cornice. Brick detailing around the openings play off in a rhythm against the patterns of the roof brackets, the columns by the gallery and the balustrades under the lower front windows.

Prince Albert is the gateway to northern Saskatchewan. The original owner of Keyhole Castle, Sam McLeod (1853-1929) was one of its pioneer merchants, a lumberman and later a politician. He brought in an American architect, Erich W. Wojahn, to design Keyhole Castle. Its 1219 square metres (4,000 square feet) include the usual domestic features for a prestigious home of the period, as well as a library, spacious sunroom and gallery, servant's room and a small ballroom set under the steeply pitched roof of the third floor. Luxurious materials such as exotic hardwoods, inlays and marbles are used in the finishing, as well as gold leaf detailing in the dining room, beveled and stained glass, and custom-made door and window hardware throughout.

Keyhole Castle, well known to the community of Prince Albert, represents the optimism and vision of the early citizens of this northern community.

Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary National Historic Site of Canada
Last Mountain Valley, Saskatchewan

Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary National Historic Site of Canada is located at the northern end of Last Mountain Lake, just north of Regina. It is a natural landscape of shoreline, wetlands, native grasslands, cultivated fields, a lake and islands that is an important nesting place and stopover area for many migratory birds. It is a largely natural landscape with a subtle imprint of human management elements, such as cultivated fields, access roads and water management structures.

On the recommendation of Edgar Dewdney, Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories, this sanctuary was set aside in 1887 for the protection of wildfowl, the first such reserve on the continent. It was established as a federal migratory bird sanctuary four years after Parliament passed the Migratory Birds Convention Act of 1917. Internationally recognized, this wildlife area is a migration stopover point in spring and fall for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, cranes and countless smaller birds, and a summer nesting area for over 100 species, including several rare species.

©City of Saskatoon, Kathlyn Szalasznyj, 2005
Marr Residence National Historic Site of Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The second oldest building in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Marr Residence, constructed in 1884, reflects the experiences and conditions for many early settlers of that community. More specifically, it is part of the history of the Temperance Colonization Society, which established the first major European settlement in the area, facilitated by cooperation with the resident First Nations population. Marr Residence is the only survivor of three houses that were part of a field hospital established during the North-West Rebellion of 1885.

Formed in Ontario in 1882, the Temperance Colonization Society sought to create a utopian society, where liquor was neither sold nor manufactured. This spoke to its origins within the wider temperance movement, which gained prominence in Canada during the 19th century and blamed alcohol for many social ills. The Temperance Colonization Society had the support of the government of the day as part of a larger scheme to settle the West and reflected the government's intention to recreate the best features of Anglo-Canadian civilization therein. The society quickly recruited 3,100 would-be colonists and requested over 800,000 hectares of land from the Dominion government.

Alexander and Margaret Marr, and their children, were among the first European settlers to arrive at the site in the spring of 1883. Their house, the eighth or ninth to be built in the new community, was begun in the summer of 1884, with lumber floated downriver from Medicine Hat. The one-and-a-half storey, wood-frame house, built in a vernacular Second Empire style with a distinctive mansard roof and dormer windows, was one of the largest in the village at the time of its construction when completed.

During the North-West Rebellion of 1885, the Dominion government dispatched troops, including a medical contingent, and Saskatoon was chosen as a field hospital site due to its proximity to both the fields of battle and the navigable South Saskatchewan River. The hospital was set up in three of Saskatoon's largest homes, one of which was the Marr Residence, with a staff that included eight doctors and six nurses. This was the first time in Canadian history that nurses were employed by military field forces, and as such Marr Residence is directly associated with the origins of Canadian military nursing.

Montgomery Place National Historic Site of Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Montgomery Place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is an excellent and intact illustration of the Veterans' Land Act communities established following the Second World War. The Veterans' Land Act of 1942 was a key element of the Veterans' Charter which provided most veterans, ex-servicemen and women, and the disabled with a wide range of benefits later extended to veterans of the Korean War. Its main goal was to provide veterans with the means to become financially independent after their return to civilian life and it included assistance to build their own homes.

Montgomery Place was built in 1945 on 230 acres of previously rural land in Cory County, as a residential subdivision adjacent to the city of Saskatoon. It featured small homes on generous, half-acre (minimum) lots that the veterans were expected to use as gardens to supplement their incomes. Property lots in Montgomery Place continue to have distinctive 30-metre frontages, compared with 7.5metre frontages in the inner city, and 15-metre frontage in other suburban developments in Saskatoon. The community is heavily treed and very park-like with gently curving roadways. Other than the perimeter roads, the streets of Montgomery Place do not have sidewalks. All of the streets are named for Canadian wartime commanders, for ships and planes, and for battles in which the Canadian Forces participated, creating a kind of memorial landscape.

From an initial 28 homes, Montgomery Place has grown to encompass approximately 900 residences, 2 schools, one church and 4 parks in a clearly-defined residential subdivision on the southwest edge of the city of Saskatoon. Today, its residents continue to preserve, honour and celebrate their community history. It is a strong, vibrant and tight-knit community, which is very aware of its origins and makes every effort to honour the original inhabitants and their wartime sacrifices. Though not the original intent, Montgomery Place has emerged, over time, as a place of remembrance. Its street and place names honour the leaders, battles and equipment of the Second World War; the community has erected two memorials and the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies have come to attract large crowds. Montgomery Place retains many key elements of its original design including layout, lot size, set back, street names, green spaces and recognizable housing plans which contribute to the "sense of history" of a historic district. Montgomery Place is still home to some of its original residents, including veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War. Many of their children and grandchildren have also made Montgomery Place their home.

©Government of Saskatchewan, C. Fehr, 2004
Moose Jaw Court House National Historic Site of Canada
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Moose Jaw Court House National Historic Site of Canada is a striking building designed to express the power and respectability of the new provincial justice system of Saskatchewan of 1908. Its corner location on a compact raised lot in the downtown district contributes to this evocative message. This stately, large square courthouse, with its rigidly symmetrical Beaux Arts design, features Neo-Classical detailing and is faced with brick and trimmed with pale Bedford stone.

The Moose Jaw Court House, designed by Toronto architects Darling and Pearson, was constructed in 1908-1909 by the Regina building firm of Smith Brothers and Wilson. This represents the beginning of an ambitious program of public works undertaken by Saskatchewan as it sought to express its own voice as a new, energetic and independent province. This impressive court house design is an expression of the new province's independence and confidence, while reflecting the architects' long experience designing commercial and public buildings. Measuring 17 by 27 metres (56 x 89 feet), the Moose Jaw Court House featured modern steel construction with cladding of red-brown hydraulic-pressed brick and dressed Bedford stone. Its Beaux-Arts design features symmetrically organized classical architectural elements. The building is impressively sited on a raised corner lot encircled by a low brick and stone fence.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, HRS 0783, 1990
Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site of Canada
Abernethy, Saskatchewan

Farm of William Richard Motherwell built in 1882, noted politician and scientific farmer.

Motherwell Homestead depicts the lifestyles, costumes, and architecture of the early 20th century. Here you can get a glimpse of the life and career of pioneer farmer and politician, W.R. Motherwell, and his significant influence on the development of scientific agriculture in Western Canada.

Developed by W. R. Motherwell from 1882 to 1939, Motherwell Homestead consists of a 3.59 hectare farmstead including fields defined by fences and shelter belt shrub and tree lines, a collection of agricultural buildings, and a two-storey, stone farmhouse historically known as Lanark Place.

Motherwell Homestead was designated a national historic site of Canada because of its architectural interest and its historic associations with the career of W. R. Motherwell, and as an illustration of a prairie homestead of western Canada's settlement period.

Motherwell Homestead's heritage value resides in its association with the career of W. R. Motherwell and in its illustration of an individual dispersed prairie homestead planned around scientific farming principles.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2003
Next of Kin Memorial Avenue National Historic Site of Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Next of Kin Memorial Avenue National Historic Site of Canada is a picturesque 0.7 kilometre-long "Road of Remembrance" located in Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon, Saskachewan. The Avenue begins at a pair of stone pedestals, flanked by a wrought-iron fence, and runs northwards following the western boundary of the cemetery. It ends in a paved circle surrounding a stone memorial cairn. The asphalt-paved roadway is flanked on either side by a single row of 112 stately, mature elm trees, accompanied by bronze plaques on wrought-iron stands that dedicate each tree to a deceased soldier.

Following the First World War, the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire sponsored and initiated the tradition of planting memorial trees to honour Saskatoon residents killed in the war. Memorial avenues were based on two symbol-laden images. The first was the long, straight, tree-lined roads of France; the second was, as a living memorial, trees symbolizing the victory of life over death. Initially, 265 trees were planted in single rows on either side the avenue. Each tree was planted in individual memory of a deceased First World War soldier and was accompanied by a standardized bronze plaque bearing his name, rank and dates of birth and death. The tradition was later expanded to include tree memorials to casualties of both the Second World War and the Korean War. The cemetery now contains more than 1200 memorial trees, 112 of which are on Next of Kin Memorial Avenue.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1989
Old Government House / Saint-Charles Scholasticate National Historic Site of Canada
Battleford, Saskatchewan

Old Government House is the site of the first Territorial Government House in what is now the Province of Saskatchewan. The building was destroyed by fire in 2003 and the site now consists of a grassy plateau with archaeological remains of the former structure. It overlooks the vast valley of the Saskatchewan and Battle rivers.

Old Government House was designated a national historic site of Canada because it was the seat of Territorial Government from 1878 to 1883. Its heritage value resides in its association with the establishment of federal government in the West. This is best expressed in the dominant and highly visible site, high above the Battle and Saskatchewan rivers, the major travel arteries of the time.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Prince Albert National Park of Canada
Headquarters: Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan

Protects slice of northern coniferous forest and wildlife.

Prince Albert National Park protects a slice of the 'boreal' forest. It is also a meeting place or transition zone between the parkland and the northern forest. The park features many outstanding natural wonders and cultural treasures, including the only fully protected white pelican nesting colony in Canada, the isolated, lakeside cabin of conservationist Grey Owl and a free-ranging herd of plains bison.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1998
Saskatchewan Legislative Building and Grounds National Historic Site of Canada
Regina, Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building and Grounds National Historic Site of Canada, on the south shore of Regina's Lake Wascana, is a monumental structure, designed according to Beaux-Arts principles of symmetry, grandeur and elaborate ornamentation. Three-storeys high, with its long rectangular section crossed at its centre by a large porticoed pavilion, the structure rises in a massive dome atop a colonnaded octagon. The building is a steel construction, sheathed in smooth buff-coloured limestone. It dominates the surrounding landscaped grounds, laid out in drives, paths, formal flower gardens and woods of mature trees.

Already the capital of the North-West Territories since 1883, Regina was confirmed as the capital of the new Province of Saskatchewan the year after it was inaugurated in 1905. The choice of the building site for the capitol south of the city boundary provided the space that allowed then-Premier Walter Scott to hire Montreal landscape architect Frederick Todd in 1907 to plan the grounds. The Wascana reservoir was enlarged and deepened to create a lake, the building was sited on a rise of land on the south shore of the lake, and an extensive public works program installing drives, paths and plantings commenced. The design of the new legislature was chosen through an international competition and, in 1907, the commission awarded the contract to the Montreal firm of Edward and W.S. Maxwell. Their design best captured the spirit of the young province, its confidence of continued rapid growth and prosperity, and its partnership in Canada, as well as a visual link between the province and the British model of government, a constitutional monarchy.

The firm of Peter Lyall and Sons of Montreal began construction in 1908. In the spring of 1909, the premier decided to replace the red brick exterior with buff Tyndall limestone from Manitoba, installed under the direction of stonemasons trained in Britain. Governor-General Earl Grey laid the cornerstone during a vice-regal visit in 1909 when the building was still under construction. When construction completed in 1912, energies were focused on landscaping the surrounding grounds. With its axial planning and symmetry, various and fine details, and its overall civic grandeur, the Saskatchewan Legislative Building and Grounds together form one of the best examples in Canada of a well-preserved landscape designed according to Beaux-Arts and City Beautiful principles. The gardens, woods, tennis courts, walkways and drives, along with the monumental legislature proved the vision of the new province in 1905 to make this a destination of lasting beauty and pride.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Marilyn Armstrong-Reynolds, 1990
Saskatoon Railway Station (Canadian Pacific) National Historic Site of Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Saskatoon Railway Station is a two-storey, Chateau-style railway station, built in 1907-08 and enlarged in 1919. It is prominently located on Idylwyld Drive in downtown Saskatoon.

The Saskatoon Railway Station (Canadian Pacific) was designated a national historic site in 1976 to commemorate the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Line. The station exemplifies smaller depots built by the line during its prosperous years.

The Saskatoon station illustrates the early-20th century period of tremendous growth and expansion for the CPR. Built at a time when Saskatoon was the regional centre for three major railway companies, it reflects the intense rivalry between companies and the CPR's aspiration to become the predominant railway in Saskatoon. The Saskatoon station is a good example of the streamlined Chateau style favoured by the CPR after 1900 for both larger divisional stations and smaller depots. The building is now privately owned and operated as a restaurant and offices.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, E. Mills, 1994
Seager Wheeler's Maple Grove Farm National Historic Site of Canada
Rosthern, Saskatchewan

Seager Wheeler's Maple Grove Farm National Historic Site of Canada is a 17-hectare (42-acre) farmstead 6.5 kilometres east of Rosthern Saskatchewan, established by farmer, agronomist and pioneering seed breeder Seager Wheeler on the prairies in 1898. The site includes various buildings, archaeological resources, and landscape features that depict a model farm of the Wheat Boom era from 1898-1940.

The heritage value of Seager Wheeler's Maple Grove Farm lies in its association with the agricultural contribution of its original owner, Seager Wheeler, in its representation of a typical prairie farm of the 1898-1940 era, and in the integrity of its multi-dimensional cultural landscape whose buildings, layout and planted landscape survive as a reflection of the work of their owner during that era. Maple Grove Farm was established by Seager Wheeler in 1898 and operated by him until 1947. He constructed most of its remaining buildings during the 1908-1928 period, and used the farm property and facilities to conduct experiments important to the development of agriculture in western Canada from 1898 to 1940. Although most of the 57-hectare (140-acre) farm continues to be owned and operated by the Wheeler family, 17 hectares (42 acres) constituting the original farmstead has been severed for operation by the Seager Wheeler Historic Farm Society as an agricultural tourism site.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1989
Steele Narrows National Historic Site of Canada
Loon Lake, Saskatchewan

Steele Narrows National Historic Site of Canada is located 10km west of the village of Loon Lake, Saskatchewan. The site is a flat, grassy landscape on the east and west sides of Steele Narrows, the channel connecting Makwa Lake to the north and Sanderson Bay in Upper Makwa Lake to the south. A bridge spans the narrows. Interpretive panels and white concrete markers relate the events and indicate their location. On a hill on the west side of the narrows is an HSMBC commemorative cairn.

The heritage value of Steele Narrows National Historic Site of Canada lies in its association with the North West Rebellion. Following the Battle of Frenchman Butte on 28 May 1885, the First Nations forces led by Misto-ha-a-Musqua (Big Bear) retreated toward Loon Lake with hostages from Fort Pitt. On 3 June 1885, Big Bear and his band were overtaken by Major Steele and his Scouts who formed an elite section of the North-West Mounted Police. Steele attacked from the west side of the narrows, thereafter named Steele's Narrow, and after a three hour exchange of fire the First Nations withdrew northward with their prisoners, eventually surrendering at Fort Carlton on July 2. The police retired a few miles west to await re-enforcements and medical aid for their wounded. This skirmish marked the last engagement of the North West Rebellion. The site highlights the key events of the confrontation.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2003
Wanuskewin National Historic Site of Canada
Corman Park, Saskatchewan

Wanuskewin National Historic Site of Canada is located in the Tipperary Creek (Wanuskewin) Conservation Area on the South Saskatchewan River, in Saskatchewan. The archaeological sites contained within the 57-hectare (140 acre) conservation area represent nearly 6000 years of cultural history relating to the Northern Plains First Nations people. There are several kinds of remains in the deep coulees along the riverbanks of the site, including a medicine wheel, camps, tipi rings, and stone cairns.

Wanuskewin includes 20 archaeological sites, which represent nearly 6000 years of cultural history relating to the Northern Plains First Nations peoples who lived in deep coulees along the Tipperary Creek and South Saskatchewan River areas. The pattern of land use is clear, being richest along the riverbanks and disappearing as the valley becomes shallower. Therefore, many of the sites are functionally related. Both lithic scatter as well as in situ remains of Plains Indian cultural elements ranging from surface features such as tipi rings to buried campsites over 4,000 years old are found within the site. Also evident are several major bison kill sites as well as ceremonial boulder alignments known as medicine wheels. The density of archaeological materials is so great that the entire area is treated as one large site.

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Last Updated: 16-Jul-2016