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Carrot River

Town, pop 1,017, located SE of Nipawin on Hwy 23, 10 km N of the river from which the community derives its name--a derivation of the Cree word meaning “the river of wild carrots.” The first homesteaders crossed to the north side of the river in 1911; however, since the land was wet and heavily wooded, little development occurred before the CNR penetrated the region in 1931. A large number of those who took up homesteads in the area were Mennonites; others were from eastern Canada and from the Drought-stricken regions of southern Saskatchewan. The community prospered following World War II, and the population jumped from 223 in 1946 to 801 in 1951. In the 1980s, the construction of many new public facilities was undertaken. Today, the area economy, although largely dependent on agriculture, is diversified. The district's agricultural output includes cattle, hogs, lamb, elk, leaf cutter bees, alfalfa, and honey, in addition to the high-quality oil seed and cereal grain crops produced. The economy is otherwise supplemented by a sawmill, peat moss harvesting and processing, and seed processing. Tourism is gaining increasing importance as the town is situated near Tobin Lake and Pasquia Regional Park, the recent site of the discovery of a 92-million-year-old fossil of a crocodile-like sea dweller that lived during the Cretaceous period. Nicknamed “Big Bert,” the remains found along the banks of the Carrot River are one of only four such fossils found in North America. Numerous other prehistoric marine fossils have also been found, an interpretive centre has been established, and the location has been declared a provincial heritage site because of its palaeontological significance. A Big Bert cancellation stamp is put on all mail leaving the Carrot River post office.

David McLennan

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This web site was produced with financial assistance
provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
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Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada et le gouvernement de la Saskatchewan.