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DYSART

Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Holy Eucharist.
David McLennan

Village, pop 198 (2006c), 210 (2001c), is located about 18 km north of the Qu’Appelle Valley, specifically Pasqua Lake, between Cupar and Lipton on Hwy 22. The first few homesteaders arrived in the area south and east of the present village in the mid-1880s; more came through the 1890s; the greatest influx of settlers into the district, however, was between 1900 and 1910. Those who took up land in the region were of many origins and included people of  English, Scottish, Ukrainian, Polish, German, Romanian, Hungarian, and Irish descent. The village itself began to develop with the construction of the CPR line through Lipton to Strasbourg, and it was named at that time after Dysart in the County of Fife, Scotland. The Dysart townsite was surveyed in 1904 and the rail line was completed in 1905. In 1905 a school district centred on the village was established and businesses began to spring up, among them the Dysart Hotel. The Dysart Post Office was established on September 15, 1906 and that year the first Grain Elevators were erected. Dysart was incorporated on April 6, 1909. The community grew from a population of 61 in 1911 to a peak of 341 in 1956.

St. George Romanian Greek Orthodox Church.
David McLennan

Through the 1950s and 1960s, the village served a surrounding trading area of approximately 750 persons. Thereafter, both the rural and community populations began to decline, as did the number of businesses in the village. The railway station was demolished in 1972. By 1996, enrollment at Dysart School had declined to the point that the school was closed, but only after an unsuccessful court battle between the local school board and the Cupar School Division. In June, 2000, three of Dysart’s grain elevators, which had served the district for close to 90 years, were demolished then burned. Today, remaining businesses and services that cater to the district’s mixed farms and livestock producers include a farm equipment dealership with parts and service, a construction company specializing in farm equipment, a machine shop, a credit union, and an insurance agency. The Dysart Co-operative Association runs a business that has automotive services and sells agricultural products, hardware, regular and bulk fuels. The Co-op also operates a grocery store. Dysart also has a butcher shop, a postal outlet, a bar, a car wash, and a café. A community centre houses a fitness club, banquet facilities, a gymnasium and a stage; and as well, Dysart has a hockey arena, a bowling alley, a playground and campgrounds. Fire protection is provided by a volunteer fire brigade; the nearest RCMP detachments are in Southey and Fort Qu’Appelle. There is a hospital in Fort Qu’Appelle and a health centre in Cupar. Dysart has three designated heritage properties: St. George Romanian Greek Orthodox Church, built in 1906, features unusual circular transepts and is one of the oldest existing structures in Dysart; a building that was built by the Royal Bank in 1928 that operated as such for only two years and that is now a residence; and the former Dysart School, built in 1917 and expanded in 1927. This last building served all grades until 1960 when a new school was built on the west side of the village; grades 7-12 then moved to the new facility and grades K-6 were taught at the old location until 1983, after which all grades were taught in the new building. In 1987, the old school became the Dysart and District Museum, and a decade later the new school, too, was closed. Other notable Dysart landmarks are the twin-domed Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Holy Eucharist, dating to 1957; and the village’s sole remaining grain elevator, formerly a Saskatchewan Wheat Pool elevator that dates to 1950 (the annex to 1958), which is now privately owned. Dysart is situated in the RM of Lipton No. 217.

David McLennan

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Further Reading

McLennan, David. 2008. Our Towns: Saskatchewan Communities from Abbey to Zenon Park. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center.  

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