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Mossbank

Town, pop 379, located S of Old Wives Lake, approximately 70 km SW of Moose Jaw and 35 km N of Assiniboia, off Hwy 2. The Mossbank area was first settled around 1907 as people of British, Scandinavian, and German origins took up land in the district. In 1915, Mossbank was incorporated as a village. The name was coined by Robert Jolly, a homesteader from Scotland, who had used the same name for a post office established on his farm in 1909. As a growing service centre for the developing mixed farming district, Mossbank’s population almost doubled in the five years between 1916 and 1921, jumping from 164 to 303. During World War II, the village population soared (from 358 in 1936 to 606 in 1941) as a British Commonwealth Air Training Plan base was established just east of the community. Work began on the site in 1939, but the facility closed in 1944. In 1946, one of the aircraft hangars was moved into the community to become what was known locally as “the longest school in Saskatchewan.” On May 20, 1957, Mossbank became the scene of one of Saskatchewan’s most famous political debates as Premier T.C. Douglas and Liberal candidate Ross Thatcher squared off over the issue of the province’s Crown Corporations. The popular consensus was that Thatcher equalled, and perhaps bested, his eloquent rival. Through to the mid-1960s, Mossbank prospered. Then began a period of decline, with which the community continues to struggle. Today, it retains a small core of local businesses and services, including a K–12 school with students from the town and the surrounding area.

David McLennan

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