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Rosthern

Town, pop 1,504, located about equidistant between the cities of Saskatoon and Prince Albert at the junction of Hwys 11 and 312. Situated between the converging branches of the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers, Rosthern lies within close proximity to a number of historic sites: Batoche, Fish Creek, Duck Lake, and Fort Carlton are all within a short drive; as well, the National Historic Site of the Seager Wheeler Farm is just a few kilometres to the east. Rosthern benefits from the tourism these sites generate, and the community retains its traditional position as a service centre for the surrounding farming population, a position it has maintained for more than a century. The Qu’Appelle, Long Lake & Saskatchewan Railway was running through to Prince Albert in 1890, and Mennonite settlers began taking up land in the Rosthern district shortly thereafter. The Rosthern post office was established in 1893, and by 1898 the community had developed sufficiently enough to be incorporated as a village. The population of Rosthern had grown to 413 by 1901, and in 1903 the community attained town status. By 1911, the town numbered well over 1,000 residents. In 1928, William Lyon Mackenzie King laid the cornerstone for Rosthern’s post office. Today, Rosthern has a substantial business community providing virtually every type of good and service. The Station Arts Centre, located in the former 1902 railway station, houses a tea room and an art gallery, and hosts a number of musical performances and theatrical events throughout the year. The Rosthern Mennonite Heritage Museum is located in one of the most prominent structures in the community, and houses artifacts pertaining to the area’s pioneer history. The museum is housed in one of the several heritage properties in the town, many of which are over a century old. An interesting archaeological discovery was made in the Rosthern area in recent years: an almost entirely intact Métis hivernant village. Known as “Petite Ville,” the site, which is believed to date to the 1860s (thus predating permanent settlement at Batoche), was declared a provincial heritage site by ministerial order in February 2005. It is the best preserved of only a few hivernant sites identified in the province.

David McLennan

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