The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan


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Town, pop 494, located 27 km SE of Yorkton on the Yellowhead Hwy, No. 16. The town is situated in an attractive setting as a crescent-shaped lake forms the south and eastern boundaries of the community. Anderson Lake was named after William Anderson, a Scot, who settled in the immediate area in 1882 and the district was originally known as Stirling, after Stirling, Scotland. Though the first settlers were predominantly of Scottish and English origin, a walk through the historic Saltcoats cemetery reveals that Irish, Welsh, German, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Icelandic, Scandinavian, and Métis people also came to call the district home. Significant development began to occur in the area in the late 1880s as the railway was being built toward Yorkton. In 1887, the nucleus of a business community began to form with the first entrepreneurs conducting their affairs out of tents. Later, lumber was hauled in from Langenburg by ox team and shacks were erected. With the arrival of the Manitoba and Northwestern Railway in 1888 the name of the community was changed to Saltcoats, after Saltcoats, Scotland, the birthplace of one of the major shareholders in the railway. The Saltcoats post office was also established in 1888 and on April 4, 1894, Saltcoats was incorporated as a village, the first community established as such in what is now Saskatchewan. In 1910, Saltcoats attained town status. Today, agriculture, manufacturing, the Esterhazy area potash mines, and the city of Yorkton provided employment and Saltcoats has a small core of local businesses. A number of notable people have come from the town of Saltcoats. Thomas MacNutt served as a member of the Territorial Assembly from 1902 to 1905 and, after the formation of the province, became the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. He was also a member of the House of Commons in Ottawa from 1908 to 1921. Gordon Barnhart, University Secretary of the University of Saskatchewan, was Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan from 1969 to 1989 and Clerk of the Senate of Canada from 1989 to 1994. Barnhart is also an author and editor of a number of books relating to Saskatchewan history. Saltcoats also celebrates being the hometown of Joan McCusker, who with the famed Sandra Schmirler rink, became a Canadian, World, and Olympic curling champion.

David McLennan

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