Village, pop 303, located on Hwys 8 and 49, 32 km N of Kamsack, and 24 km W of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border. The village is also located near the sites of two historic forts: Fort Pelly, from which the community takes its name, was a Hudson’s Bay Company post from 1824 to 1912; and Fort Livingston, an early NWMP headquarters, was briefly the capital of the North-West Territories over the winter of 1876–77. In 1899, large numbers of Doukhobors arrived in the area; while many would move on to British Columbia, those remaining abandoned their communal villages to take up individual homesteads (see DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENTS). After 1900, settlers of English, Ukrainian, German and Scandinavian origins took up homesteads. The community grew rapidly after the railroad arrived in 1909. During the 1950s and 1960s, the population hovered close to 500, and Pelly was an important service centre catering to the agricultural industry of the region. Today, it retains a core of businesses and services. During the winter of 1955–56, Pelly received 386 cm (12.7 ft.) of snow, an amount which stands as the highest snowfall ever recorded in Saskatchewan in a single season.

David McLennan