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Town, pop 812, located 45 km NE of Swift Current on the Trans-Canada Hwy. The Herbert area began to be settled in the early 1900s, predominantly by Mennonites, but also by people of British and Scandinavian origins. Originally, their point of disembarkation was at a boxcar railway station with the name “Herbert” posted on it—the name honouring Sir Michael Henry Herbert, a British diplomat. In 1904, the foundations of the village were established. Within months, a boarding house, livery stable, hardware and grocery store, lumberyard, implement dealer, and post office were in business. The district was quickly settled: by 1911, the population had grown to 559. From 1916 to 1926, Ford Model Ts were assembled at a garage in Herbert for distribution in the region. From the late 1950s to the early 1980s, the community’s population remained fairly stable at around 1,000. Herbert’s economy continues to be largely based on agriculture (a combination of crop and livestock production), and a number of the town’s businesses and services cater to the industry. To the north of the town, on Lake Diefenbaker, lies Herbert Ferry Regional Park, with opportunities for boating, fishing, and camping. Herbert’s museum is located in the community’s former CPR station, built in 1908 and now a heritage property. Faspa (a low-German term used to describe a late afternoon lunch put together for unannounced visitors) is served in the former station agent’s quarters throughout the summer, following a traditional Mennonite custom. Other heritage properties in Herbert include two stately homes dating to 1912 and 1913, and St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, built in 1912, now a private property. The Herbert area has produced a number of people of note, among them: Jack Wiebe, former Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan and former member of the Senate of Canada; Don Wittman, the CBC Sports commentator; and Homer Groening (born in Main Centre, northwest of Herbert), father of Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons .

David McLennan

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