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Town, pop 1,330, located just inside the Saskatchewan-Alberta border, approximately 110 km S of Lloydminster. The community is served by Hwys 14, 17, and 31. Settlers first began arriving in the district in 1906–07. The name of the community honours E.H. Macklin, a chief business manager with the Winnipeg Free Press , whose paper chronicled the development of the railway. Developing a theme, the community’s streets were named after famous newspapers: Times, Herald, and Tribune among others. By 1911, the population of Macklin was well over 300 and, on November 1, 1912, the community attained town status. Many who came to the area were German Catholics from southern Russia and the United States; they brought with them the unique game of bunnock which has become enthusiastically embraced by the community over the years. The game, a cross between bowling and horseshoes played with 52 horse ankle bones, is thought to have been developed by Russian soldiers posted in northern Siberia more than 200 years ago. Today, Macklin hosts the World Championship Bunnock Tournament, which draws as many as 250 teams. To commemorate Macklin’s sport of choice, a 10-metre high bunnock (an exact replica of a horse’s ankle bone enlarged 98 times) stands at the entrance to the town. Macklin has experienced continuous growth since its beginnings as a trade and service centre for the surrounding agricultural district. The agricultural industry remains important today, with mixed farming operations producing traditional crops such as wheat, as well as peas and sunflowers. The livestock industry has become increasingly diversified as animals such as bison and ostriches are raised in addition to cattle. Increasing exploration and development in the area’s gas and oil fields has meant substantial growth in recent years. The town’s population has been steadily rising and close to 70% are under the age of 45. Macklin and District Museum, housed in the stately 1919 home of the town’s first bank manager, features artifacts and displays pertaining to Macklin’s early development.

David McLennan

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