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Village, pop 170, located 27 km NW of Estevan on Hwy 39. The village was named after John Macoun (1831–1920), the Canadian botanist and explorer. The first homesteads in the Macoun district were filed around 1901, and over the following few years an influx of settlers arrived, many of Norwegian and Swedish origin. By October 1903, the community had grown large enough to be incorporated as a village, and the following two decades were to be Macoun’s most active. By 1916, the population of the village was approaching 300. The community suffered a number of fires, the most tragic of which occurred on April 20, 1914, when a gas explosion in the hotel triggered an instant inferno that left 13 dead and many injured. One residence and three other businesses were also lost in the blaze. The 1930s also took a toll on the community, so that by 1941 the population had fallen to 129. The discovery of oil in the region in the early 1950s brought a return to prosperity, and offered diversification to an economy that had previously been solely based on agriculture. Today, Macoun is essentially a residential community, although its K–8 school remains a long-standing community institution. Farmer and businessman Leonard J. Gustafson, appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1993, was born and raised in Macoun.

David McLennan

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