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Town, pop 450, located on Hwys 2 and 18, 54 km S of Assiniboia and approximately 18 km N of the Canada-US border. Rockglen is situated amidst the Wood Mountain uplands (see Wood Mountain Plateau). The higher elevations of the area, along with those in the Cypress Hills, were left unglaciated during the Wisconsinan period (see Glaciation); thus, remnants of the Tertiary landscape remain. Lacking significant depths of Glacial Deposition, the Rockglen area hills have yielded many fossils of animals from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. Imprints of tropical plants can be found between layers of sandstone and in the lignite Coal seams of the area. Petrified wood is common. Rockglen is located in a picturesque valley surrounded by hills topped with rock formations that have been given names such as Table Rock and the Queen’s Chair. Cattle and sheep ranchers began operating in the district in the late 1800s; as the area was opened for homesteading, people of British, French, and Scandinavian origin took up land. The railroad came through in 1926, and amidst rapid construction at the new townsite, the descriptive name of Rockglen was adopted for the burgeoning community. The 1930s were extremely difficult times for the area. In the 1940s, however, a period of recovery and then prosperity began. Today, Rockglen provides the district with a range of businesses and services, as well as an array of facilities for social and recreational activities. Beyond Rockglen are located a number of historic sites and regional parks, as well as Grasslands National Park, which is about a half-hour drive west. Native prairie grasses are still to be found in the region’s vast tracts of uncultivated land.

David McLennan

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