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Town, pop 760, located E of Last Mountain Lake 80 km N of Regina on Hwy 20. The history of Strasbourg dates to 1885 with the arrival of the first German settlers. Immigration literature circulated in Germany called the area Neu Elsass , with the hope a German name would attract settlers, and the colony that developed in the Last Mountain area came to be known as the Neu Elsass Colony. In 1886, a post office was established in the district which was named Strassburg, after the European community which had been occupied by Germany since 1870. The immigration literature had shown that a railway was to be built from Regina along the east side of Last Mountain Lake and north to Prince Albert and the first settlers had expected the development within a few years. When the railway did not come, discouraged settlers left for less isolated locations. Those who remained faced a period of slow development and prairie fires and bad weather which claimed many crops. Finally in the early 1900s the CPR was progressing toward the district and a townsite was established followed by building boom. The railway arrived in 1905 and, on April 19, 1906, the village of Strassburg was incorporated. On July 1, 1907, the community attained town status. The railway brought an influx of settlers of various origins and the area began to develop a multi-cultural flavour. Rapid development occurred in the period prior to World War I. Following the war, Strassburg, Germany, again became Strasbourg, in Alsace, France; amidst some considerable controversy, the spelling of the name of the Saskatchewan town was changed to its present form in 1919. In 1921, the population of the town was 514 and it hovered around the 500 mark until the post-World War II period when, again, the community experienced significant growth. Today, the town continues as a market, service, and cultural centre for a mixed farming district of roughly 2,500 square km (1,000 square miles). Strasbourg also benefits from tourist traffic to Rowan’s Ravine Provincial Park, the migratory bird sanctuary on the lake’s north end, and the resort communities situated on the lake’s east side. The Strasbourg and District Museum housed in the 1906 CPR station, now a heritage property, displays pioneer and First Nations artifacts. The building was purchased by the community in 1971 after the station had closed the previous year.

David McLennan

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