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Town, pop 794, located NW of Big Quill Lake at the junction of Hwys 5 and 6. Settlement of the area began in the early 1900s; a substantial number of immigrants were German-American Catholics who began arriving in 1902. They settled in a broad arc ranging from the Watson district northwestward through to the Humboldt, Bruno, and Cudworth areas. With the Canadian Northern Railway progressing westward from Winnipeg toward Edmonton in 1905, the townsite developed and was given the name Watson in honour of Senator Robert Watson of Manitoba, who had owned the land upon which the community sits. Incorporated as a village in 1906 and a town in 1908, Watson grew steadily and experienced significant growth in the decades following World War II. Today, its economic base is agriculture, complemented by a number of industrial and manufacturing firms. The Watson and District Heritage Museum is located in the town’s 1906 Canadian Bank of Commerce building. Another Watson landmark is a 25-foot (7.62 metre) high fibreglass Santa Claus statue, which commemorates the community’s Santa Claus Day, held on the first Saturday of December.

David McLennan

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