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Town, pop 538, located just NE of Moose Mountain Provincial Park and Kenosee Lake on Hwy 48, 46 km W of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border. Settlers began entering the district around 1882 as the transcontinental railway was being built through the Moosomin area to the north. The townsite of Wawota was established by the CPR in 1905 as the railway proceeded westward with the construction of its line from Reston, Manitoba, to Wolseley. The track became operational in 1906, and the little mixed train that ran back and forth on the line became affectionately known to local residents as the “Peanut.” With the railway came a construction boom, and Wawota was incorporated as a village in 1907—the name being derived from a First Nations word meaning “deep snow.” In 1961, the CPR line was abandoned and the “Peanut” made its last run that August. Wawota lost its two grain elevators, and eight families whose livelihoods were tied to the elevators and the railway left the village. While many believed this was the death knell for the community, Wawota continued to grow, reaching a peak population of 676 in 1986 and attaining town status in 1975. Today, agriculture continues to dominate the area economy. The community’s 1919 Union Bank of Canada building has been designated a heritage property, and on the Wawota and District Museum site are a 1905 schoolhouse and a fire hall dating to 1909.

David McLennan

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This web site was produced with financial assistance
provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
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Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada et le gouvernement de la Saskatchewan.