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CPR Station, Wolseley. Date unknown.
Courtesy of the Ralph Allen Museum, Oxbow, Saskatchewan

Town, pop 782, located on the Trans-Canada Hwy and the CP main line, approximately 100 km E of Regina. Wolseley is one of Saskatchewan’s oldest towns and was listed as one of Canada’s ten prettiest by Harrowsmith magazine in 2000. The town, incorporated in 1898, was named after the illustrious Colonel Garnet Joseph Wolseley. The age of the community is reflected in its streetscapes and architecture. Many of the town’s stately homes and public buildings were built with brick that was produced locally. A number of buildings have been designated either municipal or provincial heritage properties; one of them, the Wolseley Court House, was constructed during the Territorial period and is the oldest existing court building in the province. Wolseley grew quickly in the early 20th century, and many of its businessmen were successful entrepreneurs. The Beaver Lumber Company, which became one of the largest lumber supply companies in Canada, had its beginnings in the town. The original Beaver Lumber office building is now at the town’s museum. By 1916, the population of Wolseley was over 1,000 and it had become a substantial centre for trade, social and cultural activities. In 1954, Wolseley had Saskatchewan’s first drive-in theatre: built for 225 cars, it was still in operation fifty years later. Although the population has dropped over the past few decades, Wolseley remains an active community. Agriculture and its subsidiary activities dominate the economy.

David McLennan

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