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Zenon Park

Village, pop 231, located in the eastern parklands, 45 km NE of Tisdale. In the spring of 1910, French-Canadians who had been working as factory workers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island began arriving in the area. Poverty had driven them to the US, but the prospect of owning their own land brought them back to Canada, and then west. The townsite of Zenon Park was established in 1929 when the Canadian National Railway constructed a branch line north from Crooked River. The name of the community pays tribute to Zenon Chamberland, one of the first pioneers and the first postmaster of the new settlement. Today, the community remains predominantly French-speaking, although most residents are bilingual. Our Lady of the Nativity Roman Catholic Church, constructed in the summer of 1930 with local volunteer labour to replace the original 1913 church that was destroyed by fire earlier that year, has a very active congregation and has been designated a heritage property. The Zenon Park area economy is predominantly agriculture-based, but diverse: it includes honey production, organic seed-processing, alfalfa dehydration, seed production, herbs, and spices.

David McLennan

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