Blaine Lake

Town, pop 508, 80 km N of Saskatoon at the junction of Hwys 12 and 40. Although there was some settlement in the area as early as the 1880s, it was in 1899 with the arrival of the Doukhobors that significant numbers of people settled the region. Within a few years, they were joined by French people from Brittany and eastern Canada, and still others coming northward from the United States. Within ten to fifteen years, the communal villages of the Doukhobors were largely abandoned, as many had moved on to colonies in eastern Saskatchewan or to British Columbia. Those who remained in the area became independent landowners, and the town of Blaine Lake and the district today still reflect a strong Doukhobor heritage. Today, the town is the major trading centre in the district. Area attractions include the Doukhobor Settlement Caves, temporary riverbank dwellings constructed in 1899, and the Popoff Tree, reputedly Saskatchewan’s largest tree, with a girth of 4.9 metres (16 ft. 1 inch).

David McLennan