Descharme Lake, Saskatchewan
Descharme Lake is a northern settlement on Descharme Lake in the boreal forest of northwest Saskatchewan. A 10 km (6.6 miles) access road leads west to the community from the Saskatchewan Highway 955 turn-off 87 km (54 miles) north of La Loche. The northern settlement is an unincorporated community in the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District.
Across the lake from Descharme where the Descharme River flows to the Clearwater River is the old town site of Descharme. In the 1950s it had a filleting plant, a store and an airstrip with a hangar.
In 1974, Descharme had 48 people with no facilities and no road. An unpaved road has since been constructed linking the community with Secondary Highway 955.
Most of the residents have been encouraged to relocate to the town of La Loche. In 2013, 42 people remained in the community.
Descharme may be the last of the old winter camps used by the Dene residents of La Loche.
Descharme Lake was once known as Swan Lake. The community of Swan Lake is mentioned as one of the mission villages of La Loche in 1895. It was then the main winter hunting camp for the residents of La Loche with a small permanent population of 25 people and a winter population of 50. Father Penard of the La Loche Mission wrote in 1895: "at the end of about 25 leagues (75 miles from La Loche), we arrive at Swan Lake. If we are expected, we would find about 50 people, if not we would have to get them from the vicinity, perhaps up to 20 leagues (60 miles) from there, somewhere in the woods."(translation)
"Des charmes" means beautiful or charming place in French. The date of the name change from Swan Lake to Descharme Lake was made in 1944. Swan Lake was the name used in a 1943 newspaper article. The community may have been named after Father Ducharme of the La Loche Mission who retired to The Pas in 1949.
Swan Lake had 18 people in three families in the 1906 Census.
- "Northern Research Portal (University of Saskatchewan)". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "MUNICIPALITY DETAILS". Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- "Peel's Prairie Provinces (Peel 8059 p.418)". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "Geographical Names Query". Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "History of La Loche (Descharme Lake)". Retrieved 2012-10-19.:
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