Mossbank, Saskatchewan

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Motto: Gateway to Old Wives Lake
Mossbank is located in Saskatchewan
Location of Mossbank in Saskatchewan
Coordinates: 49°56′26″N 105°58′03″W / 49.94054°N 105.96751°W / 49.94054; -105.96751
Country Canada
Province Saskatchewan
Post office established 1909
 • Mayor Gregg Nagel
 • Administrator Chris Costley
 • Governing body Town Council
 • Total 1.75 km2 (0.68 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 327
 • Density 186.8/km2 (484/sq mi)
Postal code S0H 3G0
Area code(s) 306, 639
Website Official website

Mossbank is a town in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. It is located south of Old Wives Lake and 70 km south of Moose Jaw


Mossbank was incorporated in 1912 as an extension of the railroad from Expanse. The townsite was chosen by the CN railine with an adjacent townsite of Raycraft being established to the north by the CP railine.

Mossbank has a number of historical claims. First the townsite was the first spot where the North-West Mounted Police first encountered Indians during the March West campaign. The town was also home to a RCAF gunnery and training school which trained Commonwealth forces during the Second World War. During the incorporation of Medicare in 1957 the town hosted a debate between Tommy Douglas and Ross Thatcher. Tommy Douglas wanted to bring health care reform to the province where Ross Thatcher wanted a private system. Mossbank was chosen because it was considered a politically neutral spot.



The main industry of the community is agriculture. There is speculation about the possibilities of oil and gas expansion into the area.


Titled the Gateway to Old Wives Lake, the community is an excellent destination due to its natural beauty and folk history. The community lies 10 km south of Old Wives Lake which is North America's 3rd largest inland saltwater body and 8 km west of Lake of the Rivers which are both major staging areas for water fowl. Old Wives Lake is a nesting area for the vulnerable Piping Plover. Old Wives Lake is also on a major migratory path for Snow and Canada geese.

The community has recently developed a set of birdwatching trails on the shores of Old Wives Lake north of Mossbank. The trails are equipped with gazebos, rest areas, and washroom facilities where nature enthusiasts can come enjoy the natural prairie habitat. Birdwatchers can come to see Sanderlings, Avocets, and dozens of other shorebirds.

Just north of the community holds the claim of the spot where the North West Mounted Police first met the first nations peoples during the historic March West which was supposed to have tamed the wild land. The mounties then set up a camp just south of the lake. The area was also a legendary battleground for the First Nations peoples. There is an Indian legend that claims the lake to be haunted. Generations ago there was a drought and food was scarce. The Cree people began moving south into traditional Blackfoot territory in search of food and made camp in the hills of Old Wives Lake. The Blackfoot sent a war party to attack the Cree. When the Cree found out they made a decision to get out of the area immediately but were worried that the Blackfoot would catch up to them. The older women of the tribe decided that they would keep the camp fires burning throughout the night to fool the Blackfoot into thinking that the camp was still there while the rest of the camp escaped. When the Blackfoot arrived at morning they were so enraged to find the camp vacant except for the old women they slaughtered them all. The legend of Old Wives Lake says that if you listen carefully you can still hear the old women laughing over the water about how they tricked their attackers.

When pioneers first arrived in the start of the 1900s they had wrote that the area was full of rock piles which they had thought were Indian graves and buffalo skulls from the great buffalo slaughter in the 1800s. Old Wives Lake was actually renamed by the early Canadian government to Lake Johnstone after a famous buffalo trophy hunter who was known for his participation in the buffalo slaughter. The lake was renamed back to its aboriginal name in the 1950s after a push from local citizens.

Just east of the town is the RCAF gunnery and training school which was used during the second world war as a training school for fighter pilots. This has now been converted into a golf course. The site of the birdwatching trails south of Old Wives Lake was home to the RCAF gunnery and bombing range during the Second World War. Remnants of the facilities can still be found in the locations. Some artifacts that have been found include antique ammunitions and explosives.


The Saskatchewan Transportation Company provides intercity bus service to Mossbank.[7]


  1. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  2. ^ National Archives, Archivia Net. "Post Offices and Postmasters". Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  3. ^ Government of Saskatchewan, MRD Home. "Municipal Directory System". Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  4. ^ Commissioner of Canada Elections, Chief Electoral Officer of Canada (2005). "Elections Canada On-line". Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  5. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". Canada 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  6. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  7. ^ STC Route Map

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°55′59″N 105°58′01″W / 49.933°N 105.967°W / 49.933; -105.967