Scotsguard, Saskatchewan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hamlet of Scotsguard
Hamlet
Scotsguard United Church
Scotsguard United Church
Motto: "Little Chicago"
Hamlet of Scotsguard is located in Saskatchewan
Hamlet of Scotsguard
Hamlet of Scotsguard
Coordinates: 49°43′00″N 108°09′02″W / 49.7167°N 108.1506°W / 49.7167; -108.1506
Country Canada
Province Saskatchewan
Region Southwest Saskatchewan
Census division 4
Rural Municipality Bone Creek
Established 1910
Incorporated (Village) 1913
Dissolved (Village) December 31, 1953
Government
 • Governing body Bone Creek No. 108[1]
 • Reeve Ben Lewans
 • Administrator Rhonda Bellefeuille
Population (2006)
 • Total 3
Time zone CST
Area code(s) 306
Highways Highway 13
Highway 631
Waterways Bull Creek
[2][3][4][5]

Scotsguard is a small hamlet in Bone Creek Rural Municipality No. 108, Saskatchewan, Canada. Located on highway 13 also known as the historic Red Coat Trail, about 10 km northeast of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan.

Demographics[edit]

Scotsguard, like so many other small communities throughout Saskatchewan, has struggled to maintain a sturdy population causing it to become a semi ghost town with only a population of 3 citizens. Prior to December 31, 1953, Scotsguard was incorporated under village status, but was restructured as a hamlet under the jurisdiction of the Rural municipality of Bone Creek on that date.[6]

History[edit]

Scotsguard's six grain elevators

Taken from ghosttownpix.com by Johnnie Bachusky[7]

For several years after the Canadian Pacific Railway triggered the creation of Scotsguard in 1913, the village was one of the liveliest spots on the prairie; new restaurants, a dance hall, hotel, pool hall and even a theater. In fact Scotsguard's early boom years earned it the moniker "Little Chicago" - mainly because of the proliferation of gambling joints, and that action kept the law busy.

During the roaring 1920s, Scotsguard's lone policeman, Luke Willy, could be heard shouting all over town, "Stop, in the name of the law!"

For a long time, especially during the Prohibition years, there was much to investigate. Bootleggers and rumrunners eagerly worked overtime, and their stock was popular at backroom poker games. While the police pursued, novel methods were created to stay one step ahead.

"My dad told me a story that one bootlegger was rumoured to be a woman " says current resident Keith Hagen, born in 1948 near Admiral, six km away. "One night the police raided her place but found her sick in bed. It wasn't until much later they found out that that's where she hid her liquor."

But as with every new community built along the CPR line in the Red Coat Trail region of southwestern Saskatchewan, there were also countless tales of pioneer prairie grit, courage and generosity. When the first settlers came to Scotsguard, there was abundant hope for future prosperity; as the new land was in the heart of a fertile farming district. The village was originally called Notukeu after the Notukeu creek which flowed past the townsite but was changed shortly after to Scotsguard as it was discovered there was already another village named Notukeu in Saskatchewan. The town grew quickly, and from 1916 to 1935, its population reached 350. Business boomed with those early years. The town had a bank, six grain elevators, a large stockyard, three lumber yards, three hardware stores, a pair of busy garages, a drug store, two grocery stores, an insurance business and two livery barns. Scotsguard, which had a mayor from 1926 to 1941, was also the seat for the municipal office of Bone Creek No. 108.

When it was time to rest, residents had three churches for spiritual relief; the kids had an ice cream parlor; and everyone could enjoy the local golf course, baseball field, tennis court and curling rink.

The Great Depression

Scotsguard's period of prosperity was short-lived. The depression and drought years hit the town hard. Growing competition from the neighboring communities of Simmie and Shaunavon squeezed out many local merchants, especially elevator owners as grain was getting marketed to Simmie. The bank closed in 1934 and the municipal office was moved to nearby Instow. To make matters worse, a fire in 1941 destroyed 11 buildings, devastating the town's financial heart.

The decline ultimately saw the town being officially dissolved as a village on December 31, 1953. The train station closed, the elevators began disappearing, but Island's General Store and the Scotsguard Post Office (S0N 2J0) within remained for another decade.

Nearly half a century later into the 21st century, Scotsguard's elevators are all gone as are most of its residents and the once prosperous business district.

Keith Hagen is one of only three residents left. He has lived with his wife in Scotsguard since 1987, and is often seen from spring to fall grooming lawns and offering visitors a tour of the once bustling "Little Chicago." A farmer and an accountant, Hagen also collects antique cars but his true passion lies in Scotsguard's history.

He plans to erect original streets signs and owns several buildings, including the old jailhouse and the two-sheet curling rink

"In my younger years, the first sight after grain elevators at every whistle stop was a curling rink," says Hagen, a teenage 4-H club skip. "It was often very cold but we'd bring sandwiches and put a can of beans on the stove.

"We were very community-minded," adds Hagen. "Scotsguard has always been a welcoming place."

Economy[edit]

Agriculture is the top employment field with many surrounding farms and ranches.

Infrastructure[edit]

Saskatchewan Transportation Company provides intercity passenger service to Scotsguard.[8]

Education[edit]

Scotsguard no longer has a school, but those who live in Scotsguard are sent to the neighboring town of Shaunavon which has a school that covers Kindergarten to Grade 12 serving approximately na students.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bone Creek No. 108
  2. ^ National Archives, Archivia Net, Post Offices and Postmasters 
  3. ^ Government of Saskatchewan, MRD Home, Municipal Directory System (– Scholar search) [dead link]
  4. ^ Canadian Textiles Institute. (2005), CTI Determine your provincial constituency 
  5. ^ Commissioner of Canada Elections, Chief Electoral Officer of Canada (2005), Elections Canada On-line 
  6. ^ "Covered population 2002". Saskatchewan Health. Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  7. ^ http://www.ghosttownpix.com/sask/towns/scotsguard.shtml
  8. ^ SCN Service Map

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°43′00″N 108°09′02″W / 49.71667°N 108.15056°W / 49.71667; -108.15056