Rural Municipality of Manitou Lake No. 442

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The Rural Municipality of Manitou Lake No. 442 is a rural municipality in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan in north western Division 6. The population of this R.M is 590 people. Manitou Lake is named for the Algonquian word meaning “mysterious being.” It covers 13.3 km2, with an average depth of 3.8 m. The village of Marsden lies near its centre, but is technically not part of the rural municipality.

Office of the R.M. in Marsden


Before 1905, Manitou Lake No. 442 would have been part of the Northwest Territories. In 1905, the first settlers came from Canadian regions, the British Isles and the United States. The area was known as the Manitou Lake District. In 1907-08 a post office was established in the home of Mr. Alex Wright, approximately one mile northeast of the present Marsden town site. The post office served the surrounding rural area. The Wrights named the post office 'Marsden'. One story recounts the name as originating from the birthplace of Mrs. Wright in Yorkshire, England; another reports it was named after the famous Marsden Rock near Newcastle, England. The adjacent area became known as the Marsden Rural Post Office District. Between 1919 and 1922, the post office was relocated one mile south to the RM office of Manitou Lake No. 442.

In 1905, the vast prairie land was covered with long grass referred to as 'prairie wool'. There were few trees or bluffs. The fertile black soil attracted many first settlers to the area and soon farms developed with sod and log homes. Farmers turned sod with horse and ox teams, sometimes using a walking plow (sulky) to prepare the ground for grain sowing. Grain was cut with binders, stooked, and threshed. Farmers hauled grain by wagon or horse-drawn sleigh to Zumbro and Artland. In the winter months, grain was hauled across the ice of Manitou Lake. Early settlers purchased groceries and supplies at Lashburn, Artland, or Chauvin, Alberta. A popular shopping method of the time was the Eaton's catalogue.

The settler's children first attended school in Learig, and in 1925 a four-room schoolhouse was built in the hamlet of Marsden.


Canada census – Rural Municipality of Manitou Lake No. 442 community profile
Population: 590 (-2.3% from 2001)
Land area: 840.42 km2 (324.49 sq mi)
Population density: 0.7/km2 (1.8/sq mi)
Median age: 38.8 (M: 39.7, F: 37.2)
Total private dwellings: 228
Median household income: $17,354
References: 2006[1] earlier[2]

Communities and localities[edit]

The following urban municipalities are surrounded by the Rural Municipality:

  • none
  • none
Resort villages
  • none

The following hamlets are located within the Rural Municipality:

  • none
special service areas
  • none
Organized hamlet
  • none
Unincorporated hamlets

Economic information[edit]

Agriculture, cattle and oil are primary industries for the population of 590 residents of the RM of Manitou Lake. Wheat, canola, barley, oats, peas and flax are typical crops in the area. The region is famous for its prize-winning purebred cattle that include Hereford, Charolais, Simmental, and Angus. Agriculture diversification is noticeable with specialty livestock production such as elk and bison.

The oil industry plays a significant role in the local economy. Oil wells and batteries in the countryside evidence heavy crude oil extraction in the region.


Manitou Lake, in the Suffern Lake Regional Park, is located 4 miles (6.4 km) south and east of Marsden. The park facilities include campsites, showers, cookhouse, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, ball diamonds and a soccer field. A golf course is also located in the park.

Camping and guided trail rides through the Great Manito Sand Hills, one of Western Canada's most distinctive landscapes, are popular activities in the area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  2. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°53′05″N 109°46′04″W / 52.88472°N 109.76778°W / 52.88472; -109.76778