Hamlet was founded in x when John Shortridge started a saw mill in the area. The name is said to be attributed to Shortridge naming it after the word used for a small, rural neighbourhood in England, ‘hamlet’. Hamlet soon got a railroad and railroad workers began to populate the town. Of Hamlet’s residents was John Coltrane, born there in the 20s. In 1991, a fire broke out at a chicken packaging plant, killing twenty-five people. Another famous resident of Hamlet is Ashton Locklear, part of the women’s gymnastic team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Wauchope (pronounced like ‘walk-up’) first started being settled around 1901, but became a village in 1906. Most of the residents came from England, France, Belgium, or Sweden. The town was named for a General W Wauchope. It had a Catholic, Methodist, and Presbyterian church and cemetery, along with a lumberyard, school, community hall, barbershop, hotel, skating rink, and many other stores. The St Jean Francois Regis Roman Catholic Church is pictured above and has inside of it a pipe organ hand-built by one of the residents, a blacksmith named A Sylvestre. Wauchope has a very well-recorded history and it is believed to be home to about five families today.
49 36′00″N, 101 54′02″W
Peterson was founded when the railroad was built in 1912 and was named after the first shopkeeper in the town. Most of the settlers were eastern European, specifically Ukrainian, and as with most early settlers of Saskatchewan, nearly all of the residents were farmers, though several blacksmiths lived in the town. Peterson had two churches, Holy Eucharist Church (Ukrainian Greek orthodox, built in 1927, pictured) and St Agnes Parish (Ukrainian Catholic, built in 1924, not pictured, still active today). It had a school which closed in 1970 and began the downturn of the town’s population; Peterson had reached its peak in the early 60s. In 2008, it had a population of 15.
The land that Parkbeg is on had an extensive history long before the little town was founded. Many indigenous peoples, including the Plains people, Assiniboine people, Plains Cree people, and Blackfoot people, lived on the land once, and later lived around it until they were forced on to reservation. But they left traces around the land, and artifacts and tipi rings can still be found in and near Parkbeg today. Though Parkbeg got a post office in the early 1910s, it didn’t officially become a town until 1920. Its main industry was grain and it still has one grain elevator (first photo) which is owned by Paterson Grain. It also had strong ties with the Canadian Pacific Railway. By the late 1950s, it was too small to be considered a village anymore.
Bromhead was founded in 1913. Only three years later, a fire swept through Bromhead and destroyed many of its buildings and only a few were rebuilt. Later, a second fire occurred outside the town which drove many of its residents away. It never recovered from the population loss and stayed a small town since the 30s.
Ardath took its name from the British novel Ardath: The Story of a Dead Self by Marie Corelli and earned its money through agriculture, mostly wheat. The Ardath United Church (above) and the town hall were both built in 1912. Ardath began its decline starting in 1919 when a train crashed through one of its grain elevators killing three. A few years later, a fire destroys most of main street causing a large amount of the population to move away. In 1931, a man murders another man believing him to be someone else and then burns down a house in series of dramatic events contributed to Ardath’s downfall.