Volunteers help maintain the 101-year-old building, now used for meetings and social events. They include, from right to left, Robert Govan, Jim Nicholls, Randy Walter, Jamie Engele and Kathy Pruden. Much of the original furnishings remain.  |  Karen Morrison photo

Visit to old school sparks feelings of community

Residents in Valley Plain, Sask., maintain 
the building that now hosts concerts, 
meetings, parties and quilting bees

VALLEY PLAIN, Sask. — It was a time when cursive writing with anything other than the right hand and speaking in your mother tongue were punishable offences. Robert Govan, now in his 90s, recalled getting the strap at the Valley Plain one-room schoolhouse. “It was a piece of leather and it hurt,” he said of […] Read more

Lt. William L. Hayes was a grenade throwing expert and was awarded several medals. | Hayes family photos

Soldier plays role in Great War

William L. Hayes joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in 1915 as a private and returned from the Great War in 1919 as a lieutenant with a Military Cross and a German wife. Hayes, who had homesteaded near Bjorkdale, Sask., in 1908, farmed during the summer months and worked in logging camps at Crooked River […] Read more

John Oystryk’s passion is collecting antique clothes irons and other items.  |  Karen Morrison photo

A lifetime of collecting

CANORA, Sask. — John Oystryk started going to auctions as a boy to buy old grain boxes for a couple of dollars. He and his father would use the hardware and build new boxes to sell for $35. By the late 1940s, the former farmer and accountant began seeking out farm implements and tools. “I […] Read more


Frank Sitko, president of the Parkland Ukrainian Pioneers Association, stands near the buddas with volunteers Sylvia Shwaluk, middle, and Florence Sitko. The replicas were created to show how settlers lived when they came to the Olha, Man., district.  |  Karen Morrison photo

Ukrainian history passed down

OLHA, Man. — The lane winds its way through a heavily treed quarter to a clearing where two triangular shaped buildings stand as a testament to the hardships faced by early settlers. The buddas, or temporary shelters, sit just metres from two wooden crosses that mark the loss of two Ukrainian settlers’ children, who lived […] Read more

Dr. Wolfgang von Staden treats a miniature Schnauzer puppy at his clinic in Redvers, Sask. in this undated photo. |  von Staden family photo

Country vet recalls stories, challenges on Sask. farms

REGINA — Dr. Wolfgang von Staden saw himself as part of the farm management team during his 39 years as a veterinarian in Redvers, Sask. “My whole basis is to give sound advice. If not, the farmer goes bankrupt,” said von Staden, who would often drive around a pasture to get “an overall feeling.” He […] Read more


The ghost train is depicted in Canada Post’s Haunted Canada series.  |  Canada Post photo

Ghost train story haunts small Saskatchewan community

Ghost light, phantom light, ghost train or phantom train, regardless of what it’s called, it’s an eerie phenomenon in St. Louis, Sask. Just outside the small village of 450 people is a legend that dates back a century. The story involves a train conductor, either in the front or caboose car, who was decapitated by […] Read more

Margaret and Jack Boyd, widely regarded as the McConnell 4-H Beef Club historians, stand among a collection of 4-H memorabilia at the train station museum in Hamiota, Man.   |  Karen Morrison photo

Life lessons play key role in 4-H club’s longevity

HAMIOTA, Man. — 4-H leader Keith Bridge reluctantly donned a bedpan hat and choir gown for the McConnell 4-H Beef Club fashion show. He was taking part in the Manitoba club’s awards nights, said longtime leader Margaret Boyd. Margaret said the performance was a showstopper, but it almost didn’t happen after Bridge initially refused to […] Read more

The MacNutt train station, shortly after it was built in 1912.  |  MacNutt archives photo

Residents recall community’s activity, growth

MACNUTT, Sask. — Walter the dog was a fixture on MacNutt’s main street for years. Local residents Judith Becker and Jayne Andres said people knew he was going to be there and just drove around him. “He laid in the middle of the road. He didn’t move,” said Becker. Andres said he belonged to John […] Read more


The work of the Forest Nursery Station, shown around 1949, in Sutherland, Sask., dramatically changed the landscape of the Prairies.  |  Saskatoon public library photo

Station changed prairie landscape

The Dominion Forest Nursery Station began in 1913 on a stubble field in Sutherland, Sask., without a single tree in sight. Its purpose mirrored that of a similar nursery at Indian Head to the south in supplying burgeoning numbers of prairie farms with free shelter belt trees to block the merciless winds from blowing soil […] Read more

This is the earliest known picture of the first Muenster team, circa 1912. A number of Brent Loehr’s ancestors are in this photo, including his great-grandfather, Arnold, bottom row, second from right, Nick Loehr, third from right, and top row, left, Quirin Loehr.  |  Richard Muench collection photo

Muenster hits home run with baseball

Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame inductee | For more than a century 
players have donned caps and gloves, eager to yell ‘batter up!’

MUENSTER, Sask. — Baseball is a rite of spring for this community of 500 people. “As soon as there is a dry spot on the diamond, there’s somebody throwing a ball around,” said Jim Korte of Muenster, longtime baseball player, coach and organizer whose car sports the licence plate, YUROUT. This summer, the community will […] Read more