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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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