The Once-VIllage of Canuck

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Back in 1924, there was a railroad passing through the extreme southern area of Saskatchewan. Due to that railroad, many communities sprang up, and one such community was the Village of Canuck. It was in 1924 that Canuck came into being, and it soon began to thrive as it served the homesteads of the district, located near Climax. Canuck was named after the original Canuck post office, found south of town. The village grew fast, with several shops, including a meat market, and elevators popping up almost overnight once the railroad came through.

In July, there were always community functions going on, including races, ice cream stands, baseball games and even free movies in the evening. The projector would be powered by someone’s car. This was followed by dances, which would go until daylight sometimes.
For a time, Canuck was a thriving place with two dance clubs, the Quadrille Club and the Good Fellows Club, as well as a dramatic society. The Canuck Dramatic Society worked very hard and would raise money to pay for insurance on the Canuck Hall, through their plays and performances.
Canuck also once had a hotel, which was nearly always full with 30 to 40 travellers stopping there each night to enjoy a comfortable bed and a warm meal. There was no bar in the hotel, that was in the Blind Pig, found down the street in a private residence. Run by the wife of the blacksmith, it wasn’t a legal drinking spot but that didn’t stop a lot of people from stopping by. If the blacksmith saw the police coming, he would bang on his anvil several times to alert his wife to hide the liquor.
The first elevator was built in 1922, with a capacity of 29,000 bushels.
Canuck would have its second elevator in 1924, with a storage capacity of 30,000 bushels, followed by an annex that could hold 29,000 bushels. Two more elevators would be built in the town during the 1920s.
The first church came along in 1924, a simple mission that served as the place of worship for many years. The first resident priest was Father Duchaine, who came to the area two years previous.
For many years, Canuck was a very busy town with plenty for everyone to do. Full of musically talented people, there were always concerts being held in the town. Throughout the last part of the 1920s, things were good.
Then the stock market crashed and the price of grain fell to nothing. Within a few years of The Dirty Thirties, the once thriving hotel had closed down. It would eventually be sold to people in Val Marie and moved there. Throughout the 1930s, many residents of Canuck moved away due to poor crops and even worse crop prices.
Residents would continue to leave throughout the coming decades. The original school would close down in 1954, and the elevators would close down in the 1960s and 1970s.

Today, little remains of this once thriving community.
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