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There are truly a wide array of names in southwest Saskatchewan, in terms of towns and villages. These names come from former towns of early settlers, the names of settlers, ancestral homes and much more. So, how did some of these names come about? Here are a few of the local stories:
Anxiety Butte: Dan Pollock set up his ranch headquarters at the base of the butte at the turn of the century. He was always worried about something, so the residents of the local area began to call him Old Anxiety. When a topographical survey party camped near his place, the boss liked the nickname and he named the butte, Anxiety Butte.
Chimney Coulee: Located near Eastend, it earned its name thanks to the remains of several stone chimneys found in the area from the early settlers and First Nation people.
Climax: This village was named for Climax, Minnesota, which itself was named for a tobacco product. A.P. Estenson was one of the early settlers to the area and he was from Climax, Minnesota.
Cypress Hills: The First Nations called the area Beautiful Highlands and when the fur traders came in, they thought the lodgepole pines were Cypress, as found in eastern Canada. They called it Montagne de Cypress. Later, in English, that became Cypress Hills.
Dollard: This town located between Eastend and Shaunavon, earned its name in honour of Adam Dollard des Ormeaux, who was a soldier of new France in the 17th Century.
Eastend: When the NWMP came to the area and began setting up posts, they established one in the future area of Eastend. Since it was located at the east end of the Cypress Hills, it was called Eastend.
Frenchman River: Flowing through Eastend and all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, many years ago it was called the Whitemud River. As for why it is called Frenchman River, no one really knows.
Shaunavon: Some say the name comes from the combination of Shaughnessy and Van Horne, but others say that its name comes from the ancestral home of Lord Shaughnessy, which was Shaunavon.
South Fork: This name came from the fact that it is located near the south fork of the Swift Current Creek.
Swift Current Creek: As for the Swift Current itself, its name comes from the first settlers in the area in 1860. The First Nations had called the river Saskatchewan, but when the Europeans came, they changed the name to Swift Current.