- Category: Rolling Across the Heartland
Located at the junction of Highways 2 and 13 is “The Heart of the Golden South.” The name Assiniboia comes from the Salteaux (Plains Ojibwa), meaning “one who cooks with stones.” While traditionally a meeting place, Assiniboia now functions as the center of the largest agricultural trading area in south central Saskatchewan.
The Canadian Pacific Railway built a branch line through southern Saskatchewan, and the settlement of Assiniboia rose rapidly out of this development. In October of 1912, 980 lots were made available for purchase, and people stood in line overnight in order to buy them. Assiniboia was incorporated as a village on December 22, 1912, and the next year saw huge population growth, with English, French, Romanian, Scottish, and Scandinavian people settling in the area. By 1913 the population had grown to 1,400, and the village became a town.
From 1942 until 1944 the town played an important role in the World War II effort, with the opening of an airfield 10 km to the north as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The airfield now operates as the Assiniboia Airport, but you’ll still find evidence of the officers’ barracks and the dental building.
Explore the peaceful, community-spirited town of Assiniboia today. Come for the vintage cars and pioneer photo archives at the Assiniboia and District Historical Museum. Pay a visit to the Shurniak Art Gallery to see original paintings, sculptures, and artefacts from Canada and around the world. Walk by the designated heritage properties of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and the Assiniboia Court House. For those adventurers seeking a day-long quest, the town’s website even gives suggestions for self-drive tours of Assiniboia and the surrounding areas.
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