Genealogy, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Pioneer,Saskatchewan history, Temperance Colony, Temperance Colonization Society, Pioneers,John N. Lake, John Lake, Saskatoon history, Saskatoon Gen Web,

NARRATIVES OF SASKATOON


1882-1912

Genealogy, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Pioneer,Saskatchewan history, Temperance Colony, Temperance Colonization Society, Pioneers,John N. Lake, John Lake, Saskatoon history, Saskatoon Gen Web, Genealogy, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Pioneer,Saskatchewan history, Temperance Colony, Temperance Colonization Society, Saskatoon history, Saskatoon Gen Web


 
         was the growing part of the settlement. Anotber such indication  soon
         came in connection with our schools.
		 
            I had been elected to the School Board soon after coming to Saskatoon.
         For some time the only school house was the little stone school now in the
         University grounds. All the children on the west side had to cross the rail-
         way bridge, rather a dangerous walk for them. From the townsite trustees
         we obtained a site on Third Avenue near Nineteenth Street, and built on
         it the stone school latterly called the Pioneer School. Afterwards a frame
         building was erected alongside to accommodate the overflow of scholars.
         In this year, looking forward to the town extending northward, the Board
         purchased the block between Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Streets and
         Third and Fourth Avenues. We had the temerity to pay seven hundred
         dollars for this block, then out in the country. Such a price to pay for a
         school site, seven hundred dollars!  The people were highly exercised over
         our extravagance, some calling for our resignations. The consternation
         can he imagined when we let a contract for a brick school to R. W. Caswell
         at a price of thirteen thousand dollars. Were we mad? Burdening the
         district with such a debt. We kept our heads, telling them to "wait and
         see.  This block is now owned by the city and the building is our City
         Hall. The site is of immense value, and so centrally located as to be
         talked of as the "Civic Centre." Saskatoon east of the river drew back out
         of fear at the increased taxation, and was established as a school district
         in itself.
		 
            In July, 1903, Saskatoon was incorporated as a town. Of the nine
         councillors nominated only three were found qualified, as the names of the
         others were not in the village assessment roll of 1902, although some owned
         as much as $8,000.00 of property recently acquired. New nominations were
         held, and the following were elected by acclamation: J. R. Wilson, Mayor;
         T. Copland, J. A. Smith,W. R. C. Willis, R. Mcintosh, R. W. Dulmage and
         Allan Bowerman, Councillors. W. C. Sutherland was appointed Secretary-
         Treasurer.  (The incorporation of the town reflected the confidence in
         business circles that growth was certain and would come soon.)
		 
            In keeping with this in September, J. F. Cairns moved into his frame
         store (now the Star Theatre) on Second Avenue and Twenty-first Street.
         The street floor was used as a store, the second floor as a hall for enter-
         tainments. So, too, in this month I bought from John Braithwaite four
         lots at the corner of First Avenue and Twenty-first Street for two thousand
         dollars, thought to be a very high price.
		 
            The Town Council itself was preparing for future development. Look-
         ing around for property for a public park the Council were offered about 50
         acres immediately north of the then town limits by the Town site Trustees
         for fifteen hundred dollars, which offer they accepted. Then, too, the
         Council granted a franchise for telephone service to a local company, and
         the plant was installed.
		 
            Finally, in January, 1904, the Town bought two lots on Third Avenue
         and Twenty-first Street for three hundred and twenty-five dollars, and on
         part of it erected the cement block building for a Town hall and Fire
         Station.
		 
            The Presbyterians, too, felt the buoyancy of the year 1903. They had
         been holding services in the dis-used round house for some time. They
         now obtained a lot on Spadina Crescent from the Town-site Trustees, and
         buying an adjoining lot for fifty dollars, erected a small frame church.
         The design and specifications were drawn up by Mr. Copland and myself.
         This building was the first part of what is now "0d Knox Church."  It
         has been added to twice since that.
		 
            During the winter of 1903-4 there had been heavy snowfall. In the
         spring the thaw came rapidly, raising the water in the river before the ice
         had become rotten. The ice began to move on the fifteenth of April, 1904,
         coming down in solid masses. The railway bridge which was erected on
         wooden pile piers failed to stand the strain. First one pier gave way then
         another till four spans were in the river. The first span went out about
         nine-thirty in the morning. The cry spread: "The bridge is going down."
         Everyone deserted his work, hastening down to the river bank. It was
         
		 Page 65
         

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NARRATIVES OF SASKATOON


1882-1912


Genealogy, Saskatoon, Pioneer, Saskatchewan history, Temperance Colony, Temperance Colonization Society, Pioneers,John N. Lake, John Lake, Saskatoon history, Saskatoon Gen Web, Saskatoon Genealogy
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