This weekend I drove around a fair bit of southwestern Saskatchewan looking for ghost towns, abandoned buildings, and anything else interesting. I drove a lot over three days. I saw a lot of abandoned farms and such that I didn’t stop for as I knew I’d never get very far if I stopped at every single one. Plus, a lot of them look quite alike. It was an interesting way to spend a weekend. I think I’ve seen enough of Saskatchewan now to say that I really can’t see where the whole stereotype about it being flat comes from. Anyway, this post will just deal with the first day of my trip (Saturday).
My first stop of the day was a place called Glamis. It was abandoned and there wasn’t too much left. Between the sidewalks and a sign dedicated to the settlers, it was clear that this was once a decent-size town. By the way, I saw a lot of sidewalks this day. I think a lot of the places I visited had once been decent-sized and perhaps, abandoned a bit later than many of previous towns I’ve visited.
I then went to Forgan. Despite having a couple inhabited houses, this places definitely had an eerie feel. It had some abandoned buildings but clearly had been considerably larger at one time. It also had sidewalks and streetlights.
Next was Hughton. It was kind of similar to Forgan but had a more welcoming feel though it didn’t have streetlights.
I then headed to a town called Wartime. I certainly don’t think this is the best name for a town but it still has a number of people though it also has some abandoned buildings.
I then drove on to Plato. I was definitely my favourite town of the day but I really didn’t know what to make of the place! It seemed very abandoned-looking overall but had two decent-looking inhabited houses, lots of fairly new farm machinery laying around, and what could certainly be the smallest standalone post office in Canada (it is in what looks like a small shed). Anyway, it was definitely an interesting place to explore for a bit.
Canada’s smallest post office?
Next I went to Tyner. It also must have been a good size at one time. It had a playground. It also had sidewalks galore some of which were in great condition, others not so much.
I also enjoyed the town of Lacadena. There was an interesting, large two story house just outside of the town that looked to have been abandoned not all that long ago. There was a strange sound outside of that place and it had a bit of an eerie feel to it. It still has an R.M. office and a couple inhabited houses. The former school (which must have had several classrooms) but still be used as a community centre. There were, of course, also a number of abandoned buildings and sidewalks. I think this town may have once been even larger than the others. I know I could easily do some research but I tend to find speculation much more fun for some reason!
Spooky house just outside Lacadena
I then headed to White Bear. This town has a statue of a white bear, of course! It really isn’t close to be abandoned but does have some abandoned statues. Interestingly, it has also has a school (that is fairly large) that is no longer in use and which is clearly abandoned. It was used until 1974; Lacadena’s was in use until 1972. These towns aren’t far apart. There must really have been a population decrease around that time!
The stopped briefly to look at the view from just outside Saskatchewan Crossing Provincial Park which is along the South Saskatchewan River. I stopped at the first parking lot I saw and I was definitely the only one with a small vehicle. I realized later that there was a nicer parking lot on the other side of the river. This parking lot wasn’t bad though and the view was nice and it had a washroom so I’m glad I stopped.
When my GPS told me I had arrived at Leinan, it seemed that nothing was there. However, a little down the road I found it! There wasn’t much though: a schoolhouse and a couple buildings on what is now a farm.
Soon after, I found myself on a road that had a sign that said “Not a through road.” I consulted my road atlas it looked like it went on for a while. It ended up going the whole 20 kilometres I needed to read the next road. There were also some signs later on that said “Seasonal Road” and yet, it was in better condition than many roads without warning signs and there were farms located on this road with seemingly no other access. Anyway, it was rather puzzling.
I then went to Success as I really couldn’t resist visiting a town with that name! It had a few abandoned buildings but largely looks to still be successful!
Next was Roseray. There isn’t much left of this town and I suspect it probably never was all that large. It’s community hall looks like it may still be in use and there were a few abandoned buildings but as there was a “No Trespassing” sign I didn’t explore.
I almost didn’t stop at Hazlet as it was undoubtedly quite inhabited but I’m glad I did! It was an interesting town. There library which, of course, wasn’t open was still interesting. They had a nice sign about its history out front. At first, I thought it shared its space with a church which would have been strange (though I did grow up sometimes going to a library branch in the basement of a church) but on closer inspection I discovered that the church had given the space to the library.
Sign detailing the history of the Hazlet library.
Verlo has nothing more than a sign and a plaque left. Strangely, there was a “historical site” sign leading there. I have found that signs like this and especially, “point of interest,” signs, in Saskatchewan tend to lead to the least interesting things.
I also found my first of three “bridges to nowhere.”
A bridge to nowhere
I then checked in to my motel in Shaunavon and walked around the town a bit.