Day 19 – June 24 – Yorkton, SK to Dauphin, MB

We woke up to a bitterly cold wind today and it remained all day, interspersed with bouts of heavy rain. It almost felt like it was going to snow. Thankfully it did not, but John had to keep a good grip on the steering wheel on some of these long straight stretches to keep the truck from wavering.

We did not have to go far, nor spend time outdoors for our first activity. We just drove a few kilometers from our hotel to the Western Development Museum of Yorkton. This was smaller than the one is Saskatoon (apparently it is the largest of the four), but it was equally as well laid out and interesting. We spent about two hours looking at everything.

There were immigrants from Iceland of all places. This is a traditionally Icelandic wedding dress. The cuffs, bodice and bottom of the skirt are emboidered with silver thread and the belt is silver filigree.

They had some nice ‘rooms’ set up showing the furnishings and household goods and clothing of a typical family of a few of the more noted groups of immigrants that settled in Saskatchewan.

Between 1896 and 1914 over two million people immigrated to Canada. Many settled on the prairies but others worked in forestry, mining or were employed in the booming cities and towns. Pre-WWI over 1 million of these immigrants were from Britain.

By the early 1900s German speaking groups were attracted to the Canadian west, primarily for agriculture potential. In addition to those arriving from Germany, German-speaking immigrants came from Eastern and Southern Europe. As well, many German settlers moved northward from the USA.

Although similarity in language and heritage made them less visible than immigrants from Europe, Americans influenced subsequent Western Canadian society. Most of the furnishings in this room were owned by the Forester family from New Mexico. They migrated north in 1904 and farmed in Alberta a few years before settling southwest of Yorkton in 1920. One of the major differences between the European settlers and the Americans was that those from the US could bring most of their household goods with them as they were able to take a train to their new home; unlike so many others that endured long ardous journeys and only a few possessions in a trunk or two.

Most Ukrainians had little in the way of wealth when they arrived in Canada. Therefore the men often had to leave their families and work in railway construction, or forestry or mines. They could be away from their homesteads for months. The added burden placed on the farm wives was enormous. Similar experiences were endured by wives of other cash-poor farmers of other nationalities.

The absolutely best part of the Yorkton WDM was the display of toys, books, games, dolls, etc. that were stored in the attic of the Bladon family house!

I had this very set!

And my sister had this rolling clown.

Can you imagine anyone today giving a young boy a toy rifle with a pointed metal bayonet attached?

A Google search told me what a Floradora doll was: “Floradora dolls were made from 1901 to 1921. Armand Marseille made the bisque heads. The doll bodies were usually made of kid, but composition, cloth, and imitation kid bodies were also made.”

Beautiful three-D fold-out Valentines in pristine condition.

The tin baking set at the bottom is in the original box with the securing ribbons still on it. It has never been used. I suspect many of these toys, games and books were sent by relatives still back in Illonsis. I sure wish I had been invited into that attic!

My favourite – paper dolls.

1907 Maxwell Roadster. The last owner bought it second-hand in 1915 by trading a saddle horse and a pig for it.

Outside, undercover from the rain, but still in the cold wind was a large collection of steam tractors and other farm equipment. Judging by the number of stream tractors we have seen in museums so far on this trip, I think every farmer that ever owned one kept in a barn somewhere. We did not feel the need to go outside so I just took these two photos from the doorway.

Just like the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon this one also had a timeline of Saskatchewan development and achievements. I took lots of photos of the various things but have just inserted the most noteworthy ones, to me anyway, in this blog. There were a few things we saw at both museums, but most of them were different in each – or I perhaps I just noticed different things in each.


Developed from rapseed in the 1960 and 1970s, canola is the only Canada-made seed oil. The name comes from a blend of Canadian & oil.

We needed to go due east for about two hours to reach Dauphin, Manitoba from Yorkton. We however did not do that. We headed due south for about 30 km to find a geocache Earthcache that told us about the formation of this circular little lake. It was originally thought to have been created by meteorite but geologists have since learned that it was made by two collapses in the 915 meter-deep potash-rich prairie evaporite salt formation that underlies most of southern Saskatchewan.

Crater Lake

A trainload of potash from the Esterhazy mine, which is only about 30 km south of here. This train stretched as far as we could see in the opposite direction as well.

We drove down to the next eastward road and entered Manitoba awhile later at Russell. From there we headed north to connect to the highway heading east out of Yorkton. Along the way we stopped at one of Manitoba’s ski areas. Yes skiing. We have been driving through rolling hills or flatland for days now but there is a deep valley north of Russell at the top of which is the Asessippi Ski Area and Resort. They also have mountain bike trails.

The best shot of the clear spaces that were the ski runs were on John’s side of the truck where the side of the valley was even. I couldn’t get a photo of them from my side and he was driving so he couldn’t get one either.

They even have run-grooming equipment and snow making machines. There were quite a few chalets in the resort area as well.

We moved into another time zone so are now two hours ahead of BC time. As we entered Dauphin and John was driving down the street looking for our hotel we passed several fire trucks blocking cross streets. I said, there is a parade or something big coming through town and sure enough it was graduation day and they had all the grads in vehicles with their names on them driven through the town. Many were in open vehicles or on trailers and they must have been freezing in the cold wind. We did not get to our hotel until seven. Not bad for a two-hour drive day. Tomorrow we head to Winnipeg where we are staying three nights.

One thought on “Day 19 – June 24 – Yorkton, SK to Dauphin, MB”

  1. Hi Janet, just noticed a family that came to SK from Illinois, their name spelled in your caption with an extra “n” in the middle. Unless the caption under the photo is incorrect.

    Also “evaporate” near the Estevan portion of travel blog is missing the “r”.

    Do enjoy reading all, and to document it all, must be very tiring though, so thanks for your dedication and sharing.

    Sent from my iPad


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