Regina In May of 1882 ... A Little Group Of Tents
The railroad arrived in what became known as Regina on August 23, 1882. The first settlers were land speculators who created a tent town at the spot where the CPR main line crossed Wascana Creek near the RCMP barracks and the Regina Golf Club. The townsite (due to other land speculators) was finally located in the middle of the bald prairie -- on a flat featureless plain, a couple of miles east of the crossing site. On March 23, 1883 the capital of the Territories was moved to Regina. In April 1883 the first permanent building arrived in Regina by flat car, from Troy (aka Qu’Appelle). It was plunked down on the corner of Broad Street and Victoria Avenue and promptly became the Dominion Lands office. In 1891 the sighting of the first car in the North West Territories was recorded at Carnduff. The automotive pioneers were adventurous Americans from Wisconsin.
By July of 1883 lots were changing hands on South Railway Street (now Saskatchewan Drive) for $800 - $1000 each. The first municipal elections were held on January 3, 1884 - 213 votes were cast. On June 19, 1903 Regina became a city. On September 1, 1905, Saskatchewan and Alberta became provinces.
Boom Times in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan’s early growth had been phenomenal.
For the 12 months ending June 30, 1906, 28,000 homesteads (66 per cent of Canada’s homestead entries) were from Saskatchewan. In 1911 there were just over 30,000 citizens - a twelve-fold increase from 1901.
The value of assessed property in Regina in 1904 was $2.25 million. In 1907 the value of assessed property was $12.25 million. Henry Black built more than 150 houses during these expansionary times. In 1910, wheat was $1.00 a bushel and Saskatchewan was booming. Its population had recently doubled (257,000 in 1906 to 500,000 in 1911). There was a revolution on the farm as power implements - threshing machines, tractors (steam) were in the fields - horse drawn implements faded from prominence, as did horses. There was a drought in 1914, but in 1915 a good crop was harvested. In 1916 rust struck the crop. A thresher received $5 a day, a soldier got $1.10 a day By 1917, wheat had climbed to $2.72 a bushel. The price was fixed at 2.21 a bushel until Aug 31, 1918.
War was declared in August of 1914 and by December 1915, 20,000 Sask men had enlisted. Compulsory military service was introduced in June of 1917. It almost broke the country apart. The conscription crisis was extremely divisive and a federal election in December of 1917 decided the issues.
In 1916 corruption charges against Scott administration rattled the province. In the end, the Department of Highways got caught and arrest warrants were issued for two MLAs. Each was sent to jail for three years. In the aftermath of this scandal - Liberal Member of Parliament W. M. Martin became premier of Saskatchewan.
Women got the right to vote in 1916
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