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I Forge Iron

Jeremy from Canada


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Hello everyone, I wanted to put some historical things out there that people may not know about where I am from. I recently moved to Saskatchewan to help out my parents business (It's slow everywhere these days so gotta help out right).

While I am here I took it upon myself to actually start Blacksmithing. That's when I started looking into the history of the town myself, and things during conversations at the local A&W breakfast have come up. So I thought that I would like to share with you all some history about this amazing little town in the middle of nowhere :)

On a side note, I am heavily contemplating naming my shop Fort and Forge, and trying to convince the town to put a blacksmith shop in the 'fort re-creation' they have. There are the loading ramps for fishing nearby, the campsite as well as the fort itself is a miniature version with a stage in one corner. There is basically nothing else in the fort so I thought about trying to convince the town to put one in to attract the children into learning the history of the town, and what blacksmithing is about. Maybe some kind of summer event goes on that the local smiths can use as a time to come and do some practicing in public, make stuff etc :) we will see. Gotta get things sorted out, but ... I digress... History!

Fort Qu'Appelle circa 1948


The building on the far right is actually the Hudson Bay store, and it is still there today. No one rents it current which is a shame. Almost every building in the photo are still standing today with different names. A couple have had face-lifts but, the majority have been 'repaired' or restored to historical accuracy. The big building at the end of the street in the distance is the Fort Hotel. It was built in the 1920's and was part of the whole commercial growth of the town during that time period. Many shops were built in the 20's because the farmers children would take over the farms, and the parents would retire to town. In the 1960's the Fort Hotel burned down and in its place there is a drug store and a doctors office instead. Here is a picture from 2013 according to Street View, which is as close as I can get to replicating the above photo, as a point of reference for change in the towns structure since 1948.


Fort Qu'Appelle actually has moved over the decades. This is the 3rd re-incarnation of the town. It originated nearer to the border for trades as a North West Company trading post in the early 1800's. In 1953 it was designated a historic site of Canada, as being near the original Hudson's Bay Trading Post in 1864. It is still maintained today.

Apparently in 1882 the town was in a bid with Battleford (North Battleford) on being the territorial capital, but both had lost to Regina. (We could have been the Capitol of Saskatchewan in 1882).

The town also has a "Ski Hill" which ... coming from Alberta a hill is exactly what I would call it :)

I have not seen any references to any kind of town blacksmith, but most of the farmers had to learn the trade themselves. So there are a lot of farms out here with anvils and forging equipment available, but are not being used anymore. Most do not want to get rid of it (as per normal farmer way).

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