The first church services in the surrounding area apparently occurred in Fort Carlton in 1838. Roman Catholic missionaries served the people of the area beginning in 1870 (Lavigne 1990).
The first church in the RM of Fish Creek was part of the Métis settlement along the South Saskatchewan river. It is often referred to as the Fish Creek Church but it’s religious name was the Immaculate Conception Church. It was a Roman Catholic church, built in 1901. Prior to that, settlers went to the Catholic Church in Batoche, St. Antoine de Padoue, which had been built in 1883, for marriages and christenings and funerals. Father Brueck who was responsible for St. Patrick Orphanage in Prince Albert was sent to Fish Creek to set up the mission in 1900. A portion of a letter sent to his bishop is included in "Kaleidescope. Many Cultures, One Faith." Father Theodore Krist became the first resident priest. He had River Lot 12 in Township 42A. This first church was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1901. Little is recorded about the original members of this church, but they were presumably all Metis. It is interesting that the first priests were German but they likely also spoke French.
The original church was burnt in 1920 and a new church was built on the same site following a plan similar to the original church. The three altars of this church were built by Peter Bukowsky and his sister Wilhemina made the altar linens.
In 1954, the parish became a mission of Alvena and the church was closed in 1957 (Lavigne 1990). In 1973 the land and church was sold to Joe & Olga Bazowski. He planted wheat right up to the church in the hopes of preventing vandalism. Although abandoned, it still stands on private land owned by Olga Bazowski.
This post is more for Wendy and I than anyone else. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know how torn I have been on purchasing a DSLR for my birthday next month. Do I get a Canon Rebel, a Pentax K-X, a Sony a330, an Olympus EVolt 420, Canon Rebel XS or now I am looking at a Samsung NX10. What to do, what to do? Of course this isnâ€™t just a purchase but a life long commitment to a lens family.
To justify this purchase, I should probably spend some time using it and so we have been looking at places to go a shoot this summer.
Here is the list so far.
- Saskatoon Fringe Festival
- The Ex
- SaskTel Jazz Festival (yeah, everything in Saskatchewan is now sponsored by a crown corporation or a potash company)
- Fort Carlton
- Fish Creek Church (anyone know who owns the land near there so I can get permission to photograph it more extensively?)
- Le Colle Falls Dam | The idea of an uncompleted dam that almost bankrupted a city is so Saskatchewan.
- Waskesiu | While we are heading up there, Iâ€™ll stop by at the Lady of Lourdes Shrine and Grotto
- Tunnels of Moose Jaw and the Moose Jaw WDM | I have never been to the Tunnels of Moose Jaw and I donâ€™t think I have been to the Moose Jaw WDM since 1984.
- LCol D.V. Currie VC Armoury in Moose Jaw has a great collection of vintage military vehicles parked out front.
- While I am in Moose Jaw, we may as well drive out to Keeler, Saskatchewan. I know not a lot is left of Keeler but that is where the Cooperâ€™s originate from. Mark will get a kick out of seeing it. Sadly not a lot left and even the Keeler Bar (which I was allowed to hang out in at the age of six) is gone.
- Rouleau, Saskatchewan (home of Corner Gas)
- RCMP Heritage Centre
- St. Maryâ€™s Ukrainian Catholic Church | It looks like a Yorkton road trip is in my future. Apparently the cathedral dome is one of Canadaâ€™s best secrets and is absolutely stunning. According to the CBC: It was painted by Stephen Meush, who trained in Ukraine and came to Canada in 1932. He undertook the painting of the dome and other paintings in the church in 1939 and completed the task in 1941. The painting, which represents the coronation of the Virgin Mary in heaven, includes 157 angels and cherubs of various sizes. The colours chosen were orange, indigo and dull red, the colours of Saskatchewan sunsets. The top of the dome is 55 feet from the floor and is supported by four arcades and pilasters. The drum supporting the dome has 24 windows decorated with eight life-sized six-winged angels.
Any other suggestions around Saskatoon?
Wendy and I dragged Mark and Oliver on a trip north of the city to find this church in Fish Creek, Saskatchewan (which is near to the site of the Battle of Fish Creek). Sadly the ghost town was well marked with “Private Property” and “No Trespassing” signs which we respected but I would have loved to have gotten a lot closer. Later we drove over to Fort Carlton which dates back to the early days of the Hudson’s Bay Company as a trading post across Rupert’s Land. We have more photos of Fish Creek here and more photos of Fort Carlton here.
One quick thing to note. I was dreading the visit to Fort Carlton a bit because the last time we went the tour guide was quite miserable to Wendy and I and was just going through the motions of doing her job. This time the guide was fantastic and Mark really enjoyed it. He had Mark totally engaged with the tour and the history of the place. It was fun to see Mark learning and if you haven’t been out to the Fort, it is worth a drive out to see.