This is my last travel themed post centering around small towns in Saskatchewan. I really could go on and on but I think three is a good number to end on. I’ve chosen to highlight two small towns this week based on their names, Forget and Shackleton Saskatchewan.
Not far from Stoughton, with its big orange grain elevator, is a small village named Forget. Named after the first Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Amedee E. Forget, it is a French word, pronounced ‘For-jay’ rather than the English forget.
It was settled in 1899 by a group of French priests. In 1905 they invited seven Catholic nuns to emigrate from France. These nuns took over much of the running of the parish and evidence of their influence is still visible.
There is an old school which is now just a few standing stones but surrounded by a grassy field with standing crosses representing the stations of the cross.
Across the street from this monument is a beautiful old rectory, which now houses a non-profit organization to support the arts.
A Catholic church, Our Lady of La Salette stands nearby.
Even street names reflect the ecclesiastical heritage of the town.
There is even a cafe called The Happy Nun (la soeur joyeuse) which saw a modern revival which you can read about here.
Over the years I have had a fascination with the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton. After I read the book Endurance by Alfred Lansing, I was even more fascinated by the experiences of Shackleton’s 1914 expedition.
There were a number of cinematic productions on the 1914 expedition. A TV mini-series starring Kenneth Branagh and a documentary well worth watching on YouTube titled Shackleton’s Voyage of Endurance.
Is it any wonder, when I was driving along Highway 32, just east of Abbey, Saskatchewan (you can read about Abbey in a previous post here), I saw a sign for the community of Shackleton, I had to pull off the highway and check it out. According to the sign, it was established a year before Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition aboard the Endurance in 1914.
It is only a few streets wide and long, surrounded by beautiful green and gold farmland. I found a white building that appeared to be a community centre, with a sign giving directions to a cemetery, but I didn’t find the cemetery, but I did find a website dedicated to it here.
No one named Shackleton is buried there, but according to this video it was named after Ernest Shackleton, whose expedition was making news headlines at the time of the towns founding on the newly installed CPR rail line. The video also shows a few books that discuss the place names of Saskatchewan towns. I might just have to check them out.
A stand out feature of this town are the street names– all named after Antarctic explorers.
I will say good-bye to small town Saskatchewan for now. I do hope to do another road trip one day and explore more in this amazing province.
Have you ever been to Shackleton, Saskatchewan or Forget, Saskatchewan?
If you haven’t read Endurance by Alfred Lansing I highly recommend it. It was unputdownable and I knew the outcome when I read it.