Home Town or Home Community:
Town of Delisle
The Town of Delisle is situated 30 miles southwest of Saskatoon on Highway #7.
The Delisle District was truly a virgin country with its winding Old Bone Trail which led out from Saskatoon through Delisle to Rosetown. Many weary pioneers traveled this trail with patient, tired oxen and horse-drawn vehicles loaded with a few supplies of food, looking over the Prairie grassland for a place to settle.
Early settlers arrived in 1901, coming down the Old Bone Trail, which was made by a few white people and Indians gathering bones to take to Saskatoon and Pile o’ Bones (Regina) to be relayed to Minnesota where there was a market for them to be used for fertilizer and in the processing of sugar.
The Town of Delisle derived its name from the DeLisle family. Mrs. Lenora DeLisle with her four sons Amos, Fred, Ed and Eugene, came from North Dakota, USA in 1903 and homesteaded on the land 3 miles south of the present day townsite. The settlement grew, and was made up of a store, post office, community hall, livery barn and St. Ann’s Catholic Church.
The land was surveyed in the 1890’s and iron stakes marked the quarter sections of land, each stake was numbered by cuts of a chisel for identification of settlers. The first settlers lived in tents or sod shacks as the nearest lumber was at Asquith 18 miles away. Their problems were many, such as water supply, getting food and supplies from Saskatoon – 30 miles away – getting coal for the winter’s fuel and hauling grain to Saskatoon which took days. Settlers arrived in the area taking up all available homesteads by 1910.
Prairie fires were always a worry as prairie grass was knee-deep. The best remembered fire was told by Mrs. A. Flach in 1904. She recalled getting up at 3 a.m. and seeing the red glow in the west and fleeing coyotes and rabbits seeking safety. One of the most difficult things to endure was the loneliness as radios and telephones were non-existent. Pioneers had their pleasant times too, in visiting neighbors, picnics, musical entertainment and singing.
Settlers continued to arrive and by 1905 – The Flachs, McKillicans, Gilbertsons, Willies, Lunds, Andersons, Pattisons, Healzles, Olsons, Curries, Gramsons, Durhams, Worth’s, Doigs, Afseths, Mr. & Mrs. Martin Bentley and sons William, Mart and George; and Mrs. DeLisle and sons Amos, Fred, Eugene and Ed had arrived, to name a few.
In 1907 the settlers in and around great fertile belt known as Goose Lake country made a request for the building of a railway to move their crops to market. As a result – by the fall of 1908 the rails were laid from Saskatoon to Delisle. With the coming of the CN Railway in 1908 the settlement to the south was forced to move to the new townsite. The new townsite of Delisle was the original homestead of Joe Schulthseis, who sold to the CNR in 1908. The CNR station in Delisle was built in 1908. On May 16, 1963, the last Saskatoon-Calgary passenger train went through Delisle after 54 years of operation. In 1951 the return fare from Delisle to Saskatoon was $0.80. The CNR station was sold and moved to Pike Lake in 1970.
A wire dated October 23, 1908 was sent to the Department of Public Works to incorporate Delisle as a Village. On December 29, 1908, Delisle became a village. The first meeting of the Council of Delisle was held January 25, 1909 in the office of S.M. Kjelland & Co. present were J.A. Thompson, Jake Hahn (Chairman) and S.M. Kjelland. S.R. Frazer was appointed secretary-treasurer. Motions were made to appoint a Justice of the Peace, also that a member of the Royal North West Mounted Police be stationed here.
On November 1, 1913 the Village of Delisle became the Town of Delisle.
June 26, 1913 census was taken-population 552
Year 2002 – population 884
Delisle Town Council 2002 – Mayor Bill Carr. Councillors are Art Kelly, Dave Currie, Darcy Peakman, J. McFarlane, C. Brunett, J. Climenhaga. Administrator is Mark Dubkowski, Secretary – Aileen Wiebe, Town Foremen – Darrell Richmond and Delmar Vandenameele.
POST OFFICES – Due to the influx of settlers in 1904, post offices were opened in the rural districts of Loganton, Old Delisle, Creekfield and Negusville. Bill Russell was the first mail carrier from Saskatoon, making the trip once a week. With the coming of the railway in 1909 the Post Office was moved to the present town site which was named after the DeLisles. The new village post office was located in Morgan’s store, with Charlie Buck as postmaster. This store and post office was destroyed by fire January 30, 1929. The post office was then transferred to the south side of Moulton’s store. In August 1946, a new one was completed and was operated by Mr. & Mrs. Earl Smith on the site of the first one. The present new post office, situated directly across the street, was opened April 2, 1962 and our post-mistress in 2002 is Laurie Harcourt.
The first NEWSPAPER, “The Delisle Advocate”, was published by William Taylor in 1908. Tom Gardner bought the business in 1919 and in 1952 he moved the business to Outlook continuing to print until 1959 when it ceased publication. The name has been changed to “The Outlook” and is printed in Outlook. The Delisle district has a news column in The Outlook. Marge Bentley was a correspondent from 1955-1990.
In 1912 there were four TELEPHONE companies in the district and one more being added in 1916. They amalgamated in 1944 as Delisle Rural Telephone Co. Ltd. The W.D. Pattisons were pioneer operators and later their daughter, Mrs. Isabelle Murray was switchboard operator until January 30, 1964 when Direct Distance Dialing came into effect.
DOCTORS – Dr. A.K. Cameron arrived in Delisle by bicycle in 1908. He served a 20 mile radius of Delisle going to homes by many means of transportation and in any weather when called upon. Two nursing homes went into operation, one run by Nurse Rose Redding from 1912-1940, the other was run by Nurse Helen Thompson in 1930’s – 1948. Delisle Memorial Hospital opened in 1948 with Dr. Polisiuk as resident doctor. Dr. Neufeld followed, then Dr. Schacheral and quite a few others for short periods of time. The hospital closed in 1972.
The first DRUG STORE was built in 1908 by Fred Fear, Delisle’s first druggist. O. Olson was druggist later. D.N. MacBean served as druggist from 1921-1943. W. Goodwin was druggist from 1947-1971 when he sold to Dave Huber. The drug store closed in 1996.
In 1910 a two room SCHOOL was built on the west side of town. In 1913 – 4 more rooms were added and by 1950 2 more rooms were added. In 1945 – Saskatoon West School Unit #42 was formed and a Composite High School was built in 1960. The Town School was condemned in 1970 and a new Delisle Elementary school was opened in May 1971.
SENIOR HOUSING – Five double senior citizens low rental housing units were built on the site where the Delisle Town School was torn down. September 1, 1975 they were completed for residents to move in. A few years later five more double low-income housing units and a ten unit Senior Complex Unit (Parkview Place) were built.
TOWN HALL – In 1912, the first town hall was built comprised of the Fire Hall on the north side, lodge rooms upstairs, Town Office and later a library. This hall was condemned and closed in 1961. A new Town Hall was built in 1963 and officially opened December 5, 1963 which was the same year the town celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
WATER WELL – In 1961 a new water well was dug ¼ mile west of town and a sewer lagoon ½ mile northwest of town. A water tower was built in town to hold 50,000 gallons of water for the installation of sewer and water for town residents and was completed in January 1962. As the Town grew, another well was drilled in 1967 and a third well in 1988.
NATURAL GAS was turned on September 10, 1953. In 1956 mercury vapor lights were installed, 17 more were added in 1959. Around the 1930’s SPC provided electricity for the town. 1956 saw the first cement sidewalks laid.
Ben Thompson & Stevenson had the first BLACKSMITH SHOP in 1908. These shops were a necessity in the days of horse and rigs to fix wagon and buggy wheels, sharpen plough shares, shoe horses, sharpen discs and also many more jobs. Sandy Duncan was another smith. George Hill came in 1922. Roy and Ernie Pattison established in 1923. E.A. Pattison sold to Rothon and Johnson in 1960. Ernie Bower was another blacksmith with Jim Peddie as a helper. They made fancy iron railings for houses and also made cultivators.
A TIN SHOP was in operation from 1923-1951 which was owned and operated by W. A. Green and son Bill.
The first THEATRE was managed by Alex Cyr. In the 1920’s the films were good and one that stood out was “King of Kings”. Mr. Cyr passed away in 1936. Eventually Percy Fulbrook altered his confectionary and hotel into a fine theatre with padded seats with Clarence Chizek as projectionist. In 1960 Mr. Fulbrook retired and sold to the Plewes who converted the building into apartments. Some of the padded seats were moved to the Delisle Lodge Room and are still being used in 2002.
LIBRARY interest was roused by Rev. and Mrs. G. McLellan in the early 1950’s. Books were donated by interested citizens and housed in the Ag Rep Office of J. Braidek. They were later moved to the Town Office in the old hall. In October 1967 a branch of Wheatland Regional Library was opened in an upstairs room of the new Town Hall. Mrs. J. Currie was librarian on a free gratis basis. In June of 1985 they moved to a building of their own. In 2003 they will be moving to a newer building (the former Bavarian Gasthaus) and will share occupancy with the RCMP Detachment and the Town Office.
A Chinese LAUNDRY was run by Mah Lee in the early days. He and his family operated the laundry for over 30 years, which was situated where Bill Green later had his shop and machine agency. Mr. Lee also did photography. In 1963 a coin operated laundry was opened in W. A. Green residence. Art and Phyllis Miller operated the coin laundry and also a dry cleaning unit. In 2002 the coin operated laundry is in one side of the car wash building and both are owned and operated by Leo Segouin.
The original Delisle LIVERY STABLE was moved from Old Delisle to where Stan Nugent’s house is. Before 1908 Henry & Alex Meyer’s livery barn was built south of Orchard’s garage. Meyers sold to Joe Briggs. Later owners were Bill Castle and Tufts. This barn burnt in a 1919 fire. J. L. Draper had a feed stable and dray in 1919. J. Nugent took out a dray license in 1925 and A. Wrightson worked for Nugents. Jas Kaake was drayman in 1914. In 1916 W. Milligan had a “Horse and Rigs” business. George Healzle had a dray business in the 1940’s. D. Wyatt bought the Nugent dray business and was in operation from 1949-1982.
In 1908 the first HARDWARE STORE, McCormick Hardware, was built, owned and operated by the DeLisle brothers Fred and Ed. It was later moved to the new Delisle townsite and in 1917 sold to Pope & Given. In 1927 it was sold to Tackaberry & Son, and later to Mike Sherbot. Griffiths Hardware was built in 1909 and in 1972 it became an IGA Store. Hans Lunn bought from Griffiths and used it as a poolroom. Lunn sold to Davison Smith in 1919 for a hardware store. S. M. Kjelland, Thompson & Thorvaldson Hardware was built in 1908 and later was the Ritz Café. This was sold to K.S. Lee for a hardware store. Mike Demchuk built the Acme Hardware store in 1956, but will be closing in August 2002. The Co-op sold hardware supplies from 1958-1984. A. MacLeod’s store was operated by H. Nicolle from 1965-1990. Martin Bentley opened a hardware and harness store in 1912. William Bentley operated a Men’s Furnishings Store. These burnt in 1919 but were rebuilt. The Martin Bentley store closed in 1942. The Men’s Furnishings store closed when W. Bentley died in 1963. After William Bentley’s wife passed away in 1964, all the furnishings were designated to go to the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon where a replica of the Bentley Store can be seen.
LUMBER – In 1909 there were three lumber yards – Security Lumber, Dutton-Wall and Goose Lake Grain and Lumber and in 1910 Monarch Lumber. By 1919 just Security Lumber and Monarch remained until 1940’s. The Monarch sold to Revelstoke in 1960’s but closed in a couple of years. Then the Co-op Lumber yard was the only one until it closed in 1984.
MEAT MARKET – In 1910 Tom Robson bought Jake Hahn’s meat market. In 1919 Hanselman operated the Empire Meat Market. In 1948-1955 Max and Doug Bentley operated a meat market and in 1955 Worth’s and Scoop Bentley took the shop over, selling to H. Boeschen in 1960. H. Boeschen closed some years later.
GENERAL STORES – in 1907 Pete St. Amour of Old Delisle moved his store into the present site of Delisle which is part of the Delisle Hotel today. In 1908 Chas. Buck built a store and sold it to Morgans in 1910 which burnt in 1929. In 1919 S. Moulton took over the Pete St. Amour Store and in the 30’s he moved to the site of the IGA Store later selling to Frank Miller who sold to Levington & Son. In 1968 Steve and Frances Chelak bought and operated Levington & Son’s store until 1982 when they sold to Royce and Elaine Morgan. Morgan’s closed the store in 1994. In 2002, there are no grocery stores but there are 2 confectionary stores – B.A.R. Enterprises (gas pumps, groceries & liquor outlet) and the Delisle Co-op (gas pumps, cardlock, groceries, farm bulk delivery & supplies). Percy Kimberly purchased Robson’s store and operated a Red & White Store.
In early years every second or third household had a well in their back yard for their own use and to water a milk cow which supplied families and neighbours with milk. In the 1930’s the Mart Bentley’s supplied the town with milk for a few years. The barns and milk house had to pass inspection even then; later Slim and Nellie Avery carried on the milk route. By this time the stores began to sell milk. In the 1970’s the milk truck came to the door 3 times a week from a dairy in Saskatoon, as well as milk being sold in the stores. Many farmers, even though they had cattle, still bought carton or bottled milk.
A BAKERY was listed as a business in 1908. In 1926 the Montgomery Bakery was built and burnt in 1932. Percy Fulbrook baked for a short while in a building behind his hotel. In 1934 J. Fairburn Sr. built a bakery and it is presently used today. Subsequent owners have been Leo Suik, Adrian Vanderhorst, Carl Mortenson and Carmello Scollo, who is our baker in 2002 and the shop is called Scollo’s Bakery.
BANKS – The Bank of Commerce opened a branch in Delisle in the fall of 1908 and withdrew May 1925. The Royal Bank opened a branch March 5, 1912 and is still open in 2002. Delisle Savings and Credit Union was granted charter number 283 November 24, 1954. In 1961 a building was bought from Delisle Homemakers and renovated. In 1967 a new building was erected and opened March 23, 1968. In 2001 an addition was added.
REAL ESTATE business was conducted in the early days by W.R. Pattison, W. Bentley and S. Moulton. J. Currie had the first Government Insurance office followed by B. Levinton. In 2002 our SGI agent is Art Kelly.
HOTELS – the spacious Empire Hotel was built by Andrew Lund in 1908 on the corner of Main Street and 2nd Avenue. Les Fox was proprietor, then Harvey Rogers took over. Fox and Fred St. Amour again ran the business until Alex Cyr came in the late 1920’s. Mr. Cyr had moved over to the present hotel before the Empire Hotel burnt in February 1927. The Gracious Rooming House was taken over by Mah Sam and in 1912 burnt. Later the K.S. Lee Hardware store became the Ritz Café with rooms on the second floor. The present Delisle Hotel has changed hands many times. Extensive alterations were made by Tom West who sold to Butch MacDonald in 1959, and opened a beverage room on the south side of the hotel building. In 1972 the owners were Jack and Hilda Miller and in 2002 the owners are Zita and Ron Vetter.
VETERINARIANS – Dr. Potter and Dr. Kopperud were two very necessary men in the early days.
GRAIN ELEVATORS – 1909 Canadian Elevator Co. – Harry Finch was agent for 8 years. Goose Lake Grain Co British American – Frances and Anderson owned and operated it. In 1917 Quaker Oats bought Goose Lake Grain – Jack McFee was grain buyer until 1928 – Jack McFee transferred to buy for the Pool 1928-1932. The Quaker Oats elevator burned in June 1934. In 1959 – The Canadian Consolidated sold to UGG and they sold to the Federal in 1968. The Wheat Pool bought both in 1971 and operated those along with the original Pool elevator which began operations August 1, 1926. The Francis Anderson Elevator became the Pioneer. In 1972 there were three Pool elevators and a Pioneer. In 2002 there is only one Pool elevator standing, but it was closed to the farmers in 2000 for hauling grain. The agent sells chemicals and fertilizers from the office of the elevator. The other two Pool elevators and the Pioneer have been demolished.
A BARBER SHOP was run by Jack Donaldson north of Plewes Apartments. Percy Wilkinson was barber for many, many years coming from his home by bicycle. Jake Lebadoff had a shop for a while. In 2002 we have one barber, Ray Fisher.
A BEAUTY SALON was opened, owned and operated by Madeline Elkington (Gramson) in 1947 under the name Madelon Beauty Shoppe. Miss I. Fellows operated a shop next to Bentley’s Store from 1948-1951. Lila Green opened Delila’s Beauty Shop in May 1959 in her father’s shop. Vivian Reimer (Weber) had a shop in 1960-1961. Ray and Gladys Fisher came to Delisle in 1962 and opened a barber shop, billiard hall and Gladys Beauty Shop. There is no longer a billiard hall.
GARAGE AND MACHINE AGENCIES started in 1908 when DeLisle Bros. built a hardware store and sold implements. It is said that in 1911 they sold 105 McCormick binders. Another farm machinery business was where the Pool Hall was. In 1915-1919 Earnest Arndt had a garage, and sold to Orchards in 1920. Orchards had the Ford Agency for years and also had the International Agency. In 1919 Rol Reynolds had the Ford Car Garage and Repair Shop and J. G. McPhail was Massey Harris agent, followed by Neilson, Rol Reynolds, Pat McCulloch and then Vandel Service. Ernie Pattison was John Deere agent for years. Bill Green sold Cockshut equipment, Mayrath grain loaders and operated a B.A. bulk service, delivering barrels of fuel, then with large tanks to farm yard tanks. The Imperial Oil Bulk Service was operated by Len Funk in the 1950’s and then Louis Wood was agent but the Imperial Bulk Oil Service is no longer in operation.
CAFE’S – a Chinese café has been here most years. Wong Big had the Ritz Café, built in 1908 south of Demchuk’s hardware and it burned December 29, 1956. Art Quan was a proprietor of another Cafe. In 1908, according to records, Chas Brooks and O. Besuillon had cafes. Around 1915 W.E. Johnston had the Elite Cafe near Morgan’s Store. In 1912 W.G. VanNorman started a confectionary, later selling to Percy Fulbrook (where Plewes Apartments were). In the 1950’s Goodwin’s had a lunch counter in conjunction with their drug store in the Martin Bentley store, taking over the cafe from Mrs. Bentley. Mrs. Hubenig ran a cafe on the north section of Sherbots Hardware Store in the 1950’s. In 1972 there were three service stations on Highway #7 with cafes in them all; the Esso with John Kirton as proprietor; the Gulf with Dean Flanagan as proprietor (this was originally the Royalite which was built in 1958 with Pete Hnatuk as the first proprietor); the Pacific 66 which was built in 1957 by Fred Weinbender and was run by Ray Horn. D. K. Anderson bought it in 1960, selling to the Pacific in 1968. Wally and Anne Powers purchased the cafe business at the Esso in 1958, retiring in 1971.
DELISLE CO-OP was incorporated in 1929 with H. Groskleg manager, and J. Pope was next manager with main sales being bulk petroleum. His office was in one of the elevator offices. D. Scaddon was the next manager, followed by Cecil Martin in 1950. Business improved and expanded – Donavon, Swanson and Laura Co-ops gradually amalgamated with Delisle. On December 11, 1958, a new Co-op store and lumber shed were opened, with garage, service station, hardware and bulk petroleum all at the same center. The Co-op sold to B.A.R. Enterprises Ltd. and then built a new store 3 blocks east which is the present site in 2002. The Co-op has groceries, a service station, bulk delivery service to farms and acreages, a card lock system which is very handy for semis and for anyone with these cards during after-hours of business. In 2002 they are in the early stages of building a much larger building on their present property due to the increase in business.
COMINCO POTASH MINE as the community new it at first goes under the name of Agrium in 2002. It is located 32 km southwest of Saskatoon. The construction years were 1965-1969. October 1965 oil drilling rigs drilled the necessary “freeze holes” around both shafts. December 1967 the bare bones of the head frame over #1 shaft was built which is a landmark that can be seen for miles around. The first shipment of potash left the site March 14, 1969. The mine produces four sizes of high quality potash for shipments to markets around the world. Thirty-three years later Agrium continues to explore, proving out reserves to maintain production for many years into the future. The mine employs over 380 people in various jobs. The Potash Mine was a great boon to Delisle. Many new homes were built, population grew and many residents of Delisle and district were able to acquire work at the mine.
R.C.M.P. – in January 1909 the first presence of a member of the R.N.W.M. Police arrived. Since then there has not always been a member of the police force stationed in Delisle. For the past number of years their office has been in the Town Hall. In 2002 the Delisle R.C.M.P. detachment will be moving to a new location taking up residence in the old Gasthaus Restaurant on Highway #7. The R.C.M.P. will occupy the west half of the building and will become a full functioning detachment with an up-to-date communication system. The detachment will support four possibly five constables and one Corporal. Cells will remain in Saskatoon for health and safety reasons. The R.C.M.P. are hoping to have a Grand Opening in the fall 2002.
DELISLE LEGION – the Delisle Legion No. 184 was organized in 1933. During the late 1940’s the branch was not very active. Membership depleted to such an extent that the branch folded. Several men transferred to No. 63 in Saskatoon and rejoined No. 184 Delisle when it was reactivated October 7, 1964. The old cenotaph was dedicated June 11, 1967. The legion has been very active in the community, donating to many causes. The greatest being to the firemen towards the Jaws Of Life – $5,000.00 and to the new golf course – $10,000.00. The legion is very involved with youth programs. They promote a poem, essay and poster contest each year through the schools with “War and Peace” being the theme so they will involve themselves in the price of freedom. The legion lend support to minor sports, militia, cubs & girl guides. A November 11th service is held each year which is attended by over 100 people. As the original cenotaph was crumbling a new cenotaph of steel was built and dedicated May 4, 2002. In 2002 there are only six World War veterans still alive in the district. The Legion Auxiliary was organized January 10, 1966, and had been a very active auxiliary over the years. They donated annually to Veterans Cheer Fund and to the D.V.A. provincial scholarship fund. They sponsored two students to the Royal Canadian Legion camp for track and field at Dundurn. In 1976 sponsored a crippled child for Camp Easter Seal, they also hosted blood donor clinics, and canvassed yearly for the Red Shield. Membership depleted to the extent that the Auxiliary folded in 2000 and the remaining members joined the Delisle Legion No. 184 Branch.
DELISLE VOLUNTEER FIRE AND AMBULANCE – Town Council minutes of April 9, 1910 record that the Council ordered the following: 1 double forty engine complete with the following attachments – 2 lanterns, 1 crow bar, 1 pick axe, automatic hose reel, 6 fire buckets and 1 refill funnel, 1 – 16ft. extension ladder, 1 –60 lb. drum of gas and 1 straight nozzle. June 20, 1910 minutes – motion made to build a temporary shed to house Pump and Engine near the well. October 2, 1911 minutes – to proceed with building a Fire Hall with a tower for drying hose and housing a bell. It was also decided the Village would build the hall by day work under the supervision of D. McLelland. March 18, 1924 minutes – 15 men on fire brigade. April 18, 1929 minutes – all firemen receive the sum of $2.00 for each fire he attends and the Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief receive $4.00. There was a fire engine purchased in 1930. The Delisle Fire Department had existed for many years prior to 1974. It’s most active period was during the late 1940’s and then became very inactive until 1974. That year two lives were lost in a house fire, thus spurring the district into action. A new 1974 fire truck with approximately 550 gallon water capacity was purchased and extensive training of firefighters was started under the guidance of Dave Currie, the Fire Chief. A large fire protection area was organized during the winter of 1974-1975. Included in the district was R.M. of Vanscoy, R.M. of Montrose, Village of Vanscoy and the Town of Delisle. The area was a large one of 700 square miles in which 3000 people reside.
The Fire Department is now controlled by a fire commission comprised of two members from each of the member local governments. In 1977 a 1942 truck was purchased from Riverhurst for a back up unit. In 1978 a new truck was purchased for $36,000.00. The department is comprised of 18 volunteers, an ambulance and 3 fire trucks. In the fall of 1978 the members of the Delisle Volunteer Fire Department wanted to extend their policy of protecting people and property – they decided to try and establish an ambulance service. In December 1978 – a 1973 van was purchased from the Elrose Volunteer Fire Department and a complete rebuilding of the interior was undertaken by the volunteers. In February 1979 the Community College conducted a 20 hour St. John’s Ambulance course to train volunteer ambulance attendants – a total of 16 attended and were successful in the written and practical exams. The areas created in the ambulance district were R.M. of Vanscoy, Village of Vanscoy, Town of Delisle and one division each from the R.M. of Harris and R.M. of Perdue. 1974-1979 the Department had 18 volunteers, an ambulance and 3 fire trucks. Jaws of Life and air bags were purchased May 1984. A new steel building was built in 1975 to house all of the five engines and equipment.
In 1975 the department purchased breathing compressor equipment, this comprised of a 3 CFM 3000 lb. compressor, RAF high pressure filter system and a three tank cascade. The Delisle Fire Department became a breathing air supplier for departments as far away as Beechy and Elrose. The Eighties were very busy, responding to an average of 120 fire calls a year, an average of 20 ambulance calls including a great number of motor vehicle accidents and response to events like train derailments, chemical transport accidents, air craft accident sites and many more non-fire incidents.
Fire departments must be constantly upgrading and by the end of the 80’s the list of equipment had increased, a new 1981 Ford c/w 2000 gallon tank and a 750 GPM pump, the Departments first diesel tanker pumper, a 4 W.D. off road 2000 gallon tanker pumper. A new ambulance was purchased in 1989 and the old ambulance was converted to an emergency unit.
The fire hall that was started in 1981 was finally completed in the late 80’s with training room, offices for the Fire Chief and dispatchers. The department was completely supplied with FM radio by the mid 80’s, including base radio, truck and ambulance mobile units, hand held FM Radios and radio telephone interconnect. In June 1996, after 37 ½ years of service Dave Currie retired and Wm. Gessell was appointed Fire Chief. In 1996 the ambulance board was disbanded, the Saskatoon district assumed the operation of the ambulance service and in 1997 they discontinued the service. The fire department has continued to operate in the same geographical area, the means of finance has changed from tax base to fee for service. In 2002 the Delisle & District Fire will join the provincial 911 system.
ORCHARD BROTHERS HISTORY – 1920 TO 2002
1920 George W. and William S. Orchard started repair business in Delisle
1923 Orchard brothers started Ford Motor Co. Dealership
1926 Orchard brothers sold 152 cars
1939 Started selling International farm machinery
1939 Fire destroyed shop. Rebuilt shop, carpenters paid .25 per hour with Abe Miller, head carpenter receiving .39 cents per hour – was quoted as saying it was the best job he had in years.
1953 Sold 75 McCormick-Deering tractors. Mostly WD-9, but also W6 and Farmall M. Had reputation for completely overhauling used tractors consequently many were sold province wide by phone call without the customer seeing their new purchase until it was delivered to their farm.
1954 Name changed to Orchard Farm Equipment Ltd.
1955 George F. Orchard started with the company
1964 William F. Orchard started with the company
1966 Operated gravel screening and hauling business as Delisle Motorways
1973 Received recognition from Ford Motor Co. for achievement of 50 years as a Ford Motor Co. Dealer
1973 Incorporated company as Orchard Transport Ltd. Moved into trucking of grain, fertilizer, lumber, etc.
1976 Geoff Orchard started with company
1976 Received Cominco fertilizer dealership. Built home built fertilizer blending facility to better serve farmers with bulk fertilizer rather than bagged product.
1984 Moved from downtown Delisle location to 40 acre site ½ mile south of Delisle on Hwy. 45 (Site still located within town of Delisle). Constructed bulk fertilizer storage facility, truck repair shop and office. April 14, 1984 held grand opening of new facility, ribbon cutting ceremony took place with Mabel and Mary Orchard, widows of the late George and William Orchard holding the ribbon while the then MLA Harry Baker cut the ribbon. It was noted that this is the third generation of Orchards who had been in business since 1920 in Delisle. Also present at the official opening was long time employee Pat Paterson
1996 Kent Orchard started with company
Orchard Transport Ag Sales Division moved to new office closer to bulk warehouse. Expanding into anhydrous ammonia, ag chemicals, custom application of fertilizer and chemicals, soil sampling, liquid fertilizer, grain brokering, seed grain sales, and various agricultural inputs.
Employment levels changed through the years. In the fifties operated with 4 office and sales staff, and up to 8 mechanics in the shop. Currently full time staff around 25 with 15 additional staff in peak periods. The company has a history of long time employees:
Examples Pat Patterson 52 years 1930-1982
Joe Paradis 45 years 1936-1981
Ron Carr 36 years 1966-present 2002
Colin Nugent 22 years 1980-present 2002
Geoff Orchard 26 years 1976-present 2002
Gord Schatoske 21 years 1981-present 2002
Family business started in 1920 until present (2002) with George, Frank, Geoff and Kent currently with the company. Also involved Mary and Pat – wives of George and Frank. As well Kirby spent 2 ½ years with company.
Over the years the family has always been involved in the community. George Sr. was the mayor of Delisle for many years. Bill spent many years on the hospital and church boards. George Jr. and Frank both spent time on town council. Family has always been involved in local sports as participants, organizers and always donating to any worthy cause in the community.
In the years 1923-1926 when selling Model T Ford Cars, the cars were shipped unassembled by rail in box cars. The elevator agents who were not busy as all roads were blocked by snow would unload cars and assemble to ready for sale in spring.
Two tractor purchases of note – the first being to the mayor of Humboldt who bought a used tractor previously and needed another. He phoned the office, talked to George Sr. saying if you have another tractor as good as the first one I bought just deliver it to me and I will give the truck driver a cheque without seeing it. This is the kind of reputation Orchard brothers had built up over the years. Another tractor Orchard Brothers sold to a farmer at Meath Park, a WD-9, bought in 1953, was still being used when I (George Jr.) was hauling him feed grain almost 20 years later and he commented “it was the best tractor he ever owned”. Another testimony of Orchard Brothers quality and service.
2002 – Present Day Churches
Delisle Christ Church Anglican – built in 1912 – celebrated their 90th birthday in June 2002.
Delisle United Church – built in 1912- will be celebrating their 90th birthday November 3, 2002.
Delisle St. Ann’s Parish Catholic Church – built in 1906
Delisle Brethren in Christ – built in 1962
The Gospel hall – was opened for worship services in 1909. During the early 1920’s the building was used for a classroom by the Delisle School District as well as for worship services. Later the building was sold to Orchards for a granary and in 1954 was torn down.
CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Past Clubs and Organizations
Delisle Lodge No. 105 I.O.O.F.
Sapphire Rebekah Lodge
Delisle Royal Purple
Bethlehem Chapter No. 68 – Order of the Eastern Star
Willing Workers Club
Homemakers (later Delisle W.I.)
Delisle Legion Auxiliary
CGIT, Boy Scouts, Cubs & Brownies
2002 Present Day Clubs & Organizations
Goose Lake Lodge No. 99 – Ancient, free and Accepted Masons was instituted January 17, 1913
Delisle Seniors Activity Centre
ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS
It was “home grown” years ago. Many plays were staged by High School Literary Society, District Schools and Y.P.U. with lots of work dragging in a piano and furniture from home for stage props. A.C.T. Amateur nights and local talent variety shows were held, besides the weekly Saturday night dances with Flachs or Shaws Orchestras. Barn dances, too, are remembered at Jim Wilkies’ with the Hub City Orchestra from Saskatoon, J. Farrell’s, Gaylord Carlsons’, Flachs’ and Cecil Miller’s, Chatauquas, a one week traveling show, added something different. Tennis and golf was played in the 1920’s. In 1972 there was a golf course, south of town which is still used by some, but a new 9-hole grass greens golf course on the north edge of town has been completed and had its first games played on June 1, 2002. The grand opening of the Delisle Grass Green Golf Course was held on July 19-21, 2002 complete with ribbon cutting ceremony, social, golf tournament and supper. Stock car racing had its fling too. In the late 1950’s there was a paddling pool. In 1915 the first covered-in rink was built and in 1971 it was demolished. In the 1950’s there were 66 rinks entered in the mixed spiels – 5 sheets of ice in use, including 3 on the skating ice. The town purchased the grounds south of the tracks from the C.N.R. in 1961 where there are four ball diamonds kept in use and a fine circular booth built by the Composite School shop students and their teacher Mr. Niessen. A marker depicting the “Old Bone Trail” which passed nearby in the early 1900’s is erected in the park. In 1968 the Centennial Skating and Curling Rink began. The $100,000.00 steel building project was completed in 1971 – a Centennial project. The Cominco mine workers erected the steel structure and with many hours of local volunteer help the project was completed.
Hockey – several Delisle players have played in the NHL. They include the Bentley Bros. – Max, Doug, Reg; Jack Norris; Jack Miller and Dick Butler. Curling – in 1952 Jim Hill’s rink with Jack Bentley, Harold Worth and Elmer MacNevin won the Provincial Briar. In 1954 Harold Worth, Elmer MacNevin, Jim Hill and Don Morris won the Saskatchewan Briar. Harold Worth won the Saskatchewan Briar in 1965. Bob Bentley was on Moe Valade’s rink winning the Northern Saskatchewan Briar in 1963 and 1964. Bob Bentley was on Harold Worth’s rink winning the Northern Saskatchewan Briar in 1968 and 1971. Barbara MacNevin as a second on Joyce McKee’s rink won the “Diamond D” for Canada in 1961. Later Barbara MacNevin’s rink with Fay Coben, Florence Hill and Avis Carr represented Saskatchewan in 1965 at Halifax, 1966 at Vancouver and 1968 in Winnipeg. Doug Wyatt skipped his Saskatoon fireman’s rink to three Canadian Championships – at Saskatoon 1966 and in Eastern Canada 1970 and 1971. Ted Jurista’s mixed curling team with Doreen Campbell, Bud Gordon and Doreen Woods represented Saskatchewan in 1966 and also attended the Winter Games in 1967. Fastball – Fastball in Saskatoon received help from Delisle’s Bob Bentley and Al Norris who were members of the Saskatoon Merchant Fastball team that represented Saskatchewan at the Summer Games in Halifax in 1969 and the team also won the Canadian Sr. Men’s Fastball Championship held in Saskatoon in 1969. In recent years, many Delisle teams of all ages (girls, boys, women and men) have won Provincial Championships in hockey and ball and individuals in golf, bowling and archery. Sports in 2002 is organized under the Delisle and District Recreation Association. Delisle has always been known as an athletic town since 1911.
1987 Inductees into Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame
1961 Dominion Ladies Curling Champions Joyce McKee rink of which Barbara MacNevin of Delisle was a member.
1969 Saskatoon Merchants Canadian Sr. Men’s Fastball Champions of which Bob Bentley and Al Norris of Delisle were team members
1984 Inductees into Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame
1969 Saskatoon Merchants Canadian Sr. Men’s Fastball Champions of which Bob Bentley and Al Norris of Delisle were team members.
NHL Sports Hall of Fame and Saskatchewan Sports hall of Fame
Doug Bentley and Max Bentley were inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964 and into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1967. Doug played for the Chicago Blackhawks from 1938-1951 and Max played for the Chicago Blackhawks from 1940-1947.
We give thanks to the original settlers who had the vision, strength and the perseverance to make their dreams come true, also to their families who had the will and the courage to continue in spite of depression and many uncertainties over the years.
We are forever grateful to our pioneers for our wonderful life with all its comforts and conveniences.
Town of Delisle’s history was taken from records of Delisle Historian – Marjorie Bentley and compiled by her daughter-in-law Shirley Bentley, Box 427, Delisle, SK, S0L0P0.
St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church
3 Hardware Stores
5 Lumber Yards
4 Grain Elevators
Myers Livery Stable (burned in 1919)
Jake Hahn Butcher Shop (sold to the late Tom Robson 1910)
The Gracious Boarding & Room House
A. Laland’s Pool & Bowling Alley (operated by Jack Donaldson)
Barber Shop (proprietors through the years were Harvey Rogers & Percy Wilkinson)
Co-op Hardware, garage & lumber
Royalite Service & Café
B.A. Service & Café
Esso Service & Café
Liquor Board Store
Kimberley’s Red & White
Sherbots Shoe Repair
Hotel, Café & Licensed Premises
Orchard’s Farm Equipment & Garage
Delila’s Beauty Salon
Green’s B.A. oil, gas & oil; furnace installations & dry cleaning
Government Insurance & Real Estate
UGG, Searle, Pool & Pioneer Elevators
Pool Room & Barber Shop
Can-Am Truck Exports Core Supply Ltd.
B.A.R. Enterprise Ltd.
R & R Service & Repair
Dana’s Ladies Fashions
Delisle Community Health Centre
Delisle Electric & Heating
Delisle Meats Ltd.
Delsa Food Processors
Dentist – Ken Morton
Faludi Wood & Crafts
Jim’s Sport Shop
Julie’s House of Style
Orchard’s Transport Ltd.
Leo’s Car Wash & Laundromat
Prairie Promotion Laser Engravers
Precision Furnace & Carpet Cleaners
Delisle Credit Union
Sheila’s Ice Cream Parlor
Sister’s Two Restaurant & Catering
Wilcox Construction Ltd.
Scollo’s Bake Shop
Gladys’s Beauty Salon
Ray’s Barber Shop
Lawyer – Doug Welsh