Another quilt?


The portion of the city on east side of the river was originally known as East Saskatoon, but as the original villages grew and con­fusion between the post offices resulted, the name “East Saskatoon” was changed to Nutana, a word which is claimed by some to have had an Indian origin, meaning “first born,” because it was the first settlement.

The name Saskatoon is derived from the Indian Cree name “Mis-sask-qua-too-mina,” or “Mis-sask-a-too-mina,” and sometimes contracted into “Saskatoomina.” This word is the plural. The sin­gular is secured by dropping the final “a.” The name was given by the Indians to the berry which is found in such profusion in this vicinity and commonly referred to now as the “Saskatoon Berry” or “Saskatoons.” According to a member of the original survey party, the Indians used to gather large quantities of these berries and walk through the camps selling them, crying what sounded to the members of the party like “Saskatoons, Saskatoons.”

Five bridges, the newest being a handsome arched structure of reinforced concrete, costing upwards of $500,000, cross the river with­in the city limits. Three of these bridges join the central portions of the city, two of them being for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, while the third carries the Canadian Northern Railway tracks and has a footpath alongside. The remaining two are railway bridges, one carrying the Canadian Pacific and the other the Grand Trunk Pacific rails. To the east of Saskatoon, the modern city resulting from the uniting of the villages of West Saskatoon, Nutana and Riversdale and their subsequent allied growth, and about a mile away, lies the town of Sutherland, where are the C. P. R. roundhouse and car repair tracks. Sutherland is an incorporated town but is united to Saska­toon by street car tracks, as well as by rail, and this route is part of the regular city service.The natural fertility of the surrounding district which is well settled and the unique position of Saskatoon as a distributing point are the main contributing factors to the city’s prosperity and growth.

The town site was surveyed in 1886, but the first railway did not come in until 1892. In 1899 Saskatoon consisted of a few houses on the east side of the river, while on the west side was the station house, the section foreman’s residence, the Royal Northwest Mounted Police Barracks, a stone building, a hotel, and about six other houses and shacks. About this time property in what is now the central por­tion of the city sold for $45 for 75 feet. In 1901 Saskatoon was in­corporated as a village, and in 1902 the first weekly newspaper was published bearing the title of "The Saskatoon Phoenix.” In 1903 the town charter was obtained. In 1906 Saskatoon became a city, the population being estimated at 5,000.

Following the formation of the Province of Saskatchewan in 1905, the locating of the capital and the university became live public questions. It was believed at that time that, owing to its central location, Saskatoon would be chosen as the capital, but eventually a compromise was reached whereby Regina became the seat of government and the Provincial University was placed at Saskatoon.

From 1906 onwards expansion was very rapid, becoming phenomenal about 1912, until today Saskatoon stands a city of handsome buildings and well paved streets, along the principal ones of which electric cars now run. In the residential sections the boulevarding system obtains, giving the streets a very attractive appearance. The broad South Saskatchewan River, which flows through the middle of the city between high banks covered with an abundance of trees, shrubbery and other natural growth, besides providing an unlimited supply of purest water, passing through a modern filtration plant, lends a pleasing aspect, eliminating the tiresome monotony usually associated with centres of population established upon the prairies.

The above description is taken from the Henderson’s City Directory for Saskatoon, 1918.

Saskatoon is situated in Township 36, Range 5, west of the Third Meridian, on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. It is the geographical and commercial centre of Central Saskatchewan. It is served by the Canadian Northern, Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk Pacific railways. As the site of the University and Agricul­tural College, Saskatoon is the educational headquarters of the Prov­ince.

In 1903 the population was 113; in 1918 it was 25,000 according to outside estimate from the returns of registration cards. In 1916, since when the city has acquired a good many more people, the population was 21,054 by the conservative figures of the Govern­ment Census.The city lies 216 miles north of the boundary between the United States and Canada, 140 miles from the western and 215 miles from the eastern boundary of the Province, so that its position is central. It is the only large city in the direct line between Winnipeg and Edmon­ton, being almost midway between the two, 450 miles northwest of Winnipeg and a little over 300 miles southeast of Edmonton.