Historical Trivia

Historical Porcupine Plain

1691 – In July, Henry Kelsey, Caucasian, explored the Red Deer River, and was about eight miles morth of the site of Porcupine.
1914 – First pioneer settled in our community on Township 40 Range 10.
1919 – About 200,000 acres were surveyed into 240 acre parcels known as Soldier Grants.  They were one quarter section and an eighty which made, east and west, roads 1 1/2 miles apart instead of two miles.  First veterans to file soldier’s grant were Roy Busteed & Bob Green (members of the survey crew). J. Shand settled in 1925.
1920 – Bob Green trapped about 100 muskrats – mostly along McAllister Avenue.
1924 – First Caucasion baby born in Porcupine Plain – George Green.
1926 – In March, Olaf Quale took up a homestead on which the east half of Porcupine is situated.  R.C. (Dick) Cooper settles here.
1926 – John J. Wilton, Postmaster of Copeau Post Office, and mail carrier to Shand Creek, Carragana, and McElhanney Post Offices.
1927 – SE8-42-9-2 homestead filed by Alexander McAllister – West side of Porcupine.
1927 – 33 British families arrive in this community.
1927 – Frank Peltz opens the first store, Northwest corner of McAllister and Pine Street. Supplies were freighted in with horses and wagons until the railway was built.  Later the store was moved “uptown”.
1929 – R.C. Cooper suggests “Porcupine”, as the name for our settlement, until now known as “Copeau”, Plain was added because there was already a Porcupine, Ontario.
1929 – Rail line from Crooked River, through Porcupine Plain to Reserve was completed, the first train through Porcupine Plain was on September 1st.
1929 – First Post Office – Percy Heffern, assisted by Mr. Cooper (Jarvis Hardware Bldg.)
1929 – First restaurant opened by Joe Duplessis.
1929 – Rev. H. Jarvis instructs 28 pupils in shack of Olaf Quale’s.  A Christmas concert was held in Thompson’s poolroom, standing room only!
1929 – Ludwig Stromberg opens a sawmill South of Porcupine Plain. It employed 25-30 men for about 12 years and also provided jobs for loggers.
1930 – Grocery store opened by Steve Huta, (where Credit Union stands in 2005), converted it to a poolroom and barbershop.  Son, Pete, barber.
1930 – Electricity generated by Bert Jordon, using a Delco plant, for the cafe and several other buildings.  Later taken over by Rustad and Jacques.
1930 – Road built between Porcupine Plain, Carragana and Prairie River, work progressed to complete a road between Porcupine Plain and Bjorkdale.
1931 – 20,000 feet of lumber for a Community Hall was sawed for $5.00 per thousand, this was logged and hauled by volunteer labor.
1931 – First road bridge built 1 1/2 miles north of Porcupine Plain.
1931 – Blacksmith shop opens by Leo Kowalski (where Post Office stands in 2005).  Axes sharpened for $0.25, horse shoeing $0.25 – 0.35 per foot, plow shears sharpened $0.25 – 0.35, breaking plow shares – $1.00.
1931 – Miss Hattie Selby (Pinkerton) begins teaching in the hall with 67 students from grades 1-8.
1931 – Federal Grain elevator moved to Porcupine Plain. First grain buyer Bill Brown, follwed by Jack Armitage.
1931 – Telephone service in Porcupine Plain consisted of a CNR phone hung on a telegraph pole close to the track.
1931 – Tom Plante builds shoe/harness repair shop.
1932 – Steve Hand starts first honey farm.
1933 – Arthur E. Jackson hired as teacher for Porcupine Plain. Enrolment – 86 pupils and 10 grades.  In October Grances Isaac, from Chelan, hired as the primary teacher, Jackson becomes principal.
1934 – Dick Cooper operates dairy, dairy milk delivery until 1947.
1934 – Wm. McKenzie opens butcher shop – pork/beef $0.04 – 0.08/ lb.
1934 – Roy Busteed buys V8 Ford – first new car in district.
1934 – Cliff Stata becomes first CNR agent.
1935 – Klemenko’s Flour Mill (West of rail crossing) operates 5 years.
1935 – Two room school built near the highway.  Third room added in 1942.  Arthur Jackson is Principal.
1935 – First Sports Day held in Dick Cooper’s pasture – sponsored by the Board of Trade to raise money for the Red Cross Out Post Hospital – Profit was $96.00.
“Phony Money” consisted of cordwood currency used at the entrance, booth, and dance in the evening.  Les Stevenson, baker, created a 6 foot diameter Boston Cream Pie, shell baked in a clay oven.  Pie plate constructed of sheet metal.  Main ingredients: 6 doz. bananas, 20 gal. milk, 10 doz. eggs, 2 1/2 gal. whipping cream, 20 lb. sugar.  480 pieces were cut – a community affair!
1935 – Sask Government Telephones took over phone service – a phone booth was placed at Nel La Trace residence.
1936 – Mr. Ewen opens Meat Market.
1936 – Community outdoor skating rink built.
1936 – Hotel built by Bob Pinkerton, sold to Mr. Syrnyk.
1937 – Hardware store built by Metro Yakmishen (1937-1948), Frank & Ethel Gibson (1948-1966), Jim & Marje Jarvis (1966-1975).
1937 – First school field day is held in Porcupine Plain organized by teacher, Albert Victor Turner.
1937 – Pool Elevator is built.  First grain buyer Pat Turpin.
1938 – Alfred Cundall opens bakery – sells bread – 4 loaves for $0.25.
1938 – Mr. Jancyzn showed movies in the community hall.  Admission $0.05 per person
1938 – Chelsom’s drugstore opens – sells patent medicines.  Sam Zenuk opens store 1961-1991, John & Tracy Slobodian 1991-
1939 – January RCMP detachment, built by Bert Larwood, opens at 114 – 1st Avenue East, Cst. Emil Knull, first resident member.
1939 – Curling rink constructed by community effort, lumber supplied by Olaf Quale.
1939 – John Gulutzan enlarges barbershop/poolroom (haircuts – $0.25, games of pool – $0.05).
1940 – Red & White store opens – John & Helen Tkachuk (1940-1975).
1940 – Wilf Williams started a board sidewalk in front of the hotel, soon business men were out with saws & hammers extending the sidewalk on both sides of the street.
1940 – November – Light plant started by Willis Jacques – 18HP diesel engine/110-120 volt AC generator – customers pay $2.50/month.
1940 – Reliance Grain Company moved to Porcupine Plain. 1948 – becomes United Grain Growers.  Grain buyers: James McCrae, Orville Barr (1941-1956), Alex Brown (1956-1974), Dave Hipkins, 1974-2007.  UGG merged with Agricore in November of 2001 and became Agricore United; In August of 2007 the company was bought by Viterra.  Grain elevator operations ceased in ~ 2006 and only office operations were in place.
1941 – Tom Hood begins helping farmers with their sick animals.
1942 – Open air outdoor skating rink built on North side of railway tracks.
1942 – Village of Porcupine Plain incorporated.  Overseer – Wilf Williams (1942-1959), Secretary Bill Coppell.
1944 – RM #395 of Porcupine formed on March 15th.  Reeve – Nick Althouse, Secretary – Jim Cooper.
1945 – Art Rustad and Ray Erickson open garage.
1946 – October 18th Credit Union opens. Al Chennels, Manager.
1946 – Royal Canadian Legion #308 formed, George Hayunga first president.  Hall built in 1949, by volunteers.  Opened on New Year’s Eve.  (Corner of Oak & 1st Avenue).
1946 – Zimmer Hardware opens (1946-1966) – purchase from Mathon.
1947 – Hospital Aid (Auxiliary) formed.  Margaret Hand, President.
1947 – Hospital officially opened by Premier Tommy Douglas.  Dr. Goodman and Dr. Gough first doctors, first matron – Annie McAllister.
1947 – Ivan and Evelyn Popoff open “Elk Theatre”.
1947 – Bill & Adeline Dudar open Robinson Store.
1947 – Edna Williams is first chairperson of Porcupine Carragana Hospital (1947 – 1959)
1948 – Don Wheaton and Bert Larwood form partnership and operate General Store.
1949 – Bank of Montreal building, built by Steve Michalkow, opens with living quarters above it, at 227 McAllister Avenue.  W.A. Palmer – Bank Manager.
1949 – Metro Wowchuk opens locker plant (1949-1973).
1950 – Boy Scouts organized.  Scoutmaster – John C. Hill, assisted by Walter Kewley – 17 boys.  Cub Pack – Cubmaster – Ian Cundall, Assisted by George Chase & Jack Hill – 20 boys.
1950 – New two storey school opens on Elm Street, 9 classrooms with an enrollment of 270 from grades 1 – 12.  Principal – Percy Paulette (1948-1956), Mike Martyn (1956-1967).
1951 – Sask. Power, under Jim Hawke, took over, electricity reached provincial standards.  Merv Brooks (1957-1971), Mort Johnson (1972-1976), Norm Soiseth (1977-1987), Garland Berg (1966-1993).
1952 – Community Hall built on Northeast corner of McAllister Avenue and Oak Street.  Addition built in 1980 to double the hall in size.
1955 – Don Wheaton opens GM dealership.
1955 – High School built on Pine Street, 1966 classrooms and a gym added.  Principal – Larry Lozinski (1956-1984).
1956 – Dick and Clara Cooper became phone agents – 82 phones & 2 long distance lines.  1965 – 250 subscribers, 1969 – 400 subscribers & 5 long distant lines.
1956 – Post Office built at present location.  Jim Dauncey – Post Master (1956 – 1977).
1957 – Lions Club forms, 26 charter members, President, Robert Laidlaw.
1960 – New Bank of Montreal building on corner of McAllister and Elm Street (south side).
1961 – New RCMP Detachment, with living quarters, built on Walnut Street.  Corporal John Boston in charge and Cst. N. Ayers.
1962 – CKBI P.A. TV tower at Greenwater Lake, on air, May 28.
1964 – Water and sewer installed in town, Frank Gibson, Mayor.
1966 – Olie and Gladys King open drycleaning business in old Bank of Montreal building.
1966 – Frank Kwiatkowski opens barbershop.
1967 – Parkland Co-op opens new store Northeast corner of McAllister and Elm.
1967 – New skating arena built on north side of railway track with volunteer labor.
1967 – Centennial Senior Citizen Lodge built on Windsor Avenue.
1967 – Nick Grona opens tire shop, purchased from Willis Jaques.
1969 – New 20 bed hospital officially opened in June by Premier Ross Thatcher.  Administrator – Les Merriman (1968-1995), Matron – Margaret Bagg (1952-1974), Doreen Sorochuk (1975-1996).
1969 – Curiosity Shop Museum opens on Harry and Margaret Salmond’s farm.  In 1975 – Museum opens in Porcupine Plain.
1969 – Automatic dial phone service for Porcupine, Carragana, Weekes, Somme, Chelan, and Greenwater begins in November.
1972 – Red Deer Nursing Home opens – 36 residents.
1972 – RM Office moves to Porcupine Plain – joint offices with Town of Porcupine Plain – Elm Street.  Mayor – G. O’Byrne (1968-1975), Reeve – C. Marshall (1963-1974).
1972 – Senior Citizen Sunset Club Room opens on McAllister Avenue (South of drug store).  President – George Lucuik (1972 – 1976).
1973 – Natural gas is installed in Porcupine Plain.
1973 – Wapiti Regional Library opens in old hospital building on Windsor Avenue.  Librarian – Margaret Salmond.
1974 – Dr. Hashimoto, Veterinarian, opens office (1974-1992).
1976 – New water well opens Northwest of town.
1980 – Elementary School on Pine Street opens.  Kindergarten – grade 6, Principal – Don Gabriel (1967-1996).
1983 – Community Theatre opens in Public Service Building.  Manager – Ed Tysowski – 1983-1998, Ed Poniatowski – 1998 –
1984 – Image Cable TV from Yorkton comes to Porcupine Plain.
1985 – “Quilly Willy” erected – World’s Biggest Porcupine!
1987 – RM office and shop built South on McAllister Avenue.  Reeve – B. Hayunga (1978-1986), G. Grisdale (1987-1994), W. Derenowski (1995-1904).
1988 – Kelly Chase begins NHL hockey career with St. Louis Blues.
1990 – January – Saskatchewan Roughrider, Bob Poley, brings Grey Cup to Porcupine Plain.
1990 – New sports grounds, “Porcupine Place”, opens South of Porcupine Opportunity Workshop
1991 – Porcupine Plain community members take over Green Hills Golf Course at Greenwater Lake, officially open grass greens in 1995.
1993 – P.P.C.H.S. Provincial Boy’s Curling Champions, Lyndon Lisitza, Kirk Smith, Allan Dmytriw, Ronald Reed, Faron Saufert, Coaches – Lloyd Lisitza & Grant Ziola.
1994 – Porcupine Plain and District Fire Hall built, corner of McAllister Avenue and Oak Street.
1996 – Larwood Shaw Memorial Pool officially opens with Premier Roy Romanow, Don and Marion Wheaton and their family present.
1998 – Regional Waste Disposal site opens East of Porcupine Plain.
1998 – Colette Bourgonje wins 2 silver medals in cross-country skiing competitions at Nagano Winter Para Olympics in Japan!
1999 – Last train in July.  70 years and gone!
2000 – Bank of Montreal closes.  Building now Town of Porcupine Plain Office in 2001
2001 – Artificial ice is installed at Chase Place Arena.
2001 ​ United Grain Growers merged with Agricore and became Agricore United:  Mgr. Dave Hipkins
2001 – Fire destroys Porcupine Hotel – owner at the time was Archie & Florence Doucette
2004 – Parkland Co-op opens new grocery store on corner of Elm Street and 1st Avenue in January.
2005 – Darren Dutchyshen, TSN broadcaster, brings the Stanley Cup to Porcupine Plain.
2005 – A successful Homecoming is held in Porcupine Plain with over 1800 people in attendance!
2007 – Viterra acquired the Agricore United Company – Mgr. Dave Hipkins
2012 – A brand new, state of the art K-12 school opens in May.   Now called Porcupine Plain  Comprehensive School.
2012 – Porcupine Plain hosted the “Kraft Celebration Tour” hosted by Darren Dutchyshen & Kate Berness
2013 – A brand new medical clinic was opened in Quillys Community Place (former PP Elementary School)
2015 – 55+ Townhouses built on Larwood Ave.  8 units (2 – 4plexes).  Littles Construction from Tisdale contractors.
2016  –  Historic Train Bridge Burns – March 24,  2016
2016 –  Town of Porcupine Water Treatment plant & Well Site Upgrades Completed – New Deal Gas Tax Grant
2016  –  Parkland Coop completes major expansion to its Service Centre on Ash Street
2017 – Porcupine Community Hall – Washrooms & Bar Renovations completed with a Community Initiative Grant
June 2019 – Larwood Shaw Memorial Pool closes due to structural damage
July 2019 – The Saskatchewan Roughriders come to Porcupine Plain for a Roughrider Block Party fundraising event — raises just short of $20,000 to be divided between the Porcupine Plain Toddler Park & Larwood Shaw Memorial Pool!
Fall 2019 – Porcupine Plain Toddler Park is erected on Porcupine Plain Comprehensive School grounds
October 2019 – Kelly Chase brings the Stanley Cup to Porcupine Plain in an event that raised over $19,000 for Porcupine Minor Hockey/Arena Association
This information was gathered from:  “Cordwood Days to Modern Ways“, “Porcupine Soldier Settlement“, “The Forgotten People Remembered“, “The Story of Porcupine“, “Does It Ring a Bell“, “From Forest to Field“, and “From Ripples to Waves“.  All of the above history was gathered and prepared by Elva Nerlien and Lydia Poniatowski.