The first people to inhabit the Qu'Appelle River area were the Assiniboine Indians. By the 17th century the Cree were also in the area, a group called the Calling River People. Fur trade began here in 1785 with the building of Fort Espérance on the south side of the Qu'Appelle River Valley at 32-17-30 west of the first meridian. Its location was on a hill overlooking the river so one could see for miles up and downstream. It was a food supply center for the furtrade with much pemmican and dried meat being stored here, rather than being a fort for trading in furs alone. Many famous explorers passed through the Rocanville area, some stopping at the fort. Alexander Henry went through the area in about 1775; the great mapmaker David Thompson came to Fort Espérance in 1797; Daniel Harmon and Peter Fidler visited in the early 1800's. Scientific explorers Palliser, Hind, and Macoun came later searching for agricultural promise in the prarie soil.
In 1874 Treaty 4 was signed with the Cree and Saulteaux smoothing the way for the settlement of this area. In the early days trade goods were transported by Red River carts pulled by oxen. their trails crisscrossed this region, most leading from Fort Ellice at what is now St. Lazare. The South Qu'Appelle Trail from Fort Ellice led westward through St. Marthe and Elim districts. Fort Street in Rocanville is part of this trail. Railways replaced the Red River carts - the Northwest Rebellion had speeded its completion.
First came the surveyors in 1902. The townsite of Rocanville and the CPR station grounds were surveyed in November by G. McPhillips. The railroad reached Rocanville in 1903. Settlers flooded in so the population grew from 83 people in 1904 to 450 by 1920. The town of Rocanville, incorprated in 1904, was named for our first postmaster, Rocan de Bastien, who was overseer of the village in 1904.
Rocanville has been a thriving farming district since settlement days with grain and cattle farming predominating. Then in the late 1960's a potash mine was developed and was in operation by Sept. 1970. Today there is considerable oil drilling activity as well. Manufacturing thrives in Rocanville with Goodman Steel and Ironworks. The famous Symons Oilers were manufactured here for over 60 years. Diversification has occurred and you will find milk farmers, elk and fallow deer producers, as well as several beekeepers here.
Today Rocanville is a prosperous town of about 1000 friendly people who are glad to call Rocanville "my town".
Order a history book online! The two volume History book for the Town of Rocanville is available for purchase. The cost of the history book is $25 plus shipping and handling. Mail Cheques to: Box 699 Rocanville Sask. You may also pick up a book at the local Town office or the RM office. Contact the Town Office at email@example.com for your copy!
December 4th - Moosomin vs Rocanville @ 6:00 pm
Rocanville & District Museum Meeting will be held on December 5th at 7pm at the Museum.
December 5, 6, 7, 1
The Rocanville Recreation Walking Club is in full swing. It is offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the winter months. It provides a safe indoor walking environment for people of all ages to enjoy. Strollers and walkers with clean wheels are welcome and encouraged so bring your little ones with you! Grab a friend, family member or neighbour and come on down to the hall to enjoy some safe physical activity.
The Walking Club is located at the PotashCorp Rocanville Community Hall and runs from 9:15 to 10:45 AM on Tuesdays, 9:15 to 10:45 AM on Wednesdays, and 1:15-2:45 PM on
Admission to the walking club will be by donation and each month the donations will go to a
different community group. The monthly recipient group will be drawn at random on or near the first Tuesday of each month.
Please note, the walking club will be cancelled when the Hall has a booking, the Rec.
Director is on holidays, must be out of the office or is sick.
Only indoor shoes will be permitted.
Everyone is welcome.
We would like the thank everyone who has already participated in the walking club and
encourage those who have not checked it out yet to come join us.