Bienfait- Train History

Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada

Bienfait was surrounded by train tracks it had both CPR and CNR tracks running thru town.
The CPR tracks ran on north end of the town and CNR came south from Lampman, and circled the town to the south.

1940 Map of Train Tracks surrounding the Town of Bienfait and area

The CPR Train station has been moved to the middle of the town on Highway 18 and is used as the Bienfait Museum
It was located originally on the North side of the Estevan Branch, CPR lines, located on Block 101.

In the station, where the signals are in the picture, at the telegraph operators station is where the murder of Mr. Paul Matoff took place during the Rum Running days in Bienfait. He was the brother-in-law of Bronfman, known in the Bienfait area for running the local Boozorium. The Boozorium was supposed to be used to export liquor to another province, but undoubtedly was used as a warehouse to smuggle booze to the states during the prohibition and afterwards as well. They had stockpiled huge amounts of whiskey ready for the end of prohibition which they trucked into the states legally at that point. They overwhelmed the markets and made a fortune. The Bronfman family used the earnings from this and other Boozoriums, to develop the Seagram Empire.

As an aside, My brother Wayne, claims to this day that there was bottles of booze hidden behind the cellar in our farmhouse, 1 mile south of Bienfait, placed there by a previous renter of the place. When the building was demolished I don't believe they found anything. But who knows what happened to them? It's a mystery to this day!

CNR Station was moved from SE Corner of Bienfait, Located 1/2 mile south of town now.



The Canadian National Railway branch line from Lampman was completed as far as Bienfait in the fall of 1909.

Bienfait was the terminal for several years.
Mr. Scott was the first Agent and Mr. and Mrs. Scott with their five children lived in a large tent for three years as there was no housing accommodation
for them till the company built the first Depot.

1916 Station Agent was Charles Scott
b- aug 25, 1864 Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland age 51, in 1916 census
d- Apr 25, 1942 Saskatoon? SK
buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatcoon, SK
He immigrated to Canada, and arrived May 15, 1907 on the SS Sicilian, arriving in Montreal from Glasgow, His wife Mary Westland Scott nee Thomas, and 6 children. Thomas, Mary, William, Susan, Jean, Caroline, immigrated to Canada,
Arriving Nov 3, 1907 on the SS Grampian to Montreal from Glasgow.
Son of Thomas Scott, and Susannah Baird
His sister Grace W. Scott came in 1912 and was living with the family in 1916
Son William Thomas Scott was at Camp Hughes in 1916

July 2007- An Email and picture from Colleen Spence
Place of Residence = DeWinton, AB, Canada
My grandfather, William (Bill) Henry RIGATE b. 1877, was the Station Agent for the railway there.
I thought he was with the CNR, but from your website, it might have been the CPR.
He was born in England and worked on the railway in Gravesend, Kent, England.
He came over to Canada in 1912 to pursue his work here on the railway.
My grandmother, Ellen Emma RIGATE (DAINES) b. 1879, followed a little later along with 2 children.
All together they had 5 children - John (Jack) b. 1903, Doris b. 1909 (my mother),
Joyce b. 1911, Stella b. 1916 in D'Arcy, Sask. and Margaret b. 1920 in Netherhill, Sask.
I am not sure the exact years grandpa was working in Bienfait, but I do have a picture of the Bienfait station.
The children attended a school in Bienfait and I have a picture of it.
On the picture is written 'Public School Bienfait', but of course NO DATE!
My grandmother died in Bienfait in 1929. I believe!
she is buried in Bienfait and I have a picture of her tombstone.

William Rigate and his family 1932, CNR station (note- William's 2nd wife in this picture)

Note- this is a picture of the CNR station, so no doubt he was Station Agent of the CNR,
not CPR, as Colleen assumed from my web page, in her email above.

Rigate family at the CNR Station in Bienfait

Locomotive 3522


  • Last modified: 2018/02/19 15:24
  • by dlgent