Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

Souris River Valley Archive Photos

Location of Items of Interest below can be seen in the map above ca 1927, or use the Key Map below

Modern Era Map above with key below:
A= Old Highway 47 Bridge
B= Old Highway 18 Bridge
C= New Highway 18, west to Torquay
D= Old Highway 18
E= appears I missed this letter?
F= New Highway 47, South to Noonan ND, USA
G= Old Highway 47
H= River Park Pavilion and Hotel, B&B Drive-in
I= River Bend Nursery (note 3)
J= Original McLeod cabin/ Charlie Vaughn / Jim Lamb farm
K= Prairie Nursery Farm, managed by Gus Gesell
L= George / Jack Pawson Market Gardens (note 1)
M= Riverdene, Torgeson Summer Home
N= Bastian / Hinzman farm (note 2)
O= Old City Swimming Pool / CPR Dam behind it
P= Woodlawn Regional Park and Golf course
Q= Location of the Estevan Brick Plant
R= Location of the old Estevan Greenhouses
note 1- above the letter L, and east of the road adjacent to the river, was land owned by the Prairie Nurseries, which was bought from George Pawson.
The B&B house will sit on a portion of this land.

note 2- Bastian farm (N), on Sec 10, Tp 2, Rge. 8, was owned by the Bastian Family before Bill and Dorothy Hinzman bought it probably from Wilfrid Bastian in early 1960's.
Probably owned in 1911 at least, by a Josiah Bastian. See my Bastian Family page for their history
Note 3- (I) Owned and operated by Gerry Fichtemann and Glenn Coles, River Bend Nursery operated for many years until partially closing in 2008. Gerry is one of the sons of Walter Fichtemann, owner of the Estevan Greenhouses for many years, which was located south across the river from River Bend. The Fichtemann family has lived in the Souris Valley, near Highway 47 for years. I have some fantastic lilies in my garden in Terrace BC from this nursery. The Fichtemann name is synonymous with plants in the Terrace area for decades. If you want to know about ANY plant, ask Gerry! Forget the other garden centres in the city, talk to him. Now he is semi retired, you might even be able to track him down. Estevan can be proud this family settled in the area for sure.

Souris Valley Near Estevan

Vaughan Crossing Bridge
Souris River Flood Mar 27, 1928 (see top 1927 map)

Gus and Mae Gesell at Vaughan's crossing

old B/W photos taken by my Aunt Rose Gesell

Scenes of the Souris River, near Vaughan's crossing

Charles (Charlie) Thomas Vaughan Farm (J)
South of the Souris River.
Charles Thomas Vaughan
b- July 1878, in Ontario,
d- May 8, 1946
buried in Estevan City Cemetery.
His wife was Ethel Bruce? Van Styck.
she is buried in Souris Valley Memorial Gardens.
They had a daughter,
Hazel Girtus Nash (nee Vaughan),
b- Nov 16, 1906, d- Nov 10, 1994
The Vaughn's moved from Stoughton to Estevan in 1909.
This farm passed from the Vaughn family, to James (Jim) Lamb.
Today his son, Nathan Lamb and his family live here, and farm this area.

This was the location of the log house (J) built by the Co-founder of Estevan, Mr John McLeod, for his family.

The Little wooden bridge that crosses the Souris to get to this area, and the Mets ball diamond there, is called Vaughan's Crossing
Continue on past the old pool, the New Souris Valley Theatre, Cossette Ball Park, and soccer fields.

This is the area where most of my Mom's family, the Gesell's, learned to swim.
They lived on the Prairie Nursery farm 1 mile south of the bridge, on the left.
My grandfather Gus Gesell, was the manager of the farm. Charlie T. Vaughan, and a Mr. Nesbitt, opened the First Garage in Estevan, “The Estevan Garage”,
A Mr. Robinson took over from Mr. Nesbitt.
It then was known as Vaughan and Robinson Garage, NE corner 5th st and 13th ave.
Became Grundeen Motors, Dyer Ford, and many more.
Now the location of the Post Office.

Norah Mather and Rose Gesell At the Torgeson summer residence, called Riverdene, (M in map above), Aug 4, 1929

Norah Mather became a WWII veteran. Rank of Sergeant in the Canadian Women's Army Corps, and she served overseas.
She was Estevan's Town Clerk, from 1928 to 1970, and now has a Park Bench, placed in her honour, in front of the Estevan City Hall.
The Mather family were involved with the operation of Prairie Nurseries.
Her brother Frank was Sales Manager, and eventually Secretary of the Company.

Rose Gesell, was the daughter of Gus Gesell, manager of the Prairie Nursery farm, south of Vaughn's Crossing.

Souris River looking east from Yardley's Coal Mine
Mr. Henry Yardley was Estevan's First Mayor.

Souris River Valley Postcard courtesy Grant Walker in CA

Buffalo trail just north of a bridge taken by my Aunt Rose Gesell
This could have been around the area, of the old Power station south of Estevan.

Walter and Emilie Fichtemann, taken at their son Ron's wedding
Estevan Greenhouses from the air (R)

Owned by Gesell family friends, the Walter Fichtemann family, Located just south of the old Highway 47 bridge, straight south of Estevan.

Estevan Brick Ad 1922 (Q)

1923 article on the Clay in Saskatchewan
submitted to me by Mr. Grant Walker, CA. US

Gesell family on the CPR Dam (O)
with the Billy Bevan farm in the distance
photo by Rose Gesell
Billy Bevan was the First CPR Pumpman
This was located south of the old swimming pool, or south of Souris Valley Theatre today.
and Larry Preddy tells me it still stands today 2009.
Look in Google Earth, and it is visible from space.

Unknown Coal Mine
If you know the name of this mine, please let me know. Picture sent to me by Ron Carpenter, with thanks.

1971 cover, Geological Survey of Canada
on the Estevan Lignite Coal Seams
Report from a Salt Lake City source? why there?
submitted to me by Mr. Grant Walker, CA, USA

CPR Dam on the Souris River (O)

Mr. William (Billy) Bevan
b- June 30, 1870 near Chatham ON
d- Mar 15, 1935 in Tyvan SK
He was the first CPR pump man in Estevan.
wife- Anne Hobson
b- Feb 15, 1873 in ON
d- Nov 29, 1947 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, USA
married in Killarney MB, Dec 1892
both buried in Regina SK.

daughter Lillie (Lily) D. Bevan
b- Aug 8, 1895 in MB, d- ?
married a Mr. Laughlan, Wisconsin
worked for Moore & Garner Law Firm.

daughter- Irene Bevan
b- May 1902, in MB, married in 1933 to Frank H. Rust, Toronto
Irene taught school in 1925 at Valleyview School, prior to her marriage

1901 census in Turtle Mountain MB area.
William shown as Irish, Methodist, Farmer
Anne shown as English nationality.
Moved to Estevan in Sept 1903
This was located south of the old swimming pool, or south of Souris Valley Theatre today.

1911 census shows the family living at the Estevan Brickyard
and William shown as an Engineer.

Postcard of the CPR dam (O)
from Victor Tobias
Unknown lady in the picture.
This was located south of the old swimming pool, or south of Souris Valley Theatre today.
Photos taken from Vaughan Crossing bridge.

On the river at Estevan, Postcard ca 1918

River Park swimming hole
also known as woodlawn Park Swimming Hole.
Postcards courtesy Grant Walker

River Park, Rotary Park, Woodlawn Regional Park (P)

Larry Preddy reminded me of the “ole swimmin' hole” Woodlawn Park, and the Souris River, where myself and thousands others learned to swim. Diving off the old bridge, for those that dared!

Wood-ticks, ah now everyone is itchy and scratching, right? It is a shame today, as thanks to foolish campers, carrying firewood with them, all the old Elm trees
have had to be removed from this area, due to Dutch Elm disease.
My mom and her family learned to swim at Vaughan's crossing, just past the “old swimming pool”.
This pool was the replacement for the river site, and what a “clean” treat it was.
I remember riding my bike from hillside, just to go for a swim.
Now it is the location of a great outdoor theatre every summer.
Today the City has a great water and entertainment centre with a water slide and everything, all indoors.
Have been there a few times to check it out and enjoyed every minute of it!

This is a photo of a painting by artist Marie Turner, ca 1965
It was donated to ECI by the class of 1965.
The bridge can be seen clearly in the background.
This photo brought back lots of memories.

The bridge in the park, near the swimming hole, was a narrower wooden bridge, if I remember right.
Pretty well in the center of the park.
Per an article on the history of the park it says it was constructed by the Rotary Club, as an access to the Park, from the south side of the river.

I know it had railings or supports, Some of the braver kids used to dive from it. I could barely swim, so it was not me!

Picture of the Old Swimming Hole, Woodlawn Park, ca 2005-6
Taken from the New Highway 47 bridge.
Looking East.
The swimming hole was located where the grassy area appears on the north side of the river
Photo by Larry Preddy

Estevan Water Treatment Plant, Aug 2009

River Park Pavilion
aka “The Ponderosa” (H)

River Park Resort Ad

River Park Pavilion was built in 1918,and owned by 2 brothers, Thomas and James Green.
Located straight south of Estevan, on the old Highway 47, to the right, just before the turn to the old bridge.
River Bend Nursery was just beyond this location.

River Park Hotel
Postcard from Jean Dornian, Oct 2009

In 1935, the Northern Crown Bank building in Macoun was bought and moved to the River Park pavilion site.
This is the building in the picture above.
It was operated by the widow of Thomas Green, Wanda, and Joe Kraft her brother, also George and William Green, her sons.
They added a tourist park, and cabins.
The property was sold in 1957 to William O'Laney, and Bert Shipman.

River Park Pavilion ca 1947
Postcard from Jean Dornian, Oct 2009

From a researcher of the BCMT&T Co, Mr. Craig Williams,
“Between 1904 and 1910 the Vancouver based British Columbia Mills, Timber and Trading Company marketed a patented system of prefabricated sectional buildings in western Canada. Once their system was well known they were contracted by the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Northern Bank to prefabricate branch buildings.”

Other memories from the early 60's, B&B Drive-In, owned by the O'Laneys. Located just before the Pavilion.

The corner on the highway, where you turned into these places, is not even the highway anymore! My Dad loved the B&B's Fish and Chips, and the trees to park under
to have our take-out supper. In those days it was a real treat to eat-out, now it is done almost every day, by all of us.
I am sure many dances, weddings etc. can be remembered at the River Park Pavilion. Nathan and Brenda Lamb, had their wedding reception there for one.

Views from the old hwy 47, looking west.

In the 1930 and 40's many big name bands, such as Tommy Dorsey, Don Messer, and Frankie Yankovic performed here.
From the 2000 ECI reunion we found Bobby Curtola performed here in 1965.

My Aunt Dolly tells me, on the left, from the old Highway 18, just before the Water treatment Plant, was the road into the this dance hall.
Looking at Google Earth, I can see they would have had to have a bridge there, to cross the river. Can't say I have seen any pictures of this bridge until Oct 2009.
see below

If you look at my Prairie Nursery page, It has a picture of the Torgeson's summer home, called Riverdene. (M)
This is a beautiful spot, just behind the present day Water Treatment Plant.

Woodlawn Bridge

The old Highway 47 bridge south of the City, (see top 1927 map)

view looking south location of old bridge, aug 2009

looking N from old bridge

Just after the bridge, about a 1/4 mile, around a bit of a S turn, heading south, on the right side, was the turn off to the Estevan Greenhouses.

Rose and Emilie Gesell, Boating on the Souris River, at the old Highway 47 Bridge

Of course now the new highway is further east of this spot, and cuts through the old Woodlawn Park area.

Bridge to River Park Tourist Camp, ca 1946,
left off of Old Highway 18, south of Estevan, looking East (see 1927 map above)
The old highway 18, used to wander along the river, not where it is located today.

From Mrs Jean Dornian, this explanation below, which clears up this confusing 2 bridge situation in this area.
When we went to visit John's parents on the farm near Outram, we took highway 18, turned right at the end of that road (at the water treatment plant)
and crossed the bridge (Hwy 18 bridge, on the right) going west, when we went to Pawson's market garden, we crossed the same bridge then turned left.
To cross the other bridge, (picture above), where the accident happened (see below) we would have had to turn left, and it would have taken us into the park
where the hotel and dance pavilion were, where the B & B trailer park was situated.

On the reverse of this bridge postcard above it tells the story that ca 1946, a car hit the boards and went into the river.
One girl and her fiancé drowned, and the driver managed to escape. In 1947 they were building a new bridge to the left of this one for 2 way traffic.

Old Highway 18 Bridge, looking East taken Mar 24, 2009
Photo by Larry Preddy.

(see 1927 map above)
Just back where the photographer is standing, is the turnoff to Bill and Dorothy Hinzman's Farm, (Originally the Bastian Farm) as well as a new B&B down that road.
George Pawson's, (later son Jack Pawson's) Market Garden, was down there as well.

On the right, at the bend, is where the Estevan Water Treatment Plant is today, and the entrance to Riverdene. It was the summer home of the Torge Torgeson family.
George Pawson actually sold part of his land, around 1912 to Mr Torgeson

photo looking west, Aug 2009

I thought this was an Old Estevan Pump House, but turns out it is the back side of the Watrous Pump House, on East End Little Manitou Lake.
Now I know the rest of the story, thanks to Mr. Frank Korvemaker.
for more info see this book:
Legacy of Stone: Saskatchewan’s Stone Buildings, by Margaret Hryniuk, Frank Korvemaker & Larry Easton, p. 214-217.
The picture above doesn't show how big the building was, or how beautiful it is. The old stone Masons did wonderful work.

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  • Last modified: 2020/12/17 15:05
  • by dlgent