Hirsch Train History

Hirsch, Saskatchewan, Canada

Hirsch CPR Train Station and Section Foreman's House

Part of the CPR “Souris Section”, changed to the “Estevan Section” later on.
Located on the “Brandon- Napinka- Estevan line” (Winnipeg to Estevan)
(Mileage below in track length)
278.4 miles from Winnipeg (East)
7.9 miles to Frobisher (East)
10.2 miles to Bienfait (West)
18.7 miles to Estevan (west)
Telegraph call sign= SC

In 1891 the land was graded to a point west of Alameda, but the steel only went as far as Oxbow.
The railroad was built though Hirsch, in the spring of 1892,
as it was completed to Estevan, in the summer of 1892.

The 2 photos below were sent to me by Gail Skikevitch, with thanks!

Both photos were taken by her father Joe W. Skikevitch in 1954

The first one below, shows the Steam Locomotive, pulled up at the Hirsch Station, heading east to Frobisher.

I believe it is CPR #2508, a 4-6-2 Pacific type Locomotive.
Hard to read the number, but pretty sure I am correct.
The name “Hirsch” is on the side of the station building.
On the right, in the background, is the home of Frida Backman, built in the spring of 1927
after the loss of her husband Tom Backman, who was the Section foreman at the time of a car accident, that claimed his life in 1926.
Behind this 2 story house, and to the right (East), is the 2nd Backman Barn, built in the late 1920's.

This second photo below, shows the First Backman barn on the left, built in 1910-1920 range,
the Low Section Tool, Speeder storage building in the middle,
and the Hirsch Station, on the right edge.
The House in front of the barn, is the CPR Section Forman House, where Tom Backman's Family lived until the spring of 1927.
Thanks to Lyle Backman for the correct captions.

photo taken by Joe W. Skikevitch in 1954

A little more history pertaining to the Backman family, and the CPR,
ANNA MATILDA BACKMAN (1870-1960), was a Sister to

Tom Backman

Anna was the first Backman to come to Canada from this line, in 1896.

Her husband JOHANAS (JOHN) OLSON, (1872-1962)

John Olson
John was one of the early Section foremen on the Hirsch-Frobisher track, from 1896-1902, when about that time, Tom Backman would have done the job, until his death in 1926.
John Olson was foreman of the B&B gang, when the Souris-Estevan branch track was laid. Prior to this he worked on the CPR Pipestone-Deloraine line.
Both of these men were born in Sweden.
Both of these men raised their new families in this old Section foreman house.
John's wife Anna was postmistress in Hirsch, 1897-1903

Gail Skikevitch tells me the Hirsch Train Station is now a storage shed in Estevan SK.
Another source says it was moved 1km north of Hirsch, and used as a farm building.
It was a standard portable station, used by the CPR at that time.

The CPR had a pipeline running straight south of Hirsch, to the Souris River, where they had thier Pumphouse, and a Dam.
This dam can still be seen using Google Earth.
I wouldn't doubt Hirsch uses this pumphouse for the village water.
These old Steam Engines used lots of water.

Hirsch Dam and Pumphouse is located on NW Section 11, Township 2, Range 5, W2
My dad owned the land highlighted in pencil just west of this pumphouse.
Note- this is a portion of my Dad's 1927 map
The Macoun Pump House was built in the fall of 1910 so this one was from the same period possibly.


  • Last modified: 2019/10/08 19:22
  • by dlgent