Pierson

The Town of Pierson was incorporated in 1891.

Stories

#One of Pierson’s early entrepreneurs [[inline:left:dandy]] In the early days of Pierson’s development, Mr James (Jim) F. Dandy was one of the town’s most active entrepreneurs. He launched three very successful businesses in [Pierson](article=pierson) in addition to owning farmland outside of town. He leaves a legacy tinged with the tragedy that led to his premature death. ##First Business: Hardware and Lumber Jim Dandy moved to Pierson from Ontario in 1891 with his parents and siblings. In 1897 he built the town’s first hardware store which he personally owned and operated. It was quite small at first, until he enlarged the premises the year after it opened. He added furniture and a lumber yard to the business in addition to providing space for the post office—he himself served as the community’s first postmaster. When the post office moved, the phone office replaced it. In 1910 Dandy sold the hardware store. Since then a string of owners have conducted business out of Dandy’s building, using the space mostly as a hardware store as Dandy did (though it did at one time house an undertaking business and for a brief time a sporting goods store). The building was eventually demolished in the late 1990s due to its poor condition. Today the Heritage Restaurant stands where Dandy’s hardware business used to be. Dandy’s lumber yard is still in business in Pierson today. In 1899 Dandy’s business was booming and his was said to be “the best lumber yard in southwestern Manitoba” by the newspaper. ...

#The present-day oil boom builds upon a history of success in the oil industry **1949 - Present** In the last few years, the southwest of Manitoba has been experiencing a boom in oil production. Driving through the countryside around the [Waskada](item=waskada) and [Pierson](article=pierson) areas, one can see that the presence of oil is obvious by the increasing number of oil derricks visible on the landscape. The small villages belonging to the area have found themselves suddenly in the middle of a multi-million dollar economy. However, oil exploration in the southwest is nothing particularly new. [[inline:right:oil-well]] ##The Waskada Field The Waskada oil field was discovered midway through 1960. Up to the end of 1979, development of the field consisted of only six wells that produced only marginal amounts of oil. However, in the 1980s, Omega Hydrocarbons Ltd drilled two new wells and recompleted three old wells. The experiment proved lucrative, which encouraged the company to proceed with a 24-well development exploratory program in 1981. The next year the company scheduled an additional 74 to 80 drillings based on the success of their existing wells. The oil boom in Waskada in the 1980s brought positive benefits for the community. It attracted families to settle permanently in the community, which allowed the village’s high school to remain open. However, oil activity around Waskada petered out over the next decade after oil companies had extracted all that they could reasonably produce. ##Much Older History in Pierson In the Pierson area, the history of oil ...

# The Rise of a Town Planted Beside the Railway **1891 - Present** The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) laid tracks through what would be the village of Pierson in 1891. The CPR soon sent out a surveyor who subdivided lots for a town. Merchants Alfred Gould and David Elliot from [Sourisford](article=sourisford) made the first purchase on these lots. They established Pierson’s first business, a grocery store. The CPR used the money it made from selling lots in town to build more railway and maintain the line. February of 1892 saw the first train rumble down the tracks. In short order three grain elevators were built beside the tracks by different companies to take delivery of local farmers’ crops. In 1900 this number had risen to four. [[inline:right:pierson-train]] The train station at Pierson was a busy place. [Lyleton](item=lyleton) was not serviced by rail until 10 years later, so farmers from that region relied on Pierson’s station as a place to drop off their grain. Pierson was also well situated on the rail line to receive coal from the coal mines near Estevan. During years when coal was scarce, such as 1901 and 1906, a group of wagons or sleighs formed an anxious line-up in front of the coal car, hoping that when they reached the front of the line there would still be coal left to fuel their fires at home. Though the train is still an important means of transporting goods to and from Pierson, its use as a passenger ...