Waskada

(1899 – Present) The first buildings in Waskada were a post office and grain elevator.

Stories

#Over the span of his nearly 100 years he became a sailor, farmer, veterinarian, gold-panner and dedicated community worker [[inline:left:charles-sankey]] **1863—1962** Charles Sankey is undeniably one of the most colourful characters from [Waskada’s](item=waskada) history. After spending his youth adventuring, he found a small prairie community to call home. Born in Ireland in 1863, Sankey was educated by a governess until the age of twelve. His father was the manager of the Brookboro Estate, and when he died, Sankey was sent to Germany to live with his uncle. There it was decided that he would join the Merchant Marines. After training on the HMS Conway in London, his first sea voyage was to China and Australia aboard the Barque Fantasie when he was 16 years old. He touched land for only five days before being called to join the crew of the famous clipper the [Cutty Sark](article=cutty-sark). Sankey embarked on a two-year long adventure, travelling all around the world. Sankey departed from his sailing career in 1882 and went to join his family in Toronto where they had emigrated from Ireland. He soon struck out west, following his brothers to [Boissevain](item=boissevain), Manitoba where they were farming. He settled on a homestead there for a few years where he raised cattle. In 1894 he moved back to Ontario to attend the Ontario Veterinary College. He graduated with flying colours, winning the coveted Gold Medal. He began his career as a veterinarian in New York state working as an inspector for the inter-state ...

#The fight to build and keep a rural railway line **1900-1966** ##CPR Monopoly No single event changed the fate of Western Canada more than the coming of the railroad. In 1881 the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR) received a charter to link the east and west coasts of Canada with tracks of iron. In addition to receiving a monopoly on the main transcontinental line, the CPR was also given the right and responsibility to build branch lines 80 kms to either side of the main line. No other Canadian company was permitted to build a branch line inside CPR territory, therefore the company was able to advance at their own convenience due to the lack of competition. ##Anticipation and Frustration Settlers in the area of Waskada and Goodlands in southwestern Manitoba waited in great anticipation for a branch line to be built through their communities. Year after year the CPR announced that there were plans in the works to build a line that would run southwest of [Deloraine](item=deloraine) to [Goodlands](item=goodlands), [Waskada](item=waskada), [Coulter](item=coulter) and [Lyleton](item=lyleton), yet year after year the rail line failed to become a reality. Locals were frustrated because they keenly understood that rural access to a mode of transportation was vital to an agricultural economy. The train brought supplies, without which the practice of farming was much more difficult. In addition to transporting farm machinery, lumber, and coal, the train also delivered passengers and mail. [[inline:right:lyleton-branch]] Repeated delays moved J. S. Thompson of Waskada to take the issue ...

#A tale of mystery and intrigue from the high seas! **1880—1882** *Settlers heading to Canada’s West left their homes in Europe to seek a new life in a new land. These people uprooted their lives and brought to the Canadian prairies their own stories and experiences.* *One person’s adventures are particularly worthy of note: [Charles Sankey](article=charles-sankey) stepped off the deck of the famed tea clipper the* Cutty Sark *onto North American soil when he was 17 years old. Just as many years passed before he settled in the small town of [Waskada](item=waskada) in southwest Manitoba. He brought with him the story of his voyage aboard the* Cutty Sark, *an ill-fated two-year journey filled with unending intrigue and excitement. He kept the details of the journey in a secret diary and told the story to his children.* [[inline:right:cutty-sark]] ##Murder and Cover-up The *Cutty Sark* was a vessel built for speed. The boat had been designed to be a clipper for the tea trade, and, soon after its construction by the Willis and Sons shipping company in 1869, the ship became one of the most widely known vessels on the ocean. Sixteen-year old Charles Sankey had just returned from his first sea voyage when he was asked to join the crew of the *Cutty Sark* as senior apprentice. The ship was to begin its journey from Cardiff, Wales, and Sankey arrived on the dock just as the ship was pulling out to sea. The captain was anxious to be out of harbour, ...

(1967 - Present) The Waskada Museum presents an impresseive array of pioneer artifacts that sprawl over 1,100 square metres and five buildings.

#Bringing trees and a recreational facility to a small prairie town [[inline:right:waskada-park]] **1906—Present** When [Charles Sankey](article=charles-sankey) arrived in [Waskada](item=waskada) in the fall of October 1899, the townsite was totally devoid of trees. The prairie landscape that surrounded the town was decorated only by a scattering of farmhouses. Sankey was a dedicated community worker, and in fact appointed by the municipality to look after general public interests in the town. ##The Vision of a Park On a walk south of the townsite one day, a vision presented itself to Sankey: a recreational park, surrounded by trees, with space for sports activities and community events. From this initial dream, a combination of design, tenacity and some accident brought the Waskada Park into being. The land south of the tracks was vacant, and Sankey applied to the [CPR](article=lyleton-branch) to gain use of the land. The railway company was not interested in having a town on both sides of the tracks, but agreed to sell 30 acres of land to the town to be used as a park. The down payment was paid by Sankey himself, along with a few other community members. The rest of the cost was paid by the town – a total of $900 ($30 per acre) – over the next few years. Sankey then approached Frank Temple, who owned the land around the park and arranged to trade 2.5 acres on the southeast corner, for 2.5 acres on the east end. With this extra property the complete bend of ...