The Early 50s

Many important developments occurred in Elk Point and area during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It star­ted with the salt plant being built near Lindbergh by the Alberta Salt Co. in 1949. This plant, which was later ren­amed the Windsor Salt Com­pany, provided much em­ployment to Elk Point and district residents and contri­buted to the economy of our community.  The formation of the Elk Point Gas Company in late 1949 gave our village a na­tural gas supply which pro­vided much comfort to all our homeowners.

Possibly the most impor­tant of all our new de­velopments was the building of the bridge over the nearby North Saskatchewan River. This bridge replaced the ferry which had operated contin­uously since it was installed in 1914. Just prior to the build­ing of our bridge, the Department of Public Works had announced that a new paved highway was to be built between Vermilion and Elk Point, and work on it would start immediately.

Another important announcement was made in January 1951 when it became known that a $180,000 grant had been made to the Elk Point Municipal Hospital for an ad­dition that would provide 25 extra beds. Prior to this time, the hospital was badly overcrowded and space was a necessity.

In June, 1952, Canadian Uti­lities Ltd. also announced that the last of the power poles had been laid between Vermilion and Elk Point and soon elec­trical power would be flowing through these lines to Elk Point from their Vermilion plant. Prior to this, power had been supplied to our village by a local plant owned by Dr. F.G. Miller and Dr. A.G. Ross.

In September, 1953, it was announced that a new con­tract for the completion of Elk Point's water and sewer in­stallation had been granted to R.D. McLeod of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Part of the equipment needed to finish the job had already arrived and work was to start in a few days.  During the early 1950s all surrounding country schools started to close down due to centralization. The students of these schools were then bused into Elk Point where they continued their education. All these developments were very important to our village and surrounding dis­trict as they all contributed to our economy and growth. Our population during the early 1950s did not exceed 600 peo­ple, however, since then Elk Point has continued to grow at a rapid pace.

Other 'news' items taken from the Elk Point News sec­tion of the St. Paul Journal during the early 1950s were:

In 1952, eight Grade 12 stu­dents graduated from our high school and were awarded scrolls by Dr. F.G.Miller. The graduates were: Evangeline Scraba, Elizabeth Soldan, Helen  Sumislawski, Doris Weigerinck, Ann MacDonell, Emerson Arnold, Carl Hall and Larry Babcock.

Elk Point lost many of its early pioneers during the 1950s. They included Mrs. Sarah Frances (Ma) Caskey, Mr. F.E. VanArnam, Mr. Peter Keitges, Mr. Alfred A. Ham, Mrs. Elizabeth Milholland, Mrs. Arvilla Lambright and  Harry Ramsbottom..

In March, 1953, a tragedy occurred in the Elk Point dis­trict when death was the grim fate of William Harasym. His 1952 Pontiac stalled on a level crossing two miles west of Elk Point and was hit by an on­coming freight train.

Another news headline an­nounced that the Elk Point Chamber of Commerce had organized a "Friendship Train" to Edmonton. It was scheduled to leave on Tues­day, June 24, 1953, and was to pick up passengers between Heinsburg and Edmonton, where they were to be enter­tained by many Edmonton businessmen. Two years prior to this, hundreds of Edmonton businessmen had visited the 'many towns and villages between Edmonton and Heinsburg on a similar tour.'

Judging by another head­line, bingos were as popular as ever. In a 1953 edition, it was announced that Emerson "Buck" Eaton was the winner of a combination refrigerator and deepfreeze.  Our dollar during the 1950s wasn't as inflated as the dollar is today. You could still buy a top line car or truck (new for as little as $1775. Gasoline was selling in the neighbor­hood of 50 cents a gallon.)  The early 1950s were excit­ing years that offered much to the growth and economy of Elk Point and surrounding district.