Our community started as a unique destination in western Canada for our many spas and dancehalls, and later became the home for communication for the CBC and CBK Radio. Now we are a thriving community where agriculture, automotive, tourism, and potash industries meet. The history of Watrous Manitou is yours to discover.
The Watrous-Manitou Beach Heritage Centre is located at 403 Main Street, Watrous, SK. It is run by volunteers and is open daily throughout the summer and reduced hours in the Winter. Please check their website, or call 306.946.1177, to confirm availability. The museum features historic memorabilia from Watrous, Manitou Beach and surrounding areas. Stop in at the Watrous Manitou Beach Heritage Centre to see a comprehensive selection of artifacts and learn the many histories of our area.
The Legend of the Spirit of Manitou
Long before European settlers emigrated to Canada and the western territories-Saskatchewan was designated as part of the Great Plains of western Canada—a variety of Canadian First Nations tribes traveled throughout the land, utilizing the available resources for their survival while still respecting the land from which it came.
The arrival of the European settlers impacted the tribes in a variety of ways. One of the most devastating effects settlers had upon the First Nations people was the introduction of foreign diseases such as smallpox. The Cree people who populated the land area known as Saskatchewan were exposed to smallpox and suffered devastating losses. Traditional medicines and remedies proved ineffective against this new disease.
According to legend, some young men fell ill during their tribe’s move. Fortunately, the tribe’s choice of camp was in the vicinity of what is now known as Little Manitou Lake.