"This TOWNSHIP is well settled, the soil is rich clay and sandy loam; the White Sand River flows through the east part of it." (It was later always referred to the "Little White Sand River" which is a tributary of the White Sand River.)
These words are taken from the records of the York Farmers Colonization Company, founders of Yorkton regarding the Township within which York City was located in 1882 — Yorkton's original town site.
One can't help but wonder what our community would be like had it remained on the banks of the Little White Sand River. One can imagine that an area along the river and the central part of the town would have been developed for picnic sites as the pioneers had done. There would have been skating parties, a meeting place to swim perhaps, a walkway with historic interpretive signage, lights strung up over the river and a couple bridges would have been built.
The photo, looking north east was taken by Gene Denischuk, Chairperson of the City of Yorkton Municipal Heritage Advisory Sub-Committee, in August 2002 while on a trip to visit the old place. The field beyond is part of where York City was, NE 13-26-4 West of the 2nd Meridian.
Aron Hershmiller, Manager of the Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association describes the waterway: "Essentially the creek's headwaters begin approximately 30km north west of Melville, known as Crescent Creek. Crescent Creek flows through Melville and heads east to Crescent Lake and eventually spills into Leech Lake. From Leach Lake it flows under highway number 9 approximately 13km south of Yorkton. It then flows north east where it crosses under highway number 16 approximately 4km south east of Yorkton. I believe around that point the name then changes to Yorkton Creek. Yorkton Creek flows on the east edge of the city near New Holland Ltd and the new residential subdivision area. It continues north past the waste-water treatment plant eventually joining Cussed Creek which makes its way from the Willowbrook area. It then enters the Whitesand River north west of Ebenezer. The Whitesand River then meets the Assiniboine River at Kamsack. The Assiniboine flows south east into Manitoba where the Shellmouth Dam creates Lake of the Prairies. Spilling out of Lake of the Prairies, the Assiniboine River flows south and unites with the Qu'Appelle River at St. Lazarre Manitoba. It then makes its way east joining with the Souris River and eventually connecting with the Red River in downtown Winnipeg. There it takes the Red River name and flows north into Lake Winnipeg and eventually into Hudson Bay."
In year 2000, Little White Sand River became officially known as Yorkton Creek.
Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince,
City of Yorkton, Box 400
37 Third Avenue North
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3