In 1919, Govenlock in the extreme southwest of Saskatchewan was a village of about 150 people. While we are presently focusing on the Prohibition years and the liquor trade, this village as all of them along the Weyburn-Lethbridge Canadian Pacific Railway line were quite prosperous. The community had an impressive station and section house, a few grain elevators, a school, butcher shop, a service station selling Model T Fords, a hotel, dance hall and pool room. They had also organized a Chamber of Commerce. No less than four liquor warehouses were established. There were many parties, and gambling. The excitement brought customers and travelers from south of the border and single men from far and wide around the region. Americans came for liquor stocks as well as entertainment. It got around that you could have a very good time in Govenlock! When the American travelers were ready to leave, they loaded up their fancy cars with barrels of beer and cases of whisky, crossing back into Montana under the cover of darkness. It is said that a carload of 14 barrels of beer and 5 cases of whiskey could turn a profit of $2,500.
However, the excitement would come to an end a few years later. It took a tragedy in the Bronfman family to help trigger action by the Provincial Government. Next week, will be the story of this tragedy. And, today, there is only a commemorative plaque left as a testimonial to Govenlock's existence and its once prosperous and wild past.
Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince, Heritage Researcher,
City of Yorkton Archives,
Box 400, 37 Third Avenue North,
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3