The history of Yorkton is at your fingertips.
The City of Yorkton has been publishing the Municipal Manual for a number of years, and each year it adds to the amount of local history in the book, chronicling each year of the town’s history from 1882 to today. The manual also contains a number of local facts as well as a listing of everyone involved in the city today.
Mayor Bob Maloney said that it’s something that they’ve always had, but they want more people to know it’s there and is filled with interesting material about the city, both past and present.
“It has a lot of information about the city and how we got here. I think it’s great to be able to offer that to people,” said Maloney.
The history section has become more elaborate in recent years, and Maloney said it’s important to them to maintain a chronicle of the city’s history.
“You don’t know where you’ve come from unless you observe some of your past or your history,” Maloney said.
He also believes that it’s part of an overall need in Yorkton, and in Canada overall, to respect our history and preserve more of it so future generations are aware.
“I think it’s like the Brick Mill, to maintain some of those buildings. My wife and I had the pleasure of doing a European tour, and seeing some of the castles and the history that’s preserved, and we haven’t done a lot of that in Western Canada. When a building gets old, we tend to knock it down and build a new one. In Europe and Eastern Canada, they’ve taken the time to preserve some of those things. And I think it is important to look back and see the way that people lived, and the way people did things.”
The manual has been getting progressively larger over the years, and Maloney said that’s a result of people discovering more and bringing it to the city’s attention, as well as keeping track of what’s happening each year to add to the chronicle. It’s important for a city to maintain its own history.
“I think it’s critical, because if you’re not looking after your own history nobody is going to do it for you. I’ve found that people bring an old newspaper or an old map that the city might want to archive, pictures of the fair in its early days... All of those pictures are important, because you lose some of the buildings, and you lose some of that history.”
Keeping track of history is also important for regular operations, Maloney said. For example, the history of a property could mean they need environmental assessments, if that property had been a gas station.
The manual can be found at https://www.yorkton.ca/history/municipalmanuals/.