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Humboldt is a Canadianmarker city located in the province of Saskatchewanmarker, 113 km east of Saskatoonmarker at the junction of Highway 5 and Highway 20.

History

Named after the German explorer, Alexander von Humboldt, Humboldt began as a telegraph station located on the Carlton Trail, a wagon route used in the early days of Canada as a route from Fort Garrymarker (Winnipeg) to Fort Edmontonmarker.The name “Humboldt” was approved in 1875 for the site in the North West Territories along the Canadian Pacific Telegraph Line at which a repair station was built (8 km south-west of the present city site). Built in 1878, theHumboldt Telegraph Station played an integral part in communications for the developing west.

With the Métis uprising led by Louis Riel taking place at Batoche just 100 km northwest, Humboldt became the important communication link between Prime Minister John A. Macdonald and his forces in the west. It was also a site of strategic importance. General Middleton arrived in April 1885 with 950 soldiers, established a garrison at the station and used it as his base for scouting operations. At that time, the Humboldt station was crucial, since the telegraph line further west was periodically cut, so Humboldt was the last secure link to the east.

Humboldt Telegraph Station
On May 1, 1885, Humboldt became the site of a large supply depot under Maj. Lt.-Colonel G. T. Denison, of the Governor Generals Body Guard. A combined force of approximately 460 men built an elaborate series of entrenchments, which converted the station into a fortified military encampment to protect the supplies. The troops left Humboldt in July 1885.The area was also the site of the first stage coach robbery in Western Canada. Parts of the Carlton Trail in the form of wagon tracks still exist in the Humboldt area.

Humboldt in its beginnings was primarily German Catholic. Immigration to the area from both the Northern Plains States of the USA and from Germany was promoted by the German American Land Company. St Peter's Abbey at Muenster was established by Benedictine Monks coming there from St John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. Many immigrants from Germany settled in areas in and around Humboldt such as Muenster, St Gregor, and Englefeld. Immigrants from the Russian Empiremarker who were ethnic Germans settled in the area west of Humboldt and south of the hamlet of Carmel.

Until the 1940s Humboldt had a small Jewish community (less than 10 families) which played a prominent role in its business and cultural life.

After being established as a city, Humboldt became an important location in Saskatchewan known as the Heart of the Sure Crop District for its reliable growing weather. This led Humboldt to become a centre for farming equipment and supply businesses.

Geography

Climate

The climate of Saskatchewan is characterized by its extremes. Saskatchewan is considered to have a continental climate with temperatures varying greatly between seasons. This can be explained by the province's position in the middle of the continent. The thermal character of the vast North landmass heats and cools very well seasonally. The West Coast mountains inhibit the passage of moderating air from the West. The lack of terrain impediments to cold and the Arctic air from the North are also strong factors. Some factors in Saskatchewan are precipitation, wind, abundance of sunshine and possibly severe weather in both summer and winter. The climate resources are usually sufficient for the agrarian economy of Humboldt but can sometimes put strains on the economy.

Precipitation varies both with the seasons and inter-annually. Saskatchewan has a fairly dry climate with a seasonal character. The majority (about two thirds of annual precipitation) of rainfall is in summer (May-September), but because of coolness of winter temperatures, long-surviving snow pack is also a factor. The peak in precipitation is usually June or July. The average annual fluctuation in precipitation can be challenging for the agricultural environment around Humboldt. The average amounts are usually sufficient to support the grasslands. The amount of precipitation also results in thunderstorms at a variety of scales.

Another important feature of the climate of Saskatchewan is the frequent clear skies which result in sunny conditions. Being in the middle of the continent, high surface pressure is frequently experienced. This high pressure can explain the general aridity of the climate. Many places in Saskatchewan have more than 2,000 hours of bright sunshine each year with Estevan (located 5 hours South of Humboldt) averaging 2,435 hours of bright sunshine each year.

The clear skies, general lack of humidity along with frequent winds, allow for large potential evapotranspiration (PET). This intensifies the aridity and dictates that the climate can only support grasslands in the Humboldt area.

Topography

Humboldt is positioned near the centre of the continent having a relatively high latitude. It is a great distance from the moist and moderating influence of oceans influence its atmospheric environment. The latitudinal difference of Saskatchewan can typically explain a 6–8 difference mean in annual temperatures across the province.

Humboldt and area's lands are grasslands which are ideal for the agricultural economy. The lands are primarily flat with small rolling hills.

Humboldt aerial view


Demographics

According to the 2006 census, Humboldt has a population of 4,998 people which is a decrease in 3.2% from the previous census in 2001. In 2008 the population had grown to 5,765 people.Around 16% of the population consists of youths under the age of 15. The 2006 Census states that the median age of the Humboldt population is 45.

The above land area figure was provided by the City of Humboldt in 2006.

According to the 2006 2006 Census, Humboldt consists of mostly Caucasian and Aboriginal people. 97.8% of the population is occupied by Caucasian ethnicity as well as a small portion of visible minority. The other 2.2% is occupied by Aboriginal peoples.

Economy

About 95% of all goods produced in the province directly depend on its basic resources (grains, livestock, oil and gas, potash, uranium and wood, and their refined products).

is mainly an agricultural community. Wheat, grain, canola, flax, peas, rye, lentils, canary seeds and barley are mainly grown in the area. Beef cattle production, as well as other livestock, is significant for the community.

With so many farmers in the area, agriculture related businesses were formed. Some of the services offered are trucking and financial management, finance, business services, wholesale trade, transportation, etc. These jobs became significant for the farming community as well as the manufacturing community.

Mineral resources in Saskatchewan rank fourth in Canada in terms of the value of mineral production. Numerous resources have been harvested in the province including; coal, gold, oil, gas, clay, copper, zinc, salt, nickel, platinum, petroleum, and diamond. Potash and uranium are the main resources being mined near Humboldt. Oil is also mined near the Humboldt area having a significant portion of oil production in Canada.

Attractions

Landmarks

Humboldt's Murals: Humboldt has seven wall murals around the downtown of the City.Influence of German Culture in Humboldt Area was painted on the side of Shoppers Drug Mart by Gerhard Lipp in 1996. The German balcony in this mural represents two generations of Humboldt residents. Mr. (Gary) & Mrs. (Dorothy) Karst are the former owners of the Humboldt Pharmacy (1950-1997, 47 years) and can be seen hanging a banner here. The Humboldt pharmacy was
Harvest Memory Mural
’s longest operating drug store. Francis Graf and Mrs. Maria Reinelt are the two pioneer ladies wearing traditional German outfits. One is wearing the Humboldt Tracht and the other is wearing a dirndl. The accordionist, Ed Brockmeyer (who helps out at the vintage museum), is serenading the two ladies. (funded by Humboldt and District German Heritage Society, Gary and Dorothy Karst, Ed and Isabelle Brockmeyer, Harry Graf, Klassen and Reinelt Families.)

Ford Dealership was painted on the side of the Discovery Ford building. The artist, German Jaramillo Mackenzie painted this mural in 1996. This scene was taken from an early photograph, taken after 1930. In the photograph there were no people, but the artist added some, and even though this photo is of the early days, the man in the bottom right hand corner is wearing a modern ball cap with the Discovery Ford logo on it. It shows the Ford Dealership, the old post office, which is the present day museum, and the old CIBC building which was built in 1912. The two men featured in the mural are Herb and Cliff Schlosser - the former owners and managers of the Ford Dealership from 1960 to 1993. The 1923 Model T in the mural is owned by Herb Schlosser and still used in parades and displayed at special events & parades. It was funded by Herb and Cliff Schlosser and Discovery Ford.

Humboldt's Beginnings Mural
The Trembley Furniture building presents the third mural called Humboldt's Beginnings. Painted in 1995 by Germáne Jaramillo Mackenzie of Regina, Saskatchewanmarker.This mural is split into 3 different parts, each one representing a different period of time on the prairies before people started to settle here and build farms and work the land.Left: (Note: Buffalos) The Native American teepees and European explorer show Humboldt’s history prior to the settlement.Middle: Two priests and a Presbyterian minister explored the Regina/Saskatoon/Rosthern areas in search of land suitable for colonization. They are surveying the land for settlement. The dust symbolizes uncertainty as to the wisdom of undertaking such a great new risk. However, the settlement proved successful due to the fertile land and excellent water supply, ensuring a future railway station.
Diefenbaker Stamp Mural
Right: This panel shows the railroad being built in 1905. The water tower wasn’t actually built until 1914-1915, but the artist wanted to include it in the mural. The water tower represents the development of the town of Humboldt. The foreman on the right with a shovel in his hand is Dennis Korte – the previous mayor of Humboldt and a contributor to the mural. It was funded by Dennis and Vyenda Korte and Humboldt & District Chamber of Commerce.

Harvest Memories is painted in the side of the Horizon Senior’s Centre which was painted in 1997 by Ernest Bereti of McLean, SK). This mural shows an authentic binder, a man stooking (putting hay into piles called stooks), a mother with a young girl bringing lunch to the fields by horse and buggy, a Co-op cream can from 1950’s, the water tower (which is still standing today), the Sask Wheat Pool Elevator and the St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church. It was funded by the Senior Citizen’s Club, Sask. Wheat Pool, Humboldt Co-op, Hergott Farm Equipment, Humboldt Bier Tent Gang and the Senior Citizen’s Fun & Fitness Club.

The Museum is another building that holds one of these seven murals. Alexander von Humboldt Bronze Bust was painted in 1994. This bust was put up in honour of Alexander von Humboldt’s 225th anniversary of his birth. The city of Humboldt was named after Alexander von Humboldt – a famous scientist (naturalist), author and explorer. He traveled across North and South America, and over 1,000 places are named after him; this is the only town in Canada nammed after him. There are rivers, mountains, glaciers, streets and cities all named after Alexander von Humboldt. The mural was funded by the Humboldt Jaycees and the German Heritage Society of Humboldt and District.

Humboldt Water Tower
The Railway Mural was designed out of metal by Rob Muench and cut by Ron Scott in 2007. It is located on the side of Yuen's Family Clothing. This locomotive is the biggest that CN had. It came through Humboldt on the last day that there was passenger train service. The mural committee chose a steel structure because of the difficulty in painting on a south-facing wall. The logo is specific to the passenger train engine.

The final Mural is located on the side of the Willkommen Centre downtown. The mural is of the Diefenbaker Stamp painted by Rob Muench in 1999. The Diefenbaker stamp honours Canada’s 13th Prime Minister - John G. Diefenbaker. He was the Prime Minister from 1957-1963. Diefenbaker was a criminal lawyer in Humboldt. This mural is a representation of an actual stamp, which shows a Humboldt Post Office cancellation mark. The mural was funded by Joan Josephson’s Royal Bank Provincial Community and Culture Achievement Award and the Humboldt Bier Tent Gang.

Built in 1915, this tower is one of only four such structures remaining in the province. The exterior design is striking due to its resemblance of a coastal lighthouse. Humboldt's Water Tower Committee takes pride in the distinction of having the tower as one of nine projects across Canada thus far selected as a part of the Heritage Canada Foundation Landmark Preservation Program.

Situated west of Humboldt along Saskatchewan Highway 5 and two miles (3 km) south is the Kloppenburg Wildlife Refuge. It consists of of land which have never been cultivated. This property was donated to provide to future generations an example of the vegetation and natural conditions of the land around Humboldt before European settlement after 1900.

Events & Festivals

The Humboldt Polkafest is held every year in Humboldt from May to June. The weekend consists of polka music, dancing, and German food.The Summer Sizzler and Rodeo is held around July 1 (Canada Day). The event features professional rodeo, the Jaycee Demonstration Derby as well as other events. There is also a parade held downtown and activities at Centennial Park.Oktoberfestmarker is a celebration of Humboldt's German Heritage featuring beer and sausage, held in the fall at the Uniplex.

Galleries & Museums

Humboldt Museum
Since opening in 1982, the Humboldt and District Museum and Gallery has been located in a 1912 national historic site with its landmark tower clock. The building was originally built to house the community’s post office and customs office. The structure features Richardsonian Romanesque architecture which is based on mass, volume and scale for its overall effect rather than enriched or decorative detail. The Humboldt and District Museum & Gallery offers exhibits of the multicultural heritage of Humboldt and area. There is a pioneer home with exhibits featuring old-fashioned furniture and appliances. A replica of the 1878 Humboldt Telegraph Station is also offered to visitors. It has a computer interactive component for visitors to learn Morse code. The museum is home to the Sports Hall of Fame collection, which features sports legends such as Glenn Hall and Leo Parker, as well as other sports memorabilia.

The Willkommen Centre is a mini-museum about Humboldt's beginnings with information about St. Peter's Colony, Alexander von Humboldt and the naming of the community, the influence of the Benedictine Monks, Ursuline Sisters and Elizabethan Sisters, and Humboldt's connection with its German theme.

The Humboldt & Area Vintage & Antique club exhibits tractors from 1927 to 1954, threshing machines, and many other farm implements. They have an original smithy with a forge, anvil and other blacksmith equipment. The Humboldt & Area Vintage & Antique Club houses hundreds of tools and equipment used by the early settlers of the area. Once a year the members demonstrate threshing, wood sawing, feed grinding, cow milking and other old-fashioned farm activities for hundreds of people.

The Bill Benson Military Museum has exhibits related to war. Exhibits include military/nurse wear, medals, souvenirs from WW1, WW2 and Batoch. The museum also contains information about the men who went to the wars from Humboldt and the surrounding area.

Facilities & Services

Uniplex

Downtown Humboldt
The Uniplex is Humboldt's recreational facility with curling rink, a skating and hockey rink and an indoor aquatic centre featuring a waterslide, large pool, whirlpool, kiddie pool and a community centre for conventions and meetings.

Shopping Centres

There is one indoor mall, The Humboldt Mall. Humboldt has several strip malls and a downtown district.

Churches

Humboldt has ten churches: Humboldt Alliance Church, St. John's Lutheran, St. Andrew's Anglican Church, St. Augustine Catholic Church, Living Word Ministries, All Saints Ukrainian Catholic Church, Humboldt Bible Church, Westminster United Church of Canada, First Baptist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Parks & Outdoor Facilities

The City of Humboldt has parks and open space throughout the city, servicing a wide range of needs.

Centennial Park is located on the Uniplex grounds. It features 6 ball diamonds of various sizes and usage, portable spectator seating, Minor ball facilities with concession and batting cages, Rodeo and exhibition grounds. The Rodeo & Exhibition Grounds is an outdoor sand-based riding arena with an outdoor grandstand that seats around 1,000 people.

Civic Park
Humboldt has many parks located in the residential communities. Glen Hall Park features soccer/football/rugby game field, inside track area with full irrigated turf, 6 lane 400 meter track with crush base, practice field area, outdoor ice rink with paved surface, boards, change area, lighting, 73’ by 180’; outdoor tennis area with three courts; playground. Civic Park is the park space surrounding City Hall which includes open green space with tables and benches, water fountain, monuments, paved pathways and newly-developed Heritage Gardens. This park hosts a number of performances and social gatherings. Bill Brecht Memorial Park features a large community park, soccer facilities, ball diamond with back stop and turf infield and a playground. Carl Schenn Recreation Park features ball diamond with back stop and turf infield, soccer facilities, playground. Water Ridge Park is a newly-developed ecological park with many features still in progress. The park is located next to the golf course and behind the municipal campsite, and features open green park space next to water front, crushed walking paths, gazebo, picnic shelter, flower beds, and lookout point (under construction). Wilf Chamney Park is a small community park with a new playground and open green spaces. A.E. Kilcher Park is a community park with small soccer facilities and a new playground. This small park is surrounded by residents. Peace Park is a small community park with a play structure for everyone to enjoy.

There is also park space shared with community schools. St. Dominic School Groundsfeatures outdoor ice rink 180’ by 73’ with boards, gravel base, lights, change area; soccer facilities, two ball diamond back stops, playground area and basketball court. St. Augustine School grounds features two ball diamonds with backstops, playground, and a basketball court.

The city features an 18 hole golf course located next to Wateridge Park and the Humboldt Historical Park and Campground.

Education

Humboldt has three elementary schools, two Catholic (St. Augustine and St. Dominic) and one public (Humboldt Public School). It has one high school (Humboldt Collegiate Institute), which is public. homepage

Carlton Trail Regional College is headquartered in Humboldt Carlton Trail Regional College offers programs including Education, Business & Management, Agriculture, Office Education, Computers, Health & Safety, Industry/Trades, as well as Online training programs. This Regional College is one of nine Saskatchewan Regional Colleges. Homepage

Sports

Humboldt is home to the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League .

The Humboldt Speed Skating Club is nationally renowned. The club is home to several Canadian and a North American speed skating champion. Humboldt speed skaters regularly win Provincial, Canadian and North American medals. In many National Championships the Humboldt skaters win more medals than provincial teams. Canadian and North American medalists include Addison Thiel, Ebony Thiel, Nathan Bernhard (Canadian and North American Champion), Ryan Bernhard (Canadian Champion) and William Dutton. Dutton and Nathan Bernhard are presently (2008) training as members of the Saskatchewan provincial team at the National training center, the Calgary Olympic Oval.

Dutton was a member of the 2009 Canadian World Junior speed skating team. He skated the third fastest men's junior 500 in the world for 2009. Dutton finished 6th in the combined 500s in the 2009 Zakopane World Junior Championship. He qualified for the 2009-2010 Canadian speed skating National development team.

Humboldt also has a bowling league, dance schools and a gymnastics club.

The Humboldt Collegiate Institute is home to many athletes. Currently, Brianne Theisen is a heptathlete training at Oregon University. She has succeeded in many events such as hurdles, running, long jump, javelin, etc. She has won numerous events such as the Pan Am Junior Track and Field Heptathlon in Brazil. She has also won numerous awards including Saskatchewan Athlete of the month.

Humboldt also has high school sport teams. Currently the high school has Senior & Junior Volleyball teams (boys & girls), Senior & Junior Basketball Teams (boys & girls), Soccer (boys & girls), Badminton, Golf, Cross-Country, Track & Field and a 9-man Football program known as HCI Mohawks. The Mohawks have won provincial championships in 1975, 1996, 1997, and 2008.

Notable people

Notable people who were born, grew up in or established their fame in Humboldt:



References

  1. Virtual Museum
  2. The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan
  3. Saskatchewan Economy
  4. Carlton Trail Regional College
  5. Humboldt Bronco's
  6. Speed Skating Results


External links




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