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The village of Kisbey is located southwest of the Moose Mountain Provincial Park, 14 km west of Arcola on Hwy 13, along the Red Coat Trail with a population of approximately 185. The Moose Mountain Creek flows approximately 2 km south of the village en route toward the Alameda Dam, and then on to its confluence with the Souris River near Oxbow. The Pheasant Rump First Nation has small land holdings immediately to the north and the south of the community.

History

The name of the village honours Richard Claudius Kisbey, who, with his brother, William Dennington Kisbey, immigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1881. They took the train to Brandon, where they purchased a yoke of oxen before travelling via Cannington Manor to settle in the area southeast of present-day Carlyle. Richard Claudius Kisbey invested in land in the region and after the CPR extended its line between Arcola and Stoughton in 1904.

The steam locomotives that began running through the locale took advantage of an abundant water supply, a supply which continues to be an asset to the village. An interesting perk of living in Kisbey today is that residents do not pay for water as each household has its own well. Shortly after the coming of the railroad, the townsite was surveyed. The post office was established on May 1, 1905; the first school opened for classes in July that year; a Board of Trade was organized in 1906; and, on May 8, 1907, the Village of Kisbey was incorporated.

One of the first tasks of local officials was grading streets as most of the townsite at the time was still natural prairie. A major improvement to the appearance of Kisbey took place in the spring of 1920 when 1,000 trees were planted along the village streets. While the community’s population peaked at close to 400 around 1916, it levelled of at close to 300 in the 1920s, and it remained close to that mark until the mid-1960s, at which point it slowly, but steadily, began to decline. Modern Transportation, the consolidation of rural services, and shopping trends would slowly lead to the erosion of the local business community and would present challenges to residents’ sense of social cohesion. In 1964, high school students, the first of succeeding grades, began to be transferred to Arcola to attend classes and in 1969, the CPR station was removed. For years, three grain elevators lined the tracks at Kisbey, but in the mid-1980s the Kisbey sentinels were closed then demolished. In 1990, the rail line through the community was abandoned. The tracks were torn up and now only the remains of the rail bed runs along the south side of Railway Avenue.

Kisbey remains a pleasant, well-kept, quiet, community. Today, all village children attend school in Arcola. The nearest hospital is located in Arcola; the nearest police service (the RCMP) is located in Carlyle. Even though there are only a few local businesses left in Kisbey such as a Credit Union, a trucking company, the post office, an insurance broker, an Anglican Church (1914), a United Church (1927) and has a volunteer fire department. Crop production, ranching, and oilfield-related businesses provide the basis of the area economy so it is not unusual to see pump jacks dot the farmland surrounding the village.

Attractions

  • Recreation centre: rinks for skating, hockey, and curling
  • Playground and a park.
  • Close proximity to Moose Mountain Provincial Park, a short distance to the northwest, provides Kisbey residents with a wide range of recreational facilities and opportunities.

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