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The Village of Macoun, with a population of approximately 170 residents, is located 27 km NW of Estevan on Hwy 39.

History

In 1898 the Soo Line extension linked the more settled areas of North and South Dakota and Minnesota with the Canadian Pacific transcontinental railway in the Canadian Prairie. A section of the land lying along the railway much favored by incoming landseekers was named Macoun and remained but a point on the railway map, distinguished only by a section house for the accommodation of the road gang working from that point on the line. Macoun, for some time, was no more than a box car station and a section house for the living quarters.

The first homesteads in the Macoun district were filed around 1901, and over the following few years an influx of settlers arrived, many of Norwegian and Swedish origin. The village was named after John Macoun (1831–1920), a Canadian botanist and explorer of the area who was sent by the Canadian government to study the prairies. The first Macoun Public School built in 1902 and by October 1903, the community had grown large enough to be incorporated as a village. The following two decades were Macoun’s most active.

By 1916, the population of the village was approaching 300. The community suffered a number of fires, the most tragic of which occurred in 1914 when a gas explosion in the hotel triggered an instant inferno that left 13 dead and many injured. One residence and three other businesses were also lost in the blaze.

The 1930s also took a toll on the community, so that by 1941 the population had fallen to 129. The discovery of oil in the region in the early 1950s brought a return to prosperity, and offered diversification to an economy that had previously been solely based on agriculture.

Today, Macoun is essentially a residential community, although its K–8 school remains a long-standing community institution.

Farmer and businessman Leonard J. Gustafson, appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1993, was born and raised in Macoun.

Attractions

  • K-8 School
  • St. Paul's United Church (built in 1907 as Presbyterian)
  • Town hall (built in 1903)
  • William Snider Park - The parks and recreation maintain the rink for social events.

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