Katepwa, Saskatchewan - History - The Resort Village

The Resort Village

By 1914, the Katepwa Beach Syndicate was formed, subdividing the land where the Village of Katepwa now stands. The street names in use as early as 1911 are still in use today, such as Qu’Appelle Avenue and Cypress Street. The syndicate set up laws concerning the sale of property and sanitation in the townsite. Another subdivision, Who Calls Beach, was surveyed in 1911, followed by Lakeview Beach in 1913, Idylwyld in 1919, and Como Park in 1921 (incorporated with Sandy Beach in 1980). Dundurn Park predates the syndicate and the other subdivisions.

Soon after the syndicate was formed, the summer resort grew to include the hotel, dining room, tea room that also served as a sort of general store, a dance hall, a boat rental, and an 18-hole golf course. The Hotel was operated by the Grant family until 1934. In 1940, Jack Obleman and Wally Wirth took over the Katepwa Hotel when the previous owner, Mr. Arlet, died after running the Hotel for a year. Mr. Obleman ran the hotel while Mr. Wirth went overseas in World War II, and Mr. Wirth and his wife, Lillian, ran the Hotel until 1955, at which point they sold it to Allan Robinson from Indian Head. The hotel burned down in May 1977 and was quickly rebuilt, opening July 1 that same year.

In 1912, Adelaide Hemstreet opened the Sunset Inn Tea Room. In 1913 she built a number of simply furnished cabins which she rented to guests. She expanded the land in 1914 and built a kitchen and screened-in veranda. Guests were fed in the tea room, which became exclusive and gave the Inn a very good reputation. Al Chaffee bought the Sunset Inn in 1939 and added a confectionery store and improved the kitchen. He added electric lights to the cabins, the store, the inn, and the dining room, as well as a telephone.

The business was sold in 1946 to W.J. (Bill) Oliver, who expanded the store considerably, increased the number of cabins, modernised the cabins, including electric refrigerators and flush toilets. His wife, Mae, ran the dining room, which offered formal Sunday turkey dinners, and his son, Dwight, helped out as well. Bert Miles bought the store from Bill in 1962, but sold it to Dwight Oliver in 1968. Jay and Bonnie Haaland ran the store from 1970 to 1973, followed by Pete and Frankie Law from 1974 to 1976. Dwight Oliver’s children, Bryan and Barbie, ran the business in 1977. The Laws bought the store in 1978 and continued to run the business until 1982, when it was sold to Maureen Barth.

Bill Oliver continued to care for the cabins until the last of them was sold in 1978, leaving only the store. After several more changes in ownership, the store was torn down in April 2010.

Read more about this topic:  Katepwa, Saskatchewan, History

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