The Early Days
Prior to 1905 only a few ranchers and Metis could be found in the Ituna area. The first wave of immigrants in that year brought more people to the area. The first immigrants were mainly Anglo - Saxon bachelors who purchased 160 acres of land for $10. They were required to clear 10 acres of land and to build a home upon it within three years of arrival. These homes were build of sod with log roofs. The settlers supported themselves by farming, using oxen to produce crops of wheat and oats.
In the fall of 1907, the Grand Trunk Railway which had been started in 1905, came to the lake on the east edge of Ituna. This brought an influx of settlers who were of Ukrainian decent in 1907 and 1908. The coming of the railway also encouraged the building of a grain elevator to store grains produced by the settlers. In 1910, Ituna was incorporated as a village and in 1961 as a town.
Some of the first businesses in Ituna and their proprietors were:
*Store - R.T. Grant Livery business -George Davey
*Restaurant - Bert Chorney
*Postmaster - S.A. Veals
*General Store -Dave Gurevich
*First implement business -Carson, Morrison & Watson
*Real Estate business- Joseph Handson
*Doctor - Dr.Turell
*Pool Room - James Arthur
*Bakery - A. E. Rayner
*Hotel - Frank Poitras
*Butcher - Dan Carriere
Through the years Ituna continued to thrive and grow. Businesses and residents alike came and went, all leaving their mark upon the community and taking with them memories of their time spent in Ituna.
Today, Ituna is a town of about 700 people, rich in Ukrainian heritage, neat and clean, and boasting of many modern facilities.
How did Ituna get its name?
At the time that the railroaders were building the mainline of the Grand Trunk Railroad they had the task of finding names for the little towns along the way. Many of these towns were no more than seven miles apart and an attempt was made as far as possible to name the towns in alphabetical order. As such, there was Fenwood, Goodeve, Hubbard and then a name beginning with the letter "I" was needed.
Perhaps the name was just copied from a town in Oklahoma of the same name, however, it is believed that the name originally came from Rudyard Kipling's story "Puck of Pook's Hill". In this story we read about "The Wall which stretched from Segedunum on the east to Ituna on the west". The Wall is Hadrian's Wall, built by the Romans to keep back the marauding Scots. Ituna was the wide estuary of the River Forth at the end of the wall.
We have a unique name, ancient in origin, and found no where else in Canada.
More Ituna History
The Ituna Museum is a great source of history and artifacts from the past. The Ituna & District Museum is currently closed as it is moving to a new location at 303 Main St. North. Please contact the Town Administration Centre for further information.
*The story of the Town of Ituna has been submitted to the Western Development Museum website and can viewed here or at kiosks in Saskatchewan Western Development Museums.
*In 1985, a book "So Much Is Ours" containing the history of the Ituna - Hubbard area was published and can be found at the Ituna Parkland Regional Library. A second edition "So Much More Is Ours" was also published in June of 2010. The second edition can be purchased at a cost of $40 each. A digital edition can also be purchased. Please contact Nell Wuschenny 306.795.2228.