History greets you at every turn. Use the guide to see our Heritage Moments.
The Lakeview Hotel was built in 1930 and enlarged the next year. Over the years, it had many different owners, operators, and renovations which even added an underground parking garage at one point. For many years, the Owl’s Nest bar was the local hot spot for young people. In the 1980s Barb and Joe Krieg kept it open year round and hosted a special New Year’s Eve party with a buffet.
According to Joe’s tradition, people tossed their champagne glasses at midnight into the massive stone fireplace. Joe used the resulting melted glass as a free form sculpture on the breakfast buffet table the next day. Joe sold a spice that he used in his kitchen as Swiss Joe’s Seasoned Salt. It is still available for purchase today.
The Hotel was rebuilt into suites in 2015-17.
The Waskesiu Lodge was one of the first commercial accommodations constructed in the townsite and contained a dance hall, lunch counter, and store as well. It was enlarged in 1931 but was unfortunately lost to fire in 1954
with only the stone fireplace left standing.
“Original Waskesiu Lodge was a beautiful log structure with a huge stone fireplace. The Lodge consisted of a rotunda whose ceiling was the roof of the two story structure. Small rooms were on the second floor, opening off a balcony extending out over the rotunda. On the main level there was a frame structure added to the west side of the building divided into three or four rooms. On the east side, there was also a frame structure added to the building which housed the Madden’s Grocery. The grocery had a counter extending the north south length of the building, behind which merchandise was displayed on shelves. The competition between the only stores, Madden’s Grocery and the Arcade Store, was fierce.”
J.W.H. Sanderson, Q.C., Waskesiu Memories, Volume I, edited by Dorell Taylor
Lily (McKay) James wrote about working with her friend Blanche at the Lodge in 1931 in Waskesiu Memories Volume III.
“I was born in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, in 1913. I was seventeen going on eighteen when I went to work up at Waskesiu Lodge. I think it was in May they opened. I went out there in June. They had this big summer resort place where in the middle of the Lodge building was a big dance hall. On the left hand side was a grocery store and a post office all combined….On the right side, in the dining room, they had about six booths along the wall and the cook, he had his kitchen at the back there. In the afternoon we’d take orders for the people. They didn’t serve big meals. It was mostly maybe toast or bran muffins, blueberry muffins, butter tarts—that sort of thing—that they served. Well, if they were busy in the restaurant we’d be working in there and when we weren’t busy then from there we’d go over and work in the grocery store.
"They used to have 'Jitney Dances' at night, five cents a dance. So Blanche and I’d be selling tickets as the people were going in. I had one cash register and she had the other. In order to dance you had to have a ticket. The guy on the inside would collect the tickets each dance. People even used to come, want us to dance. So, I would let Blanche go dance with them and I’d take over her cash register or she for me. We had a lot of fun. There would be a live band playing any kind of music you wanted of that time. It was good.”
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