History greets you at every turn. Use the guide to see our Heritage Moments.
Built in the early 1950s, this location has housed diverse tenants but usually a restaurant and a grocery store. One of the eateries was called Rusty’s, sharing the name with the motorcycle (see photo below) owned by the man who built the building and who also was connected to the Arcade Stores, Ken Arner.
Grocery store owners like Nunns, Stroeders, Wendleborgs, Carles, and Flemings were well known by seasonal residents who often ran a “tab” or charge account for their groceries. A rite of passage for children was being sent alone to the store to charge a quart of milk or a dozen hot dog buns for the evening cookout.
Other businesses located here over the years were Traeger’s Bakery, clothing stores, and gift shops selling souvenirs and aboriginal arts and crafts. Now the yellow awnings and patio umbrellas lend a cheerful air to downtown Waskesiu.
Waskesiu businesses were places where young people were hired for their first ever jobs. The business community has mentored many young employees in the job market. Entry level jobs are paper carrier, dish washer, ice cream scooper, and golf caddy.
Ronald Cripps tells about the wages he earned from his first jobs in Volume I of Waskesiu Memories.
“One of my first jobs was delivering the Herald. If I remember correctly the paperboys’ share of the money was about two cents a paper and a whopping five cents for the Saturday edition. We used to ride our bikes up and down the roads yelling, “Prrincce Alllbert Daillly Hearrald.” . . .
As I got older, I also caddied at the golf course. We would head up to the Pro Shop at seven o’clock in the morning to try to get one of the first groups. We would sit by the pro shop and politely ask each golfer as he went by, “Caddy, Sir?” If a golfer, who did not have a pull cart came by, it was amazing how quickly the caddy pool shrank. The wage at this time was up to $1.25 - $2.00 for eighteen holes, plus a cold drink and perhaps a chocolate bar at the tenth hole.”
“For many years, new employees in Waskesiu were introduced to the “Meat Stretcher” as part of their initiation to business life at the lake. A newcomer would be sent to the Saratoga to borrow their 'Meat Stretcher.' The manager there would tell them that it was out at Kapasiwin Cabins and at Kapasiwin, they would be told that it had been loaned to the Pleasant Inn, who in turn said it was at Manville’s and on and on.
"When our poor sucker finally found it, he had to bring it back to his place of employment. The 'Meat Stretcher' was a gunny sack full of pieces of old iron and a couple of rods thrown in for good measure to add weight! It must have weighed at least fifty pounds and was very difficult and awkward to carry. Believe me I knew!”
Ron S. Clancy in Waskesiu Memories, Volume III.
“There was great camaraderie amongst those teens who worked by Waskesiu. Reta, Rich Van Impe, who worked at Pease’s fish house next door to the Pleasant Inn, and I were from Saskatoon. The rest were mostly from P. A. In the evenings, we’d all take hamburgers and other snacks down to the end of the breakwater where we’d meet, eat, sometimes sing, and have great conversations in the light of the little black pot that always burned there after dark.”
Shirley Lambert in Waskesiu Memories, Volume II, edited by Dorell Taylor
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