History greets you at every turn. Use the guide to see our Heritage Moments.
This block on Lakeview Drive has seen the most changes over the years. On the corner at one time was a motel known as the Beachcomber or the Lake Shore and it was here that a log RCMP detachment was first built.
Along the block there have been restaurants like Hunter’s Lunch, the Naughty Pine, and the Saratoga Grill, Lakeside Grocery, the Hardware and General Store, Sun Togs clothing, Fluff’N’Stuff treats, and Wash-ka-sou Laundromat.
Mel Wood of Wolseley, SK and partners constructed the Hawood Inn in 1988 and added the extension six years later. Open four seasons with restaurant, bar, conference rooms, and catering, the Hawood is a full service hotel and attracts business year round to Waskesiu, including vacationers, weddings, and conferences.
Doc Sissons and his spouse Ma Sissons owned or operated several businesses over the early years including a boat livery, a motel and lunch counter, and message service. However, Doc is mostly remembered for the much beloved Shell Shop. This couple spent their winters in Florida where they would collect shells to haul back to Waskesiu in their old ½ ton truck. Doc would clean them and make them into lamps, ornaments, and other creations to sell in his shop. In spite of the fact that these shells were not native to this area, they were very popular souvenirs purchased by vacationers. In these days before people travel commonly to “sun destinations”, visitors were fascinated by the variety of tropical shells and children were invited to pick a free shell from the boxes displayed at their eye level – a clever marketing strategy by Doc.
A fond childhood memory about the Shell Shop contributed by Winona Potts of Shellbrook to Waskesiu Memories, Volume 1, edited by Dorell Taylor.
“An almost daily trip for the small fry was to The Shell Shop. I don’t know how much money-making business they did, but the three free shells they handed out to each child every day at least kept them coming in (hopefully with their parents) to see and learn and exclaim over the wonders in the cases. “
“The Saratoga Grill was built in the late 1940’s, next to the Red Deer Chalet, and up from the breakwater and boat dock. Ken and Bill Turnbull from Prince Albert ran it from 1949 to 1956. It was a popular spot with the young people, tourists and golfers. There were swimming and diving lessons given at the breakwater by Pluke Fournier. The dance hall (Terrace Gardens) was just up the street from the Saratoga and the crowd from the dances came for hamburgers, chips and Cokes: seven cents for a coke, five cents for ice cream.
"First thing in the morning, 6:00 a.m., the golf crowd would be waiting to get in for breakfast. We served steaks and fish and chips, white fish netted from Waskesiu by Alex Pease, who rant the fish house and had the only netting license for Waskesiu. The sign on our wall read, 'The fish on our menu today slept last night in the Bay.'
Ken and Jean (Anderson) met at the Saratoga in May, 1949, when Jean and her Mom and Dad came up to oversee the putting up of their shack tent and stopped to have a hamburger. They (We) were married a year later. John Bower and his wife Nancy worked for us at the Saratoga for a couple of summers before he opened his own café. “
The Saratoga Grill by Jean and Ken Turnbull in Waskesiu Memories, Volume II, edited by Dorell Taylor
“The Saratoga was famous for its large, brown French fries (chips)….I used to stop there for a bag of Saratoga chips and take them down the path west of the breakwater to sit on the rocks, eat fries, and watch the sun go down over the lake.”
Shirley Lambert in Waskesiu Memories, Volume II, edited by Dorell Taylor
The Saratoga is transformed
Contributed to Waskesiu Memories, Volume II by Marjorie Matheson, who along with her husband Al, ran the Red Deer Motel and the WASH-ka-sou for seven years and the Fluff’N’Stuff for ten years .
“The WASH-ka-sou was the old Saratoga building. Jack Binkley bought it in 1961 for a laundry and Al Matheson installed the machines and maintained them…later purchasing the business.
"I operated the Fluff’N’Stuff for ten years. At first, it was a job for my teenage family. We sold candy apples, candy floss, popcorn and caramel corn. I put in long hours into it – much of the time standing over a hot copper pot. I often run into folks who remember coming in for their treats as children. Later, the Dycks added ice-cream, which was very popular too. “
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