Alvena, Saskatchewan Genealogy and Homestead History

This web page was first mounted on March 3, 2011 by Sheila Schmutz. sheila.schmutz@usask.ca and last updated on November 1, 2021. Any additions or corrections are welcome!


Table of Contents

Note that some sections below are on separate webpages to aid download speed.


The early inhabitants of this area were Indigenous peoples. It is located in Treaty Six Territory. This treaty was signed in 1876. The area is also known as a traditional home of the Metis people. One of the reserves of the One Arrow First Nation is located just north of the RM of Fish Creek today.

Settlers arrived in the Alvena area around 1887, according to the Saskatchewan GenWeb project. They have placed Alvena in the Saskatoon Region 8 in their system. There was a post office in Alvena since 1887.

This webpage focuses on a few settler families that homesteaded within a few miles/km of Alvena, Saskatchewan. (An associated webpage focuses on the settlement of nearby Fish Creek.) The village of Alvena is located about 30 minutes drive NE of Saskatoon along Highway 41 by today's automobile standards, but was a much longer drive back then by horse and wagon. Furthermore the settlers were more likely to go to Prince Albert, as the closest major town with a Dominion Land Office, than to Saskatoon. There was a large immigration house in Rosthern, where it is believed many of the Ukrainian immigrants were sent out from. A very comprehensive overview of was been prepared by the Saskatchewan Archives Board staff, but it is no longer online (www.sasksettlement.com) in July, 2020.

The map from 1924 at the left is from the collection of maps at Saskatchewan Wheat Pool 60 Years 1927-1984. Alvena was in their district 13, sub-district 5. Elevators are shown as red symbols, located along the railway lines. Alvena did not have an elevator. It was the last stop on a "feeder line", with the closest elevator on that rail line in Wakaw to the northeast. The elevator in Cudworth to the east, could be reached by horse and wagon.

The Honorable Ed Tchorzewski apparently gave a speech at the Alvena Homecoming on July 27, 1980 and in Memories- Alvena District, a book prepared in relation to this event, he states that a large group of homesteaders came in June, 1898. He further states that they were the second large group of Ukrainian settlers in Saskatchewan and became known as the Fish Creek Colony. Many had signed up to go to Manitoba or Edmonton where relatives had already settled and were surprised to hear they were instead going to Fish Creek R.M. However, most stayed. In mid-June of that year a killing frost hit and destroyed the gardens that they had planted.

Alvena has been in the Rural Municipality of Fish Creek, No. 402 since before it was formed on February 28, 1913. The administrative office of this R.M. is in Wakaw. Prior to the R.M.'s establishment there was a Local Improvement District which was formed on July 15, 1907. Alvena did not become a village until 1936.

The map below shows the Rural Municipalities in District 5. The names of the RMs adjacent to the RM of Fish Creek have been added.

There was also a place known as Alvena Farms (22-41-1-W3) which does not exist now, except for the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I am not sure if there ever was more there than this church. Anyone with information about this, please email me.

A commemorative memorial to the early settlers of Fish Creek is located one mile south of Hwy 312 on the "correction line road" near the St. Julien church.

Schools

The Saskatchewan One Room School Project lists several one room schoolhouses in the region (shown on the map at the left).

These and later schools are shown on the map at the left, adapted from "Memories - Alvena District" (1980).

Stores, Post Offices, and Ferry

The first store in the RM was owned and operated by Joe Brunoniar in Fish Creek, beginning in 1900 (Hawrish 1967).

The original license for the Gabriel Ferry which traversed the South Saskatchewan River and connected to the Carlton Trail was obtained by Gabriel Dumont in 1877. He ran it intermittently until 1883. In 1908 the ferry was licesned to the village of Rosthern. The Saskatchewan Government took over the ferry in 1912. This location is now on Hwy 312.


Publications Related to Early Settlement of the Alvena Area


Links to Sites Related to the Alvena Area

Links to Sites with Genealogical Information


Thanks for your interest!