(Last updated: August 27, 2021)
The Town of Hepburn, located approximately 50 kilometers north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was officially recognized on July 5, 1919. The town obtained its name from the first post office on the farm of Rowat Hepburn (the home of Gordon Hepburn). Opportunities for plentiful fertile land attracted homesteaders and settlers to the area in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. As with many rural Saskatchewan communities, people of similar culture and language gravitated to the same community. Many of the settlers were German Mennonites.
The settlement of Hepburn grew quickly in the first two decades of the 20th century before being declared a village. Progress was evidenced by the construction of the first store and two elevators in 1908, the commencement of train service (1909) and the construction of a lumber yard and of a church (1910). During the next decade, the Hepburn Trading Post, Cockshutt dealership, a telephone company, garage, livery barn, and other business establishments were built. Other businesses such as various stores, garages, implement and vehicle dealerships, drug store, restaurants, and grain elevators were built after it became a village. 1927 marked the building of a new school (now a heritage property) and the beginning of Bethany College. Over the years, Hepburn has experienced many changes.
Hepburn joined the Twin Rivers group in February 2008. The group formed with the desire to build inter-municipal relationships and identify regional opportunities. Council members and administrators from nine municipalities including the Town of Duck Lake, Town of Hepburn, Town of Waldheim, Town of Rosthern, Town of Hague, Village of Laird, RM of Rosthern No. 403, RM of Laird No. 404 and the RM of Duck Lake No. 463. Twin Rivers is located in Central Saskatchewan in an area approximately 20 km southwest of Prince Albert and 40 km north of Saskatoon between the borders of the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers. Town Council has representation at the Twin Rivers group gatherings, speaking for Hepburn, either the mayor, administrator, and/or council member.
According to the 2011 census, Hepburn had a population of 562, but has experienced a growth of a population exceeding 600. In August 2012, the Village shifted to Town status. Hepburn completed a major water project in 2012. The Town has retained its rural flavour, even though many residents work in nearby areas and Saskatoon. The 2016 census noted an increase in population to 688 residents. The RM of Laird designates an additional 526 residents as part of the Hepburn District as of 2020. At the start of 2019, the estimated population count is at just over 700 residents. In honour of the Centennial Celebration, a joint group of the Museum of Wheat Committee and the Parks & Recreation Board was initiated to plan for a Hepburn Centennial Park Project in 2017-2018. The plan will enhance the Museum grounds with a gazebo, boardwalk, pathways, and lighting, with work to begin in spring 2020.
Regular community events include: Minor Hockey Tournaments (January), Thrive's Youth Party With A Purpose (March), Figure Skating Carnival (March), Winter Festival (March), Kidventure Spring Camp (April), Garage Sale Day (May), Spring Clean-up Day (May), Museum of Wheat Regular Saturdays (May-Sept), Hepburn Marketplace (May, June, July, Sept), Fair Days Weekend (June), Athletes in Action Soccer Camp (July), Garden Tours (July), Kidventure Program (August), Taste of Hepburn (August), Art on Main Event (August/September), Museum of Wheat Threshing Day (September), Family Movie Nights (September-March), Fall Clean-up Day (October), Fall Museum of Wheat Fundraiser Dinner (November), Christmas Events & Concerts (December), Light the Night (December), and New Year's Eve Event (December).
Hepburn is a proud agricultural community and area. Check out this report from Stats Canada, issued May 2017: “Saskatchewan remains the breadbasket of Canada. Almost 91% of the total cropland in Saskatchewan was seeded with field crops in 2016. Saskatchewan accounted for more than two-fifths of Canada’s total field crop acreage with 36.7 million acres, more than Alberta and Manitoba combined. Canola and spring wheat (excluding durum) remained the two largest crops in terms of area, while lentil area more than doubled from 2011.” http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/95-640-x/2016001/article/14807-eng.htm
The Town celebrated its 100th anniversary year in 2019, with several special events and initiatives, including a summer festival weekend on June 14-16, 2019. The Centennial Celebration Committee was: Jeff Peters (Chair), Lisa Braun (Secretary/Community Coordinator), Tim Baerwald (Parks & Rec Rep), Teddi Dear (Museum of Wheat Rep), Janet Hamilton, Wendy Featherstone, Morris Pompu, Henry Ens, & Linda Ens. The theme was "Celebrating 100 Years of Building Community!" The committee is grateful to the entire community for all their participation and support for the Centennial Year and Centennial Weekend. Find more here: https://www.facebook.com/HepburnParksAndRec/
In honour of this special milestone, The Hepburn Greenspace Team (Centennial Park Team) was formed to enhance the Museum of Wheat, a focal point to Hepburn's Main Street, with a centennial legacy project. The team has been working and planning since 2018 on a development to the Museum grounds. The unveiling of the Hepburn Centennial Park Project, including gazebo, sidewalk, boardwalk, benches, lighting, and more, will occur at Grand Opening Event on Saturday, September 11, 2021, including an outdoor concert with Donny Parenteau. See more at: https://www.hepburn.ca/recreation/festivals_events.html
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Hepburn, “Where Friends and Family Meet”