Viscount – A Brief History
Viscount & nearby Plunkett were named for Viscount Plunkett (1764-1854), an Irish lawyer, judge and orator.
Construction began on Viscount’s first building on May 20, 1907.
Canadian Pacific Rail Line graded through Viscount.
Viscount was erected to a Village status on December 17, 1908.
Steel laid for CPR Line and station built.
First telephone line constructed from Lanigan to Saskatoon.
Village residents installed telephones in homes and businesses.
Curling and skating rink constructed south of the railway tracks.
Water and sewer construction completed.
Construction of existing Community Centre began.
First Recreation Board established.
Construction of potash mine 5 miles west of Viscount.
Natural gas brought to Viscount.
Community Centre construction completed.
Village purchased fire truck and equipment.
Joined with other municipalities to form Wheatland Regional Library.
Village Office and Library relocated to existing building.
Elks Society and three levels of government constructed 6 duplexes.
Firehall renovated to house new RM firetruck & the Village firetruck.
Saskatchewan Housing Corp. & Village constructed 17 housing lots.
Pipeline linked Viscount to surface water from Saskatoon South East Water Supply system.
Prairie Housing Development constructed 10 rental units.
Village flag designed by Irene Mills.
Grand opening for Western Cable Television Systems.
Hosted the Quill Plains Winter Games.
Volunteer Fire Department established.
Grants approved to construct & alter the K to 12 Public School.
Village & RM completed joint fire hall.
Purchased a 2-lane bowling alley to replace one sheet of curling ice.
Entered into Regional Waste Management Authority Program.
Viscount inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.
Began implementation of 911.
Village sign designed by Michael Gaudet and installed by highway.
Began installation of new benches and flower pots.
Renovations to Viscount Community Centre.
Completion of 40 yard indoor Archery Range in Community Centre.
Village of Viscount History
Viscount is located on the south east quarter and south half of the north east quarter section twenty-nine (29) in township thirty-four (34) range twenty-six (26) west of the second meridian within the Rural Municipality of Viscount Number 341.
This location is approximately forty-five (45) miles east of Saskatoon on number 16 (Yellowhead) highway. The elevation of Viscount above sea level is 1,797 feet. Viscount and the nearby Village of Plunkett were named for Viscount Plunkett (1764-1854) renowned Irish lawyer, judge and orator.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Comeault were the first citizens of the Village. On May 20th, 1907 accompanied by four hired hands in charge of lumber and provision wagons, they left Dana to locate at Viscount. On the mornings of May 22nd Mr. Comeault drove the first nail in Viscount’s first building. On May 27, 1907 the first eight blocks which had been surveyed previously were registered in the Land Titles Office.
In 1908 the Canadian Pacific Rail Line was graded through Viscount. The steel for this line originally known as the Pheasant Hills Branch, was laid in 1909 along with the station being built the same year.
With more than fifty persons residing in the Village on December 15th, 1908 they petitioned the Municipal Commissioner for Saskatchewan to be given a Village status. Their efforts were rewarded when on December 17, 1908 the Municipal Commissioner erected Viscount to a Village status. Nominations for election as members of Council were set on January 4, 1909 at the Beaver Lumber Company’s Office with W.J. Nickle to act as returning officer in case of an election. January 18, 1909 was set as the first meeting of Council.
The establishment of the Telegraph was in 1909. In 1910 Village Council issued the first debenture for the amount of one thousand dollars with interest at six percent per annum. With the population increasing to seventy two, water was needed and the first well was dug in 1910.
1912 saw the first telephone in Viscount. This was a line constructed by Saskatchewan Government Telephones from Lanigan to Saskatoon which could only be used for long distance.
1930 saw the depression start with Council business consisting of courts of revision and unpaid taxes. Council decided to charge ten cents for a barrel of water in 1931 for non-Village residents. By 1931 the population had risen to three hundred and forty two persons.
1961 was the beginning of the Village’s largest local improvement undertaking. Martin Sundin was awarded a contract to drill and develop Viscount’s third water well which was to be used for supplying a water system. Council asked the burgess to vote for debenture borrowing towards installing a water and sewer system. On July31, 1961 the vote was defeated forty three to forty one. A second vote on the water and sewer was taken on June 26, 1962 which was passed on the burgess. Construction was started on the system and completed in 1963. In 1963 the first rates charged for water were $4.75 monthly and for sewer $2.75 monthly.
Construction of the existing community centre was started at 1964 as the Village entered into agreement with the R.M. of Viscount to construct the centre and to apply for a Centennial grant for the project. With the construction of the Viscount Community Centre underway the first Recreation Board was established in 1965.
In 1966 with the construction of a potash mine underway five miles west of Viscount new homes were being constructed to accommodate the workers. Since the mid-sixties approximately sixty new homes have been constructed or moved into the Village. This was due to farmers and potash workers settling into the Village.
Improvements did not stop as natural gas was brought to the Village in 1967. Saskatchewan Telecommunications constructed a tower for long distance and direct dial telephones.
Village business from the early days was hand led from the Rural Municipal Office later the affairs were handled from a private office and then moved to an office in the fire hall. In 1973 Council saw a need to have improved office accommodations. With the Beaver Lumber Yard Office being for sale the Council decided to purchase the building and turn it into the Village Office and Library. After considerable renovation Council moved into the office with the library moving from the Community Centre in 1974.
In 1975 a need arose for senior citizens housing and Council responded by giving six serviced lots to The Saskatchewan Elks Senior Citizens Homes Society . Six duplexes were constructed on the lots by The Elks Society and all three levels of government. Blacktopping with cold mix asphalt was done in most of the residential areas during 1975.
In April of 1985 Irene Mills designed a Village of Viscount Flag. The colours yellow, sky blue, and gold were adopted as the Village colours. The Village Flag design was published in the Trade Marks Journal on September 25, 1985.
In December of 1989 Dunmac General Contractors Ltd of Saskatoon were hired to construct and alter a K-12 Public School located on 202 Bangor Street as per Folstad and Frigstad Architect Plans as of September 1989 for an estimated cost of building the structure at $3,197,000.00. In May of 1990 The Minister Culture approved grants for Viscount Central School. These included a Gymnasium Project Grant of $100,000.00, an Arts Centre Project Grant of $100,000.00 and a Park Project Grant of $20,000.00.
In September of 1997 the Village purchased a two lane bowling alley for the Community Centre, previously these two lanes were used as one sheet of curling ice. The third curling ice lane was developed into an Archery Centre.