One of the most scenic places in Saskatchewan is the Qu’Appelle Valley, as it suddenly and majestically appears to the delight of the weary traveler as they cross the flat Saskatchewan prairie. The beautiful valley extends approximately 250 miles across the central part of the populated portion of Saskatchewan. One of the 23 rural municipalities and 8 Indian reserves that border this valley is the R.M. of Lumsden No. 189, just north of Regina. The Lumsden town site, the location of the rural municipal office, is nestled down in the far-famed Qu’Appelle Valley giving the town site artistic beauty and diverse arrangement.
The rural municipality has a variety of geographical features, and is where the Cottonwood, Wascana, Boggy, Flying Creeks and Last Mountain Lake all enter into the Qu’Appelle River and flow eastward. About one third of the municipality is comprised of the highly assessed Regina Clay. The names of the communities and former school districts in the municipality, reflect the ancestry of the early settlers. The names have a background of English, Scottish, Irish and German descent, from the early settlers arriving mostly from Ontario, and dating as far back as 1881 .
In 1887 a start was made to survey the railroad which became the rail line from Regina to Prince Albert. The chief surveyor of this project was Hugh D. Lumsden. It was only natural to name one point along the line in his honor and that is how Lumsden got its name. In 1889 the Village of Lumsden was formed and in 1905, 5 1/2 months before the province of Saskatchewan was formed, it was incorporated as the Town of Lumsden. For a few years the rural communities around Lumsden operated as a Local Improvement District, however in 1912 the Rural Municipality of Lumsden No. 189 was incorporated.
During the early years the trails were used by the settlers to cross the area, the main trails were the Long Lake Trail, the Touchwood-Elbow Trail and the Fort Qu’Appelle-Elbow Trail.
In the summertime, the rural municipality is comprised of flowing fields of golden grain, that stretch mile after mile with herds of cattle grazing the pasture fields. In the 1940’s market gardening started in the Qu’Appelle Valley between Lumsden and Craven and remains very prominent today. The beautiful valley however is not without its problems, as flooding over the years has haunted everyone who lives in or near the valley floor. In 1969, 1971 and 1974 the water completely flooded the valley floor from one side to the other. This caused tremendous damage and was a huge drain on the budget, as bridges, culverts and washed out roads were reconstructed every year this flooding took place.
The RM of Lumsden has 9 designated historic sites. To learn more about those locations, visit www.historicplaces.ca.