There are many partial and distant signs. Some of the signs that can be read are as follows:
Moose Jaw was originally settled as a traditional Indian fur traders camp. A narrow crossing of the river, with plenty of water and game for food made this an ideal place for settlement. It was a winter encampment for both Cree and Assiniboine Nations, and there is said to be burial grounds in the vicinity. The natural protection of the Coteau Range, provided the valley with many a ''warm breeze''. The Cree word Moosegaw with a ''g'' meaning ''Warm Breezes'' is translated to our city's name Moose Jaw.
The first homestead was established by James Hamilton Ross, Hector Sutherland and three others arrived at the dead of winter on January 2, 1882. Ross established a homestead four days later to become the first permanent resident of the city. These gentlemen were on a scouting tour, in search of the most likely spot for the Canadian Pacific Rail lines (CPR) divisional point. The Canadian Pacific Railway chose the tow site adjacent to the Moose Jaw River to ensure water supply for their steam engines. Both industry and commercial trade expanded with agricultural settlement, and Moose Jaw, because it was a CPR divisional point, was the chosen location for major processing.
The construction of the CPR with 7,600 men and 1,700 teams of horses proceeded west from the Manitoba border in 1882. They reached the settlement site of Moose Jaw in July of 1882. Once the end of the line was through Moose Jaw, population grew rapidly, and by the fall of 1882 there was a vibrant community with stores and saloons and dozens of shacks and canvass tents.
By May of 1883 the population of Moose Jaw fluctuated between 2,000 and 3,000. A major fire in 1891 destroyed the first block of Main Street however, this failed to dampen the zeal of the early pioneers. By 1903, Moose Jaw possessed all the basic essentials of a city and was incorporated as such November 20,1903. The rapid settlement after the turn of the century brought Moose Jaw to prominence in Western Canada and ushered in a commercial and industrial boom period. The Town Council sought and gained City status in November, 1903. As the homesteads spread south and west, Moose Jaw became the wholesale distribution centre for a large trading area and began processing of agricultural products. The railway connections east, west and south drew numerous manufacturing industries and identified Moose Jaw as the leading industrial centre of the province. Moose Jaw, which is located in the heart of the continents great wheat belt, was soon recognized as an important business educational and cultural center in 1903, In fact, it paved the way for a 10 year population explosion. By 1913 the population rose from 2,500 to 14,000.
Bootlegging, gambling and prostitution were thriving, yet literally underground during the period , emanating from a network of tunnels linking many of the city's hotels and restaurants. According to fact or fiction, tunnels were built from the former CP Rail station on Manitoba Street to the Cornerstone Inn across the street. A secret above-ground entrance behind the Cornerstone Inn was the hub of a network of tunnels that included one directly across Main Street to the former Exchange Cafe, once one of Saskatchewan's finest dining establishments. Other tunnel links went north up Main Street and west along River Street to the Royal and Brunswick Hotels.
By 1914, Moose Jaw was realizing an unpredictable boom, the city boasted electricity, paved streets, and a street railway. Moose Javians view their history with a mixture of pride, amusement and ambivalence. The Roaring Twenties brought a measure of notoriety to the city, with ''celebrities'' like Al Capone rumored to have stayed in downtown hotels. Getaway tunnels are said to exist under many of the downtown buildings. While the tunnels, of which only a few have been found, are generally associated with those heady days, they were actually built decades earlier for the Chinese railroad workers avoiding the ''head tax'' of the time.
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Moose Jaw is a city in south central Saskatchewan, Canada on the Moose Jaw River 71 km (45 miles) west of Regina. Residents of Moose Jaw are known as Moose Javians. It is probably best known as a retirement and tourist city that serves as a hub to the hundreds of small towns and farms that make up that part of Saskatchewan. Tourist attractions include the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, Casino Moose Jaw, the Murals of Moose Jaw, and Hopkins Dining Parlour. There are many parks in Moose Jaw. Crescent Park is located downtown and features a creek, swans and an amphitheatre. ''Wakamow Park'' follows the Moose Jaw River and features both natural and maintained areas. There are many trails throughout the park for hiking and biking. There are also RV camping and canoe rentals in the park.
The Warriors are Moose Jaw's hockey team which plays in the Western Hockey League at the Moose Jaw Civic Centre. Local institutions include four high schools, 15 elementary schools, and the 57 member Moose Jaw Fire Department. Moose Jaw is also home to the Palliser Campus of SIAST. It is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway. The largest lake in southern Saskatchewan, Old Wives Lake, is located 30 km southwest of the city.
Origins of ''Moose Jaw''
The origins of the name ''Moose Jaw'' are vague, though it appears to be of First Nations origin. One local legend holds that the Indian word Moosoochapiskanissippi means ''the river shaped like the jaw of a moose''. The name of the settlement might come from the creek that flowed through the settlement. Another legend holds that the name comes from the word Moosoochapiskun which means ''the place where the white man mended the cart with the jawbone of the moose.'' A third legend explains that the name came from the Cree word moosegaw which means ''warm breezes''. In the winter, Moose Jaw is often warmer than the surrounding communities.