Located in the hamlet of Crystal Springs, 42 kilometers north-east of Wakaw, sixty-one kilometers west of Melfort and sixty-one kilometers southeast of Prince Albert, Community Hall was a hive of activity on Saturday, September 24. . One fine fall day brought a steady stream of people through the gates of the old school to enjoy the Autumn Market, which features 20 vendors from all over the region. Many attractive items could be purchased, from the usual crafts and crafts to unique works of art. The weather outside has cheered everyone up and I hope this has been a good fundraising event for the community fun board.
Crystal Springs was founded in April of 1952 and remains an active Hamlet despite its small population. According to the 2021 Census, Crystal Springs has a population of 20, but this number does not reflect their support for the surrounding community and its small hamlets. Originally known as Bon Eau, French for good water, the name was changed to Crystal Springs with the arrival of English settlers. Crystal Springs and its environs have been an active recreational community in past years. In the summer, Dixon Lake was a popular destination for ball tournaments, camping, fishing, and swimming lessons. In the winter, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing filled the weekend hours. With changing times and the disappearance of “small-town Saskatchewan”, this once bustling, busy community has turned into an unknown paradise. The school closed in 1991 and families continued to move in one by one. This is a familiar story in rural Saskatchewan, where once thriving towns and villages have slowly but surely shrunk to nothing.
In recent years, however, development has begun to take shape on the shore of nearby Lake Dixon, just minutes northeast of the hamlet. Lakeshore communities like Crystal Ridge on the west coast, Eagle Bay on the northeast coast, and Hunter 1 and 2 on the west coast hope to lure people into this hidden gem. People who once grew up in this area are looking for ways to bring new life to what they once called home. “Crystal Ridge Developments realizes the potential and dreams of recapturing the beauty and joy that lies within this community,” says the Crystal Ridge Developments website.
Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Correspondent, Wakaw Recorder