Fall Market at Crystal Springs

Forty-two kilometres north-east of Wakaw, sixty-one kilometres west of Melfort, and sixty-one kilometres south-east of Prince Albert, lies the hamlet of Crystal Springs and on Saturday, September 24th the Community Hall was a hive of activity. A beautiful fall day brought a steady stream of people through the doors of the former school to enjoy the Fall Market featuring 20 vendors from around the area. From the usual hand crafts and handiwork to one of a kind artwork there were many tempting products available for purchase. The weather outside had everybody in a cheerful mood and hopefully it was a good fundraising event for the community recreation board.

Crystal Springs was incorporated in April of 1952 and remains an active Hamlet in spite of its small population. According to the 2021 Census, Crystal Springs has a population of 20, but that number does not reflect the community around it and the support they feel for their little hamlet. Originally known as Bon Eau, which is French for good water, the name was changed to Crystal Springs with the arrival of English settlers. The hamlet of Crystal Springs and the surrounding area was, in past years, an active recreational community. In the summer, Dixon Lake was a popular place for ball tournaments, camping, fishing and swimming lessons. In winter, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice-fishing filled weekend hours. With changing times and the disappearance of “small town Saskatchewan”, this once vibrant, busy community became somewhat of an unknown paradise. The school closed in 1991 and families one by one continued to move away. It is a story all too familiar across rural Saskatchewan where once thriving towns and villages have slowly but surely dwindled away to nothing.

In recent years however, development has started to take shape on the shore of nearby Dixon Lake which lies just minutes north-east of the hamlet. Lakeshore communities such as Crystal Ridge on the west shore, Eagle Bay on the north-east shore and Hunter 1 and 2 also on the west shore are hoping to draw people to this hidden gem. People who once grew up in this area are looking to bring new life back to the place they once called home. The Crystal Ridge Developments website states, “Crystal Ridge Developments recognizes the potential and has a dream to recapture the beauty and enjoyment that lies with this community.”

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder