Midale: Where “Oil, Grain and Recreation Meet”
Although Midale was not incorporated as a village until 1907 we celebrate the arrival of the first settlers which took place in 1903. A community could not exist without people of vision; people who work hard; people who have a sense of pride in the place they call “home”. So it was 100 years ago when a few determined settlers arrived with hopes and dreams for their future and so it is today, 2003. Midale has certainly changed over the past century but the one thing that has remained and what keeps it moving forward is the vision and pride of each new generation.
In the early summer of 1903 a number of settlers had started arriving in the Midale area to file on their 160 acres homestead, a gift from the Canadian Government to men 18 years of age and older. Three of these settlers went into partnership and plans were made to start building a townsite. These early visionaries were Rev. Olaf Sutherland, Andrew Westman and Ole Wedin.
Up until that time, the area was known only as the Halbrite and Macoun “siding”. It was time for a name. The name “Mitchell” for Dr. R.M. Mitchell, who single handedly served an area from Moose Jaw to Estevan from 1899 to 1903 was first suggested but there was already a “Mitchell” in the Territory of Assinaboia so a compromise was necessary. The first two letters of “Mitchell” were combined with the last name of the first settler in the district, Mr. Ole Dale, and “Midale” was born.
Inaugural businesses in Midale included a general store, post office, lumberyard and, later, a small grain elevator. By necessity, other businesses soon followed such as a blacksmith shop, livery barn, restaurant and rooming house. The early years in Midale were a period of growth as the new community expanded to accommodate its growing population.
Midale area land proved to be excellent for cereal grain farming. Reports from as early as 1903 indicate: yields of up to 38 bushels per acres and not less than 20 bushels per acre. During the Depression years of the thirties, yields dropped to between 2.5 and 4.5 bushels per acre. But Midale survived those tough times and went on to prosper. With the oil boom in the early 1950’s the town enjoyed a period of great prosperity and, at one time, boasted a population of around 800. Today the population remains very stable at approximately 550 residents. The oil industry remains an important part of Midale’s economy as many of the residents work in the “patch” and many service companies operate in Midale and surrounding area to serve the needs of this industry.
The diversity of the agriculture and petroleum industries certainly help sustain the economy of Midale.
Today, Midale people, for the most part are made up of the descendants of those first homesteaders. Many of the names of those who live in and around Midale have been recognizable for almost a hundred years and that certainly gives the town stability and confidence to continue the tradition of hard work and pride in the community. Midale remains a progressive community. Even though towns no longer have to be self-sufficient because of ease of travel and proximity to larger centers, this town has everything it needs. In addition to many fine businesses the town also has a K-12 school, a nursery school, the curling rink and new skating rink, a swimming pool, Senior Citizens Housing complex, a Seniors Drop-In Centre, an impressive museum and a modern health care facility. The community is also served by two Lutheran Churches, a Baptist Church and a Catholic Church.
The people who homesteaded Midale gave our town its roots – the people who live here now give it its future and the future looks bright.
Mainprize Manor and Health Centre
The facility was named after our long time Doctor William Mainprize. This modern facility offers long-term care as well as many other services including doctor clinics, day respite, outpatient service, lab services, a handivan, meals on wheels etc.
Midale / Cymri Fire & Rescue
The Midale Cymri Fire and Rescue is made up of ten active volunteers. They work closely with the Midale First Responders.These dedicated people respond to all emergencies including fires, motor vehicle accidents or any other emergency situation.
Midale First Responders
These dedicated volunteers respond to medical emergencies. They work closely with the Midale /Cymri Fire and Rescue.
Midale Central School
Our School is a modernized and updated facility with a library, science lab, gym, home economics room and many other features. It houses students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Dr. Mainprize Regional Park to Mainprize Regional Park & Golf Course
In 1984 history was again made and a new era entered into when the Provincial Government constructed 2 new dams in Southeastern Sask., one in Estevan and one at Alameda. The result was the Rafferty Reservoir, which unfortunately destroyed the site of the old Dr.Mainprize Park when it filled and flooded everything in the valley. Plans had already been in place to move Mainprize Regional Park to a new location and, at the same time, a beautiful new 21-hole golf course was constructed within the new Park.
Since opening, the new Park has grown tremendously. It is home to approximately 12 full-time families and 12 seasonal in the main subdivision and a new seasonal subdivision opened up in 2002 which already has 5 home built with more being constructed all the time. As well, the campgrounds can’t seem to grow fast enough to meet the demands of interested campers. Dr. Mainprize wouldn’t believe it if he could see “his” park today. Besides the golf course (which is rated one of the best in Sask) the Park has a beautiful beach area, a marina, “Docks” General Store, rental cabins and a bed & breakfast. The fishing is great as is the boating and water sports. For more info please visit their website at www.mainprizepark.com
Midale Memorial Rink to the Harry O. Memorial Arena
In 1995, after many meetings and research the decision was made to demolish to old skating rink which was becoming structurally unsound. So, with the help of many local contractors, the Town crew and the R.M. of Cymri, demolition was carried out in the spring of 1997. In the summer and fall a new skating rink was constructed and opened in January 1998. This huge undertaking could not have been completed without the generous support of many, many individuals and businesses that made donations of cash or equipment and labor. Midale now boasts a brand-new rink, which is home to several minor hockey teams and figure skaters. Public skating, shinny and walking programs are also offered and the ice is rented out to many teams from other centers. We are proud to be home to the Midale Mustangs Big Six Senior Hockey Team.