- Category: Rolling Across the Heartland
Nestled in a picturesque little valley on highway 36 south of the Trans-Canada highway, Willow Bunch is one of Saskatchewan's oldest settlements. Founded in 1870 by several groups of Métis hunters and settlers. As the quaint community grew, eighty acres of land was donated by one of the residents for the building of a church, rectory, convent, and cemetery, and the Sisters of the Cross arrived from France in 1905.
The Rural Municipality of Willow Bunch was established seven years later in 1912. Another fourteen years went by before the long-anticipated Canadian national Railways line arrived to brighten the community’s prospects in 1926. By the mid-1950s the population was approaching 800, and in 1960 Willow Bunch was incorporated as a town.
With changing times and customs, the former convent and school was closed in 1983 and today houses the Willow Bunch Museum. A visit to the museum allows you to experience the story of Sitting Bull's time in the area... travel across the Prairies with the first settlers... and learn about "Giant" Edward Beaupré, a local boy who grew to the amazing height of 8'3". Pose for a picture with the statue of the Willow Bunch Giant.
And with electrified sites, clean showers, and numerous walking trails, Jean Louis Légaré Regional Park in Willow Bunch is the perfect place to visit for the day or camp for the weekend, complete with a challenging 9-hole golf course! Venture a little ways out of town to discover what a typical Métis home was like in the 1890's by visiting the McGillis House... and explore Castle Butte -- a remarkable 70-metre high sandstone and clay formation in the heart of the Big Muddy Badlands, just a short drive southeast of Willow Bunch.