History of Regina Saskatchewan
Regina, capital of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, is a prairie city with a population of about 180,000. It literally grew from nothing--no river nearby and no sheltering forests, just a wind-swept prairie--to the regional powerhouse it is today.
Before the Railroad Came
Before the coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the future site of Regina was flat and dry. It was so unpromising that it was often called "Pile-of-Bones," or "Pile o' Bones," referring to masses of bison bones.
In 1882, Edgar Dewdney, the lieutenant-governor of the North-West Territories, chose "Pile of Bones" as the site of a station on the Canadian Pacific Railway. A more elegant name was needed, so the place became "Regina." The word means "queen" in Latin, and honors Queen Victoria.
Late 19th/Early 20th Century
In the late 19th century, settlers from eastern Canada and Europe came to western Canada, looking for farmland and opportunity. Regina grew, and by the early 20th century, about 3,000 people lived there.
Capital of a New Province
The province of Saskatchewan was created out of the Northwest Territory in 1905, and Regina was substantial enough to be picked as capital.
Throughout the 20th century, except for the Great Depression, Regina grew in population and economic importance. Government, agriculture, and oil and gas extraction were mainstays of the city's economy.
Mineral extraction remains important to Regina in the 21st century, but the city also has a diversified economic base that includes insurance, agricultural technology and telecom. The city supports a variety of cultural endeavors, including a symphony orchestra and other live music, live theater, fine arts and a number of museums. Regina has about 350,000 trees now, all of them planted, and not nearly so many bison bones.
Dees Stribling has been a freelance writer based in Chicago for over five years and is a widely published real estate and business writer. He has edited magazines focusing on real estate, business and the fire service for over two decades. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Vanderbilt University.