The History of Estevan
Settlement of Estevan began in 1892, with the extension of the Canadian Pacific Railway line from Brandon to Estevan. Extension of the Soo Line railway between North Portal and Moose Jaw brought many American settlers to the area, accelerating the pace of settlement, and placed Estevan on a major North West/South-East trade route terminating in Minneapolis. In 1899, Estevan was incorporated as a Village and became a Town in 1906, with a population of about 600. By World War I, Estevan was known as an agriculture service centre, a railway divisional point and coal-mining centre.
The first viable coal mine in the area was established at Roche Percee in 1891. Underground coal mining and the local settlements associated with it thrived - at least until the Great Depression and the advent of surface ‘strip’ mining by electric shovels in the 1930s. By 1956, a sixty-year era of underground coal mining in the region had come to an end. Today there is just one company mining coal in the Estevan area, but with several huge draglines operating, their annual production is approximately 8 million tonnes.
In recent years, Estevan has become the oil capital of Saskatchewan. The recent exploration into the Bakken formation has drawn investment, labour and media from across the country. Estevan is known as a mining, oil and power generating city with a very strong entrepreneurial spirit. Estevan is home to a number of excellent recreational and educational facilities and great pride is taken in ensuring a positive community growth agenda, making Estevan a great place to live, work and do business.