Fonds SCM-RG-0001 - City of Swift Current fonds

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City of Swift Current fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on source

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  • 1883-01-01 - ? (Creation)
    City of Swift Current
    Swift Current (Sask.)

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Physical description

ca. 25 m of textual records

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Administrative history

Current's history began with Swift Current Creek which originates at Cypress Hills and traverses 100 miles (160 km) of prairie and empties into the South Saskatchewan River. The creek was a camp for First Nations for centuries. The name of the creek comes from the Cree, who called the South Saskatchewan River Kisiskâciwan, meaning "it flows swiftly". Fur traders found the creek on their westward treks in the 1800s, and called it "rivière au Courant" (lit: "river of the current"). Henri Julien, an artist travelling with the North-West Mounted Police expedition in 1874, referred to it as "Du Courant", and Commissioner George French used "Strong Current Creek" in his diary. While it took another decade before being officially recorded, the area has always been known as "Swift Current".

The settlement of Swift Current was established in 1883, after the CPR surveyed a railway line as far as Swift Current Creek. In 1882, initial grading and track preparation commenced, with the first settlers arriving in the spring of 1883. During the early part of its settlement, the economy was based almost exclusively on serving the new railway buildings and employees. There was also a significant ranching operation known as the "76" ranches. It included 10 ranches raising sheep and cattle and stretched from Swift Current to Calgary. The ranch located at Swift Current dealt with sheep. At one point there were upwards of 20,000 sheep grazing on the present day Kinetic Grounds. The head shepherd was John Oman, originally from Scotland. He donated land to build Oman School in 1913. Other early industries included gathering bison bones for use in fertilizer manufacturing, the making of bone china and sugar refining. Métis residents also ran a successful Red River ox cart "freighting" business to Battleford until the late 1880s. During the Riel Rebellion of 1885, Swift Current became a major military base and troop mustering area due to its proximity to Battleford but this was only for a short time. On February 4, 1904, the hamlet became a village and then a town on March 15, 1907, when a census indicated a population of 550. Swift Current became incorporated as a city on January 15, 1914, with Frank E. West being the mayor at the time.

Custodial history

On 1995 May 21, 1997 August 14, 2002 May 14, 2003 June ?, 2004 June 3, 2004 December 2, 2009 January 2, 2009 March 6 the records was transferred to the Swift Current Museum.

Scope and content

The fonds, related to the City of Swift Current, was acquired by the source during its lifetime. No other information was captured at the time of transfer to the Swift Current Museum. Records includes operating records related to the workings of the municipality.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


No formal arrangement has been applied to the records in this fonds.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

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Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, reproduction, and/or publication of records are subject to the Copyright Act and the Terms and Conditions of the Swift Current Museum. Please consult the Swift Current Museum for further information.

Finding aids

Minimal fonds level description is listed in AtoM. Until fully appraised and arranged record lists are available through the Swift Current Museum.

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Further accruals are expected.

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