The history of Carrot River is a story of courage and triumph over almost insurmountable odds. The name is derived from the wild carrots growing along the river, which in 1911 the first homesteaders crossed and then settled on the north bank. Settlement was slow until the CNR railroad reached the Carrot River site in 1931 bringing southern farmers seeking new locations away from the great drought on the prairies. The land was wet and heavily wooded. Every acre had to be won the hard way, with axe and sweat.
Conditions improved through intervening years with drainage and road building. Carrot River became a Village in 1941 and incorporated as a Town on April 01, 1948.
The 1960s brought rapid change through implementation of modern facilities to Town and farms alike.
Electricity, natural gas, water and sewer systems, paved highways, telephones and modern homes all contributed to living conditions equal to anywhere.
In 1963, the first development of hydro electricity in Saskatchewan was constructed on the Saskatchewan River, and Squaw Rapids (renamed E.B. Campbell) 50 kms north of Carrot River. This project created Tobin Lake, an excellent fishing and recreational site.
The 1980s saw the installation of street paving in Town and the construction of many new facilities including hospital, skating arena, curling rink, community hall, seniors housing, library, municipal offices and R.C.M.Police detachment. 2002 saw the completion of a $3 million renovation and expansion of our long-term care facility to create a multi-purpose Health Centre.
In 2002 the Town and Rural Municipality of Moose Range #486 purchased the former hospital building from the North East Health District. The community invested over $100,000 to convert the building to an "Active Living" public housing facility for seniors, now called Pasquia Place.
To compliment this new infrastructure, corporate and private investment has steadily grown in Carrot River in the 1990s. Viterra and Pioneer Grain Company Ltd. have completed a $1 million improvement to their plants in recent years. Viterra in 1999 opened a new $3.8 million high volume elevator complex in Town. Viterra plans another $1.8 million investment to expand its facilities in 2010.
Weyerhaeuser, the communitys single largest employer, had a $14 million plant upgrade in recent years. In June, 1999, Weyerhaeuser Company announced plans to acquire SaskForest Products. This transaction makes the Carrot River plant a part of one of North America's largest forest product companies. On January 3, 2007, Weyerhaeuser closed its sawmill operation in Carrot River. As of September 2009, C & C Products Ltd. of Quesnel, B.C. have purchased this site and will be doing renovations in 2010. By August 2011 they hope to be up and running.
Two major seed processing operations serving the northeast agri-industry are located in Carrot River. The second, which specializes in forage seed products, opened in 1998.
Premier Horticulture. Inc. harvests horticultural peat, a decayed organic
matter and the forerunner to coal, and ships this product around the world at the rate of
$2 million bales per year. Expanding markets have dictated further plant expansion
in Carrot River in recent years.
This strong and stable history of growth will serve Carrot River well as it prepares for the challenges and opportunities of the future.
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