Leask Town

The town called Leask, in Saskatchewan in Canada. There have been several websites dedicated to the town in the past but the latest one is the best so far. http://www.leask.ca/index.html. I have taken the following history directly from an older site. Its interesting to know just how recent it is.

“The village of Leask inherited its name from an early pioneer, Robert Leask. Robert Leask was born near Toronto, Ontario on December 25, 1867. In 1903, when he was thirty-six years old, Robert filed a homestead on a quarter section of land, SE 1-46-6 W3. Eight years passed until in 1911, the Canadian Northern Railways steel track reached the piece of Saskatchewan Robert Leask owned. The railway ties plowed a pathway through the Leask homestead, marking it as one of the railway station sites dotting the prairie landscape at fifteen-mile intervals. This site grew into the town site named Leask. Elevators, stores, rooming houses, livery barns, banks and schools sprang up to form this new settlement. The Petition for Incorporation of the hamlet as a village was forwarded to the Department of Municipal Affairs on July 27,1912. The village of Leask was born on September 3, 1912.”.

Lattitude: 53: 01: 08N Longitude: 106:44:11W

Fire at Leask Hotel!
Taken from http://hotelhistories.blogspot.com/2011/02/fire-at-leask-hotel.html

At 3:00 AM on February 9, 2011, Ed Musich, the owner and manager of the Leask Hotel, woke up to the sound of his smoke alarm. He barely had time to escape the hotel in his stocking feet before the 99-year-old hotel burned to the ground. “It was an older building, one of our originals,” said Murray Donohue, volunteer firefighter. “Lots of dry wood, layers of paint and varnish … when it went up, it went up like a Roman candle.”

The Leask hotel is another in a long line of hundreds of hotels that have been destroyed by fire in Saskatchewan over the decades. Most of them were rambling wood-frame structures that didn’t stand a chance, especially in the days when most towns had no firefighting equipment. In the early days, when a fire broke out at the corner of Railway Avenue and Main Street, the townspeople formed bucket brigades, passing pails of water from hand to hand in an effort to put out the blaze. Today, well-equipped volunteer firefighters work to save these heritage buildings.

The Windsor Hotel

Hotel Windsor, c. 1914. From A Lasting Legacy; Leask and Districts, 1990.
The Windsor Hotel in Leask was built in 1912 by Emil and Marie Cuelenaere. Emil, formerly of Belgium, and Marie were married in 1908 at Duck Lake, where Emil owned a hotel. The couple had four children, three of whom were born at Duck Lake; the fourth was born at Leask. The Cuelenaere family moved to Leask in 1912 and built the Windsor Hotel. Emil had apprenticed in meat cutting while in Belgium. The Windsor Hotel had a Chinese cook; Emil, however, did all the butchering himself. He also made sausages and blood pudding which was considered a delicacy. After Prohibition in 1915, the bar at the Windsor Hotel became an ice cream parlour.

In 1942, Emil and Marie retired and moved to Chilliwack, B.C., and their son George and his wife Mildred took over the Windsor Hotel. Another son, John Cuelenaere, born in the Duck Lake hotel, and raised in the hotel at Leask, practiced law in Prince Albert for 30 years. He was the mayor of PA for eleven years and was elected to the Saskatchewan legislature as a Liberal member for Shellbrook in 1964. He served as the Minister of Natural Resources in the Thatcher government. The youngest son, Marcel Cuelenaere served as a wing commander during the Second World War. As a result of his war tours, Marcel was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Marcel became a lawyer, joining the Diefenbaker and Cuelenaere law firm, and later the law practice of John Macklem in Prince Albert.

Original owners of the Windsor Hotel, Emil and Marie Cuelenaere, n.d.
From A Lasting Legacy; Leask and Districts, 1990.

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