prairie winter view

Tuesday is for Trails

Archival materials at the Clayton McLain Memorial Museum Archives range in time and type. Items include recorded interviews about the events of 1885, and books and histories from the settler era. Copies of local newspapers from 1914 – to the present are on hand, and the near past is represented with the art, photos and papers of local businesses, schools, and organizations.

Clayton McLain Memorial Museum | The Archives


manitou lake battleford trail by lloyd how
Author Lloyd How

About 10 years ago, the CMMM Archives acquired Lloyd How’s Manitou Lake Battleford Trail. This is a mapping project of an ancient trail that once crossed the land Lloyd and his wife, Noreen, lived on. The trail was used by River Cree travelling from the Eagle Hills, where the Battle River joins the North Saskatchewan River, westward to Manitou Lake, and onward into Alberta. The explorer Anthony Henday used the trail in 1745 during his travels through the western plains.

Lloyd researched written accounts, consulted with local Cree elder, Wally Simaganis and others who remembered the trail, and carried out on-the-ground exploration and mapping. For more details on the trail and Lloyd’s interest in it, read Lucille’s description here.


Are you wondering who would ever use the information that Lloyd Howe has so patiently investigated and recorded? The possibilities are probably endless, but the first one that comes to mind, for me. is Hugh Henry, the President of the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society (SHFS) Since 2015, Hugh Henry and the SHFS have organized and led Historic Trail Walks covering portions of the old trails that once crisscrossed Saskatchewan. To date, groups have walked Fort Walsh to Wood Mountain, Swift Current to Fort Battleford, Humboldt to Fort Carlton, and Fort Ellice To Fort Qu’Appelle.

This year, the plan is to walk from Fort Battleford to Fort Pitt, although whether the route will follow the trail north of the river, or the one on the southside of the North Saskatchewan, has yet to be determined. Each trail walk traces, as closely as possible, the historic trail that connected communities. The public is invited to walk for a day, or to walk the complete trail section. For more details, click the link below.

Perhaps, one day, the SHFS itinerary will read “Manitou Lake Battleford Trail”, the route based upon Lloyd How’s original research.

Click to view the poster for Historic Trail Walk 2023.

~ Debbie M.

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