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The Architectural History of Arcola and the Moose Mountains
South Saskatchewan Photo Museum
Arcola , Saskatchewan


   In southeast Saskatchewan
the small town of Arcola and
the area near Moose Mountain
offer an intriguing display
of architecture, from
primitive First Nations sweat
lodges, sod shanties and the
largest round barn in North
America to lovely Victorian-
style heritage buildings.

   In this Community
Memories exhibit, the work of
Arcola’s pioneer photographer
Donald Buchanan and others
offers a remarkable insight
into the rich architectural
heritage of the Arcola area.
   The remnants of early
aboriginal settlements are

detailed, the structures
manifesting the symbol of the
circle, a favorite shape in
medicine wheels, tipi rings
and sweat lodges of First
Nations peoples. Sod shanties
were the refuge of choice of
early European settlers,
whose supply of building
materials was limited.

However, the Saskatchewan
climate is a hard taskmaster
and these “soddies” were
abandoned in favor of more
substantial stone and brick
structures in the 1880s. In
the same era, the beautiful
stone and brick buildings of
Cannington Manor were also
abandoned after a short-lived

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