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Photo Credit: Kim Roadhouse
The Rural Municipality of Snipe Lake No. 259, located in West Central Saskatchewan, encompasses one of the most productive agricultural areas in the province.  The forerunner of the R.M. of Snipe Lake was the Local Improvement District #259, formed in 1910. The R.M. of Snipe Lake superceded this body two years later, in 1912.  Early concerns were the establishment of a road system and the control of stray animals. One of the first concerns of the R.M. when it was formed was the establishment of a railway which came to the Town to Eston, the principal community in the municipality, in 1915. Control of weeds has been a concern from the early days as has been road construction and maintenance.
Unique in Saskatchewan is the co-operation enjoyed by the R.M. of Snipe Lake and the Town of Eston in many fields including recreation, the operation of the local cemetery and airport and health care.  This co-operation has been extended into other areas; for instance, the R.M. and Town have signed agreements with other municipalities in the area for mutual assistance in case of fire or other emergencies.
In recent years, the R.M. has been active in the development of haul roads, primarily for the movement of grain, but also useful with the increase in gas and oil exploration and development which has brought a new source of revenue to the R.M. and the area.Recent years have seen farm consolidation and the closing of small rural schools, leading to a redistribution of population and in turn the disappearance of many villages and hamlets throughout the municipality. Despite these concerns, the Rural Municipality of Snipe lake remains an employer of choice in the area and, into its second century, looks forward to a progressive future with its traditional agricultural base now coupled with an active oil and gas industry.
Verna Thompson
Saskatchewan Historical and Genealogical Researcher