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Pilot Butte

Town, pop 1,850, located just E of Regina between Hwys 1 and 46. The community’s name is derived from an area hill, which had long been used as a lookout point. With the construction of the railway through the region in 1882, the area’s sand and gravel deposits were extensively utilized, and in the following years, as settlers began farming in the district, Pilot Butte developed. Brickyards became major local employers; within several years the community boasted a number of businesses and churches, and a school. The brickyards closed during World War I, however, and with automobiles facilitating easy transportation into Regina, Pilot Butte began to lose its population—a trend that would continue for years. In 1923, the village was disbanded owing to the loss of residents. After the new Trans-Canada Highway was completed in the late 1950s, living in Pilot Butte began to become a popular option for those who wanted to commute to work in the city. Pilot Butte re-acquired village status in 1963; in 1966 the population was 405; but between 1976 and 1981, the community’s numbers jumped from 585 to 1,255. Although Pilot Butte is largely a bedroom community, its growth has spurred the development of recreational facilities and essential business services, particularly home-based enterprises. Other than a couple of houses, there are virtually no reminders of the community’s formative years, as most early structures have been destroyed. In 1995, a severe storm struck the community, damaging most of the modern homes.

David McLennan

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