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Released on June 25, 2005

The Doukhobor Dugout House, a home dug into the slope of a sheltered ravine 80 kilometres north of Saskatoon near Blaine Lake, has been designated a Provincial Heritage Property by the Government of Saskatchewan.

The house was created by excavating into the slope of the ravine, which provided three walls, and then attaching a front wall built out of logs to seal out the elements.

"I am pleased the Province has designated the Doukhobor Dugout House a Provincial Heritage Property," Saskatchewan Centennial 2005 Chair Glenn Hagel said on behalf of Culture, Youth and Recreation Minister Joan Beatty. "This house is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it is representative of the resourcefulness of the many people who came to Saskatchewan during the 19th and early 20th centuries, which is an appropriate thing to recognize during our province's centennial."

The house was intended as a temporary structure to afford protection from Saskatchewan's harsh climate until a permanent home could be built. While it originally had a roof, it no longer does.

"The Doukhobor Dugout House is also important from a heritage perspective because it illustrates the humble circumstances of so many of those early settlers to Saskatchewan, and gives us an idea of the challenges they faced," Hagel said. "Life was incredibly hard for these settlers, and the house represents a unique and creative solution to those hardships."

The house is also significant from a historic standpoint in that it is a link back to the arrival of the Doukhobors in Canada and Saskatchewan in 1899, an important point in our history.

The Provincial Heritage Designation will provide the Doukhobour Dugout House legal protection for the house; all future repairs, renovations or other alterations to the property that potentially affect its heritage value require the approval of the Heritage Resources Unit of Culture, Youth and Recreation.

The Doukhobor Dugout House is the 42nd site in Saskatchewan to be designated a Provincial Heritage Property.


For More Information, Contact:

Janet Peters
Culture, Youth and Recreation
Phone: (306) 787-4967

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