This Week in History
P.G. Laurie and the Saskatchewan Herald
For the week of Monday August 22, 2005
On August 25, 1878, Patrick Gammie Laurie launched the first edition of the Saskatchewan Herald. This paper was the first to be published in the Northwest Territories.
Laurie worked for and owned various newspapers in Ontario during his youth and, in 1869, made the decision to go to the Red River Settlement in Manitoba. Once in Red River, Laurie worked at the Nor’ Wester. He had only been there for two months when he was expelled from the settlement for refusing to print an article by the controversial Riel government. He returned east to Ontario to be with his family and remained there until 1878.
In the early summer of 1878, Laurie set out for Battleford in what was then the Northwest Territories and is now Saskatchewan. Taking 75 days, Laurie traveled by ox-cart, taking with him all of the supplies necessary to establish a newspaper. On August 25, Laurie began publishing the Saskatchewan Herald. This paper was published under Laurie’s direct supervision until his death and his family’s supervision until the time of its closure in 1938.
For its contribution to western Canadian life the publication of the Saskatchewan Herald was designated a National Historic Event in 1954.
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