History

Harris' Great Ruby Rush HoaxOn August 10, 1909 the Government of Saskatchewan issued the incorporation papers for the Village of Harris.

But, this small town had its beginnings a few years before that.  Richard Elford Harris was born in 1847 in Ontario and married Anne Cantellon in 1872.  At Goderich, in Huron County, he worked as a carriage maker and a carpenter.  In 1891 he decided to move his family west and headed for Manitoba, farming at Morden.  Again a move was in store and in 1904 the Harris’ with two sons and a daughter drove westward from Saskatoon on the Old Bone Trail and located at a point two miles north of the present site of the Village.  There final location was situated half way between Goose Lake and Devils Lake, which was later known as Crystal Beach. 

As more settlers flocked into the district and others passed thru, the Harris’ sod house became a hospitable place for travellers to stop overnight, have a hot meal and shelter for their tired animals.  It soon became known as the “Harris Stopping Place”. Richard Harris and his sons acted as land locators, taking settlers to locate their homesteads.

The need for a Post Office became apparent and after making application, an office was granted and Mr. Harris became the first postmaster.  Soon a store and Methodist church were erected.  At times, Mr. Harris served as lay minister.

As the small hamlet continued to grow, the pioneers now waited for news of the railway.  Unfortunately, the surveyors missed the small hamlet by two miles.  Being resourceful and adventurous, the pioneers purchased land from Jack Sinfield, another homesteader.  Soon businesses, houses and an elevator were going up alongside the tracks which ran in a southwest direction.  To this day, we never know what direction we are going in this town! The first train made its appearance in the fall of 1908 and on mile 52 of the Goose Lake Line another prairie town was born.

Now the town needed a name.  Some suggestions were Sinfield and Miscampbellville, but when permission was granted to Richard Harris by the Post Office Department to move his office to the new site, the Harris name automatically went with it.  The Methodist Church also moved to the new Harris site.

Continuing it’s progressive nature, the first telephone company was established in 1916 and cement sidewalks were in place in the 1920’s followed by power in 1930.  In 1955 when Sask Power was trying to get a natural gas utility off the ground, Harris signed on while many other villages refused, being 25 years ahead of some neighbouring communities.  The installation of the gravity sewer system occurred in 1960 and fifty years later is still very low maintenance.  Land for the lagoon was donated by a local resident.  Street paving began in the early 1970’s being completed by 1980 and in 1976 the municipal water treatment plant and distribution system was up and running.