Two men reading

Branch snapshot: Goldfields, Saskatchewan

BMO has always gone the extra mile to help our customers make real financial progress—even if that work takes us to some truly remote locations. The Goldfields Branch, for example, was established in 1937, three years after the discovery of gold on the north shore of Lake Athabasca. At that time, the remote mining community had a population of just 125. The branch, operated by a manager and his assistant, was a log cabin on the lake, 20 ft. long by 18 ft. wide.

This photograph depicts the branch as quite rustic, albeit in idyllic surroundings. Prior to serving as a bank branch, the cabin served as an office for the Saskatchewan Department of Natural Resources and a Hudson’s Bay Company post. When the Canadusa, a Hudson’s Bay boat, was stranded after the lake froze over in the autumn of 1935, the crew even used the cabin as a bunkhouse. All this to say, despite its sleepy façade, the waterfront branch boasted surprisingly colourful tenants.

Image: Photograph of the Goldfields Branch, Saskatchewan, 1937.