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Trapper's Cabin Site

Gravelbourg RM 104, Saskatchewan, S0H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/11/04

View northwest at site located in trees at foot of valley slope, 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2004.
Site Location
View northeast at structural remains of cabin on wooded river bank, 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2004.
Cabin Remains
View of cabin remains (collapsed timber beams above dugout in river bank), 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2004.
Close-up View of Cabin Remains

Other Name(s)

Trapper's Cabin Site
Poulin Cabin

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Trapper's Cabin Site is a Municipal Heritage Property encompassing 32 hectares of land bordering the Wood River in south-central Saskatchewan near the Town of Gravelbourg. The property features the remains of a small dugout shelter situated on the wooded river bank.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Trapper's Cabin Site lies in its status as the only surviving trapper's cabin in the area and in its association with western Canada's once pre-eminent fur industry. The cabin was built and used by Norman Poulin, a local Métis farmer who supplemented his farm income during the depression years of the 1930s by trapping fur-bearing animals along the Wood River. Consisting of an excavation in the river bank originally enclosed with log walls and a brush-and-earth roof, the now dilapidated structure is the only surviving vestige of five similar shelters used by Mr. Poulin as he operated his trapline along the river. Today, the cabin remains are a reminder of a former community member’s resourcefulness in meeting the economic challenges of the Great Depression by exploiting a resource more typically associated with an earlier era of western Canadian history.


Rural Municipality of Gravelbourg No. 104 Bylaw No. 5/81.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the Trapper's Cabin Site resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements that identify the site as a former shelter, including the man-made depression in the river bank, the collapsed timbers that served as roof and wall supports, and artifacts related to the 1930s occupation;
-elements that link the site to the river along which the former owner conducted his trapping activities, including the structure's location on the river bank in its setting among native trees and other natural vegetation.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1930/01/01 to 1940/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type



Animal Products Processing Facility

Architect / Designer



Norman Poulin

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: MHP 144

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 144



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