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Search for the Wreck of the S.S. City of Medicine Hat

The discovery of a sunken ship

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

It may seem impossible, but a shipwreck was waiting to be discovered in the prairies of Saskatchewan – and it took a team from Stantec to uncover it.

On the morning of June 7, 1908, the South Saskatchewan River ran high from the spring runoff out of the Rocky Mountains. Submerged by the high waters, unable to steer, Captain Ross of the S.S. City of Medicine Hat could not avoid the Traffic Bridge in Saskatoon.

For over ten decades the remains of the ship were at the bottom of the river. In 2006 a Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services (SFPS) diver discovered an anchor from the wreck and the city looked to us to direct a systematic search. The anchor was brought to our conservation laboratory where our Senior Archaeologist, Butch Amundson, started the year long conservation process.

With our recommendation for future studies the search proceeded for additional wreckage of the lost ship. With investigation methods, our archaeologist and the SFPS dive team located a firebox brick from the boiler, a marlinspike, and other artifacts such as ornate heating vents.

We’re proud to have played a part in telling the story of a shipwreck on the prairies and preserving Saskatchewan’s history.

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