The History of Abernethy

Abernethy is home to the Motherwell Homestead, which is a National Historic Site  and is the original homestead of      Saskatchewan's first minister of agriculture W.R Motherwell. 

Abernethy and District Memorial Hall is a  Municipal Heritage Property, that was constructed in 1921, to commemorate the return of soldiers from World War I. Funds for the hall were raised through local donations in the community. The hall was designed by Storey and Van Egmond of Regina.

Christ Anglican Church is a Municipal Heritage Property, that was constructed near Abernethy in 1886, and relocated into the village in 1904.

  

Abernethy is also the home of Len Thompson who invented and developed the fishing lure. 

Len Thompson , a returned First World War soldier and farmer, developed his first fishing spoon in Abernethy, Saskatchewan, in 1929. After many years of trying all kinds of manufactured lures, he was convinced he could make a better spoon.

He believed that the slow wobbling action which antagonized game fish into striking could be created with a more intricate combination of shape and weight. Always looking for better results, he carried a file and ball peen hammer in his tackle box to perfect his already very successful prototypes.
 

Len Thompson Bullet and Bait operated as a part time, winter business out of his farm until 1945 when Thompson decided to make a career change. He traveled to Toronto where he secured suppliers of brass, components, paint, packaging, and production equipment as well as hired his first professional tool and die maker. Within a few short months, he had a factory built and fully equipped. Len Thompson Bait Company entered into full time production in the village of Abernethy, Saskatchewan.

After a decade of impressive growth, Len & Myra Thompson and Myrtle & Cecil Pallister formed Thompson-Pallister Bait Co. Ltd and chose to relocate to Lacombe, Alberta in 1958. Lacombe was closer to suppliers and customers as well as offered many excellent fishing and hunting opportunities. Len Thompson continued to experiment and promote while his son-in-law Cecil Pallister refined the manufacturing processes. Len passed away in 1979, but his name is carried to anglers on approximately 500,000 fishing spoons each year. Cecil presided over the business through the 1970’s and early 1980’s when he and Myrtle turned over ownership to their sons: Richard, Syd and Greg.

  

Application for the formation of Abernethy Agricultural Society was dated June 1, 1906, and the organization was approved by the Department of Agriculture on July 12, 1906.  The first meeting was held in Morrison Hall on August 1, 1906.  John Stueck was elected president, vice-presidents were H.O. Wilson and C. Stueck.  
 

It was decided at the August meeting to hold a Seed Fair at Abernethy on December 11, 1906.  Prize money amounting to $57.00 offered, but only $13.00 was spent because many of the exhibits contained noxious weeds and were thrown out.  In the year 1907 they again held a Seed Fair; substantial prizes were offered.  Each exhibit was to represent a quantity of equally good seed for sale. 

 At the annual meeting on November 27, 1907, the report of the judges had deemed Abernethy's Society to have held the second best fair in the province.  They were proud of this accomplishment.  
 

In 1908, the second fair was described in the Abernethan.  "The annual exhibition held on August 7 was the feature of the year; over $500 worth of prizes being paid to exhibitors in the various classes from all parts of the surrounding districts.  The competition was of the very keenest nature."
 

In 1974 there was considerable discussion regarding the continuation of the fair.  Fairs, in general, had been declining both in number and interest, since the end of the second World War.  Members agreed to continue the fair, and go to the community to obtain additional directors.  A Pet Show was organized in 1976.  The Society, the Pet Show and the Fair have continued to 2017. 

Like all small Agricultural Societies Abernethy ponders their future yet the enthusiasm by young volunteers present on the 110th indicates that energy abounds in the midst of significant changes in rural Saskatchewan.     opportunities.