Pope 2007
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(The following information is from page 37 to 39 of Chronicles of Crandall, 1971)


In 1905 the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company surveyed a route through this area for a main line to the Pacific coast, also a townsite on the Robertson Ross homestead, 20-13-24 W1. The railway officials named the towns in alphabetical order. Pope was named after Mr. J.C. Pope, the man who was responsible for the purchasing of land for the right-of-way and townsites in this section of the province.
The line was completed and with daily passenger service by June 1909. The first Pope station was a box car by the crossing west of the village, with Mr. and Mrs. Cox as the occupants. Mr. Cox was the first station agent. Some of the others that followed were Jack Lalonde, Murray Summerland, Mr. Thomas, Mr. McMann and Austin McKay. The big station was built in 1909 and was opened by the holding of a community dance. The story is told that the night of the dance (New Year's), a wild storm came up and all the people attending the dance lad to stay at the station all night. Many did not arrive home until the following afternoon. In later years it became the home of the section foremen.
Two trains that will be remembered by the older generation will be the evening and morning locals. Many a traveller will remember spending the night in the station to catch the 5:20 to Brandon North or Winnipeg, especially in the winter when the roads were bad. One thing that will stand out in most people's memories will be the huge pot-bellied stove in the waiting room being filled to capacity with glowing briquettes. With the coming of diesels, the section and siding were no longer required and the siding was taken up and the station building offered for tender. Mr. Gordon White tore it down in 1961-62.
Pope had two grain elevators at its beginning, the Security and the Atlas. After a number of years of service, the two companies amalgamated and then became known as the Northern. The Atlas elevator about this time was closed and later removed. The Northern Company eventually became part of the National Grain Company organization. This list of grain buyers may not be complete and not necessarily in order: Arthur Wright, Howard Mitchell, Mr. Gibson, Percy Skuse, Alex Gilmore, Dave Sutherland, Jack Murdock, Herb Lorimer, Charlie McDuffy, Archie Esplin, Allan Drysdale and Gordon White, the present buyer.
Prior to Pope becoming a town, the first post office in the district was east and south of the Scotia Cemetery and was named Logoch in 1884. Mr. and Mrs. James Stevens, settlers from Scotland, took care of the postal duties for the first number of years. It was taken over by Mr. William Angus in 1890 and stayed in his hands until it was closed in August, 1932. Pope became a postal centre on April 1, 1909 with Mr. Robertson Ross as postmaster and the office was in his old log house. It is believed that the post office was moved to the general store when Dick Marvin was the proprietor. The post office had been kept in the store until 1966; after this date, it is kept in the Gordon White's home. In January 1970, a petition was circulated in the Pope area and presented to the Federal Post Office department stating the necessity of keeping this service open to the public. We would like to believe that the petition helped, as word came forth from Ottawa that this office would not be closed for the present time. Mrs. Gordon White is the present postmistress.
Robertson Ross erected a building which was to become the Pope store. Tennant Bros. of Arrow River put in the stock, with Bill as manager for two years. Other storekeepers were: Dick Marvin, Ed Hardy, Jack Alien, Donald Robertson and Gordon White. Gordon White sold his clothing line out by public auction on April 10, 1963, and his groceries the same way on April 10, 1966.
The original store was burned to the ground in 1926. The building put in its place (Anwoth Church) was also burned a few days before Christmas in 1941. Jack Alien was the proprietor of both stores. The fire broke out when the family was getting ready to attend the Crandall Christmas Concert. People coming to the concert that night in Crandall observed the glow in the sky reflecting on the ice crystals in the air like a huge cross. The third store was built by Mr. Donald Robertson.
Mr. and Mrs. George Arthur (the latter being Mable Kerr of Hamiota) had a business enterprise consisting of shoemaking and repairing, harness making and also the I.H.C. agency.
Alex Duguid was the first blacksmith, followed by Mr. Jim Robinson, Their shop was directly north of the store. This building was bought by Mr. John McGhee and moved to his farm. Mr. Angus MacKay also had a blacksmith business and his shop was north of the Samuel Laird home.
Mr. Walter Beasley started up a garage business after the Second World War but later moved to Oak Lake to carry on in the same line.
Mr. James Angus, Sr. and Mr. Bernie Strachan were two of the first pioneers of the Pope Livestock Shipping Association. Mr. Lou Strachan, Mr. Clare Anderson and Mr. William Coburn also took turns at the head of the Association. No doubt many other men took an active part in this venture. When Mr. John McCoubrey was councillor, he purchased a set of weigh scales from the Village of Hamiota and had them installed at the stockyards at Pope for the convenience of the farmer. Mr. Clare Anderson and his son Jack bought the stockyard from the C.N.R. They dismantled it, took the material to their farm, and rebuilt it for their own use.
The village had a hall (Maple Shade School), community-built barn for horses, a manse and an outdoor skating rink (south of the store) which attracted the people for many miles around.