Barr colony

2011-02-01 11:02:33

The Barr colony was the attempt of two Anglican clergymen to establish a British colony in 1903 in remote Saskatchewan, almost 200 miles northwest of Saskatoon. Although few of the 2,000 original settlers had any agricultural experience and the administration of the colony was a disaster, the coming of the railway in 1905 guaranteed its existence.
Reverend Isaac Barr had hoped to join forces with the British colonial administrator Cecil Rhodes in extending the British Empire into western Canada (see Canada—immigration survey and policy overview). With Rhodes’s death in 1902, Barr joined Reverend George Lloyd in his plan for settling unemployed British workers and soldiers demobilized following the Boer War (1899–1902). Barr negotiated with the Canadian government to reserve a block of land for his settlers and arranged for them to be transported on the SS Lake Manitoba, equipped to handle less than one-third the total number of immigrants. After numerous organizational disasters, the colonists deposed Barr and elected Lloyd leader. In 1905, Saskatchewan was organized as a province of the Dominion of Canada.