Ogema is a town with a population of 403 located in south Central Saskatchewan, Canada. It is approximately 115 kilometres south of Saskatchewan's capital city, Regina. Ogema is located midway between Weyburn and Assiniboia on Highway 13.
The first settlers arrived in 1908. However, it wasn't until 1911 that a post office was established with the name of Ogema. Ogema was incorporated as a town in 1912, when it reached a population of over 500 people. Many of the settlers came from Ontario; some came from the United States, British Isles and other parts of Europe. The pioneers had selected the name Omega, which is the Greek word for end as at that time, the settlement was at end of the rail line. On making application for registration of the town name, they were told by the authorities that there was another town with that name and no two communities with the same name would be allowed. The settlers then changed the name Omega to Ogema, which gave the town an original name, yet retained all letters of the original name. The name Ogema is a Cree Indian word meaning chief. The lots for the town of Ogema were sold by the Canadian Pacific Railway, who were then building a branch line through the wilderness of southern Saskatchewan.
The town of Ogema is naturally an internal drainage basin, with rolling hills and shallow sloughs. Typically, these sloughs mark regional low spots and are fed by a series of interconnected sloughs called kettle chains.
Ogema has a mayor as the highest ranking government official. They also elects aldermen or councillors to form the municipal council. Currently the mayor is Carol Peterson.
Provincially Ogema is within the Weyburn-Big Muddy constituency served by their MLA who is currently Hon. Dustin Duncan, Minister of Environment.
Ogema is represented in the Canadian House of Commons by MP of the Souris-Moose Mountain riding, currently this is Robert Kitchen.
Ogema received its first school in 1911. A larger school was built in 1919 in the centre of town with several additions being built over the next 20 years. Ogema is currently served by Ogema School, a K-12 school built in 1961 which is located in the South East Cornerstones School Division No. 209. The school has an enrolment of approximately 100 students.
Ogema is currently "rebranding" itself into a heritage "hotspot". Sporting a newly relocated and restored 1912 train station and a 30 building pioneer museum. Ogema is quickly becoming a destination for tourists looking to experience the early 1900s and what early pioneers accomplished.
Deep South Pioneer Museum - The museum was first organized in 1977 by interested persons from Ogema, Pangman, Bengough, Avonlea and other districts. These individuals felt the need to preserve the history and heritage of the local community. Land was purchased near the outskirts of town. Over the past 30 years, the museum has accumulated over 30 restored buildings and over 1000 pieces of farm equipment. An annual "Museum Day" is held during the second Sunday in July. This event offers blacksmith, threshing and rope making demonstrations as well as a parade and musical entertainment.
Historical Buildings - Ogema's Main Street is lined with buildings that represent Ogema's past. Some buildings include the Fire Hall and Fire Wall on either side of Main Street. These structures were built after the fire of 1915 that destroyed much of Ogema's Main Street to prevent any future fires from spreading. The Wall is of significant importance because it was considered a foolish investment by government officials and wouldn't last longer that a decade. Now, nearly 95 years later it is one of the few structures of its kind in Saskatchewan. Another building that can boast that same title is the British America Station. The "B.A." Station as it was referred to is one of the only remaining B.A. Stations left in Western Canada. Other buildings include Moffet and Robertson General Merchants, Andrew Fraser's Department Store, The Ogema Theatre and The Ogema Meat Market.
1912 CPR Train Station - Ogema's original train station stood at the south end of Main Street on the north side of the railway tracks. It was built in 1912, one year after the rail line arrived. After passenger use declined and the station closed down, it was removed from the site and sold for scrap in the 1960s. In the early 2000s a committee was struck to oversee the return of a 1912 CPR train station to the original site. And in 2002, a station, being used as a grain bin at the time, was located and transported from Simpson, Sk to Ogema. Over the next 7 years 1000 of hours of labour were put into the station and in the summer of 2009 it was opened to the public, nearly fully restored and furnished with original furniture and artifacts.
Ogema is currently serviced by the Deep South Star .