NAME: Bourkes
COUNTY: Bennoit Twp, Cochrane District
CLIMATE: Winter with snow, warm summers
COMMENTS: North of Sesenikinika on Hwy 11 about 8km is Bourkes Road, turn right to tracks (village). Technically Bourkes is the first community within Cochrane District, and its most southern.
REMAINS: An old bunkhouse (used as store &PO at one time, station agents home, a few homes.
Scandinavian settlers entered an area of land in between the two claybelts, about 1911, and established a farming community centred on dairy farming. By 1914 a post office was opened, a store, station (T&NO), and siding, a few bunkhouses for the nearby sawmills, and 2 small gold mines (Bourkes Mine). As the community prospered many clustered nesr the track, where by the mid 20's it could count 2 service station, two stores, and other homes, along with a population of 300. The settlement was gradually abandonned as the small mines closed (30's), lumber stopped being shipped and cut ~40's, and farmers gradually left in the 1950's and 60's. Another service station replaced the other two in the 1950's this too closed in the 70's, while the P.O. closed in 1969. Today a mere scattering of 3o residents call Bourkes home, and nearly half live outside what might be considered greater Bourkes (beyond surrounding farming settlement). Submitted by: Yvan P.Charbonneau