Shaunavon's Historic Firewall

Fires were of great concern in early Shaunavon. Most of the new buildings were of wood construction and there was little in the way of firefighting equipment. Shortly after the great fire of 1918, which destroyed 18 business places, this firewall was built between the Fennell Bros. Hardware Store and McMahon’s General Store (255 & 265 Centre Street). These walls were costly to build and are uncommon.

Shaunavon's Firewall One of Only Two Left Standing

Only four firewalls were known to have been constructed in Saskatchewan.

The wall that was built in Radville was taken down. The wall that stood in Ogema was destroyed by powerful winds on January 13, 2021.

Only two remain standing, one in Shaunavon and the other in Mossbank.

Shaunavon's Firewall is located between the buildings that are currently occupied by Gehl’s General Store (265 Centre Street) and AME Mechanical (255 Centre Street).


Shaunavon Standard, August 10, 1933
    Most serious damage was caused to the hardware store of Fennell Bros. when a brick fire wall constructed between that store and McMahon's Ltd., partly collapsed and tons of brick crashed through the roof and top floor of the back end of the building, carrying with it timber and shelves piled with stock to the ground floor, which also partly collapsed. Several hundreds of dollars damage was done. Cyclone insurance was carried on the building but not on the stock.
    J.R. Fennell and A. Bentley escaped serious injury by a narrow margin when the crash occurred, as they were standing within a few feet of the spot when the mass of brick, timber and stock fell. Of frame construction, the building was twisted slightly out of line by the collapse.

Everyone has a story to share...

The Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre is always looking to grow our collection of stories, anecdotes, photos, and artifacts related to the heritage of Shaunavon and area.

We invite community members - past and present - to consider contributing your memories, your photographs, your tangible items of Shaunavon significance to our Museum collection so that they may be preserved and shared. For more information please contact Museum staff by visiting us at 440 Centre Street, phoning us at 306-297-3882, or sending us an email at

"Our heritage is our inheritance - what the past has conceded to us, what we value in the present and what we choose to preserve for future generations."

Many thanks to our funders for their support of this Museum Stories project: