Set on the wide South Saskatchewan River at the heart of a vast wheat-growing area, SASKATOON, 781km west of Winnipeg, is a commercial, manufacturing and distribution centre with a population of around 236,000 – making it Saskatchewan's largest city and, in the opinion of many of its inhabitants, a better claimant to the title of provincial capital than Regina. Ontario Methodists founded the town as a temperance colony in 1883 and named it after the purple berry that grows in the region, but in spite of their enthusiasm the new settlement made an extremely slow start, partly because the semi-arid farming conditions were unfamiliar to them and partly because the Northwest Rebellion of 1885 raised fears of Indian hostility. Although the railroad reached Saskatoon in 1890, there were still only 113 inhabitants at the beginning of the twentieth century. In the next decade, however, there was a sudden influx of European and American settlers and, as the agricultural economy of the prairies expanded, so the city came to be dominated by a group of entrepreneurs nicknamed boomers, under whose management Saskatoon became the economic focus of the region. This success was underpinned by the development of a particularly sharp form of municipal loyalty: people who dared criticize any aspect of the city, from the poor quality of the water to tyrannical labour practices, were dubbed knockers, and their opinions were rubbished by the press. The boomers established a city where community solidarity overwhelmed differences in income and occupation, a set of attitudes that palpably still prevails, making this a pleasant, well-groomed place, albeit one with just a trio of principal tourist attractions – the Mendel Art Gallery, a branch of the Western Development Museum and, on the outskirts, Wanuskewin, a complex dedicated to the Plains Indians.