1 Jan, 2022

Stories of Humboldt: Vern Smith

The Man Who Could Tie Himself Into A Knot

If you were to walk into the general store in Burr, SK in the 1940s, you might never guess that the man behind the counter was not just Vern Smith, owner and operator of the store, but Vern Smith – the magician, the musician and the contortionist!

Vern had his own vaudeville act and orchestra that joined up with Hoffman’s Novelty Circus for one season in 1933. After he left the circus, he continued touring with his own show until he bought the general store in 1936.


Vern Smith on accordion and his sister Louise with his orchestra.

After buying the store, he never completely gave up show business, and for the rest of his life he entertained with his orchestra and a band called the “Old 4”. He played one last show with the “Old 4” the night before he died in December 1987.

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