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2000s 1990s 1980s 1970s 1960s 1950s 1940s 1930s 1920s 1910s 1900s 1800s 1700s Notes
2000 South Peace Regional Archives is established.
2000 Centre 2000, the millennial tribute to Grande Prairie, opens.
1995 Canada Winter Games are held in Grande Prairie.
1992 Dunvegan is declared a provincial park.
1991 The Alberta Alcohol and Drug Addiction Centre is built.
The Centre was unique in North America, as it was the first to offer the full range of services needed to prevent or manage addictions under one roof.
1986 The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital opens
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip participated in the sod-turning ceremony for the fully modern, 450 bed hospital on August 1, 1978 – construction began in 1983.
1986 Northern Most Winery Opens
The world’s most northerly winery, their White Swan rhubarb wine was very popular in Japan, and their Classic Raspberry was on a select list of 34 Canadian wines approved by the federal government for use at diplomatic functions.
1986 Muskoseepi Park is completed
Deriving its name from the original Cree name for Bear Creek, Muskoseepi was funded by the Alberta Heritage Trust Fund. Grande Prairie was the first Alberta City outside of Edmonton and Calgary to have a project funded by the Trust.
1982 Crystal Park School is the first integrated school in the province
Combining the regular school day with programs usually only available in a hospital, Crystal Park generated interest world-wide.
1980 The economy “bust” begins in Grande Prairie
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1979 The first Canadian National Championships for hot air ballooning
are held in Grande Prairie.
1979 The Grande Prairie Regional College is completed.
Designed by award winning architect Douglas Cardinal.
1973 Contruction begins on Proctor & Gamble Pulp Mill
along the Wapiti.
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1967 Village of Eaglesham incorporated
1967 New Town of Fox Creek established
1967 Silver Valley Post Office
Established in the home of Edward Friesen on the SE 28-81-10-W6. It was later moved to the Silver Valley Store.
1966 New Town of Grande Cache established
1965 The Grande Prairie Junior College is established
Classes were first taught the following year in the old Grande Prairie High School.
1964 The Daily Herald-Tribune begins production.
The DHT, Canada’s most northerly daily, became the first Alberta newspaper to win every award in the top circulation class in its category. Canada’s most northerly daily,
1964 RCAF Station Beaverlodge Post Office
Established on the military base on Saskatoon Mountain. Mrs. Elizabeth Ings was the first postmistress. It was later renamed the Trumpeter Post Office.
1962 On the banks of the Wapiti River,
a new water intake, filtration and pumping system is installed.
1962 Bear Creek swimming pool is opened to the public
Daily admission for a child was 15 cents, and a seasonal pass for a family was 16 dollars.
1962 The Grande Prairie Players (1958) and the
South Peace Operatic Society (1960) amalgamate to form Grande Prairie Little Theatre
1962 New Grande Prairie City Hall is built.
1960 The Grande Prairie Auxiliary Hospital opens
The hospital was used to run the first Home Care Pilot Project in all of Canada, under the auspices of the Canadian Red Cross. The program was so successful that statistics from the study were used throughout North America for establishing similar programs in rural areas.
1960 Dunvegan Suspension Bridge is Opened
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1958 City of Grande Prairie incorporated
1958 Grande Prairie becomes a city
The population totals 8,100 when Henry McCullough delivers the City Charter to Mayor Jack Mackie, after a 280-mile trek on horse-back from the Legislature buildings in Edmonton to the new court house in Grande Prairie.
1955 Beaverlodge becomes a town
1955 Completion of Valleyview-Whitecourt Cut-Off
The completion of the new highway from Whitecourt to Valleyview makes the Grande Prairie district more accessible.
1955 Completion of Watino Bridge over the Smoky River
connects the Central Peace to the Valleyview-Whitecourt route to Edmonton.
1954 Village of Valleyview established
1951 The Municipal District of Grande Prairie becomes
the County of Grande Prairie #1.
1951 Downtown Grande Prairie is modernized
with several large structures, including a new Post Office, a new AGT Building, the York Hotel, and the Gaiety Theatre.
1951 County of Grande Prairie formed
1951 Poplar Ridge Post Office
Opened in the store and service station on the SW 14 or NE 11-80-7-W6. Laura Jardine was the first postmistress. It closed in 1959.
1950 Oil is discovered on the Sturgeon Lake Reserve
Valleyview, not Sturgeon Lake, becomes an oil town. In the photo, a Grande Prairie Iron Works truck with a portable welder on the back is being towed by a caterpillar into an oil well site north of Sturgeon Lake Mission. It was the first well that was a major producer in the Peace Country.
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1949 An iron traffic bridge is installed across the Smoky River near Bezanson.
1947 Province of Alberta contracts with O.B. Lassiter
to clear 100,000 acres for World War II veterans to take up half sections of land under the Veterans Land Act. Wanham becomes a major business center during the ensuing land boom created by the Lassiter project.
1946 Construction of the dam on Bear Creek is completed
1946 West Vale Post Office
Established in Parlee’s Store on the SW 30-76-3-W6. Isaac Parlee the only postmaster until it closed in 1952.
1946 New Fish Creek Post Office
Opened in the home of Edgar Irvin Smith on the SW 12-73-22-W5.
1945 Residents on the Grande Prairie celebrate Victory-in-Europe (V-E) Day.
1944 Village of Rycroft incorporated
1942 Work begins on the Alaska Highway
Opened in Werklund’s Store on the SW 27-69-22-W5. Bror Andrew Werklund was the first postmaster. It closed in 1946.
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1939 With war declared, a number of young men leave Grande Prairie
to enlist for service, many with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment.
1939 The Great Depression ends
1939 The Grande Prairie Herald and the Northern Tribune
amalgamate to form the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune.
1939 Sexsmith recognized as grain capital of the British Empire.
Two to three million bushels of wheat produced annually.
1939 Grovedale Post Office
Established in the Grovedale Store on SW 4-70-6-W6. Helen Bain was the first postmistress.
1938 Mount Valley Post Office
Opened in the Mount Valley Store on NE 24-70-13-W6. Elva Elliott Lingrell was the first postmistress. It closed in 1951.
1937 Beaverlodge becomes headquarters of the building of the Monkman Pass Highway
1937 The CFGP Radio Station begins broadcasting
This marks the beginning of progress as the Depression starts to recede.
1937 Clarkson Valley Post Office
Established in the home of Benjamin Thomas Gray on the NW 9-71-25-W5. Later the post office was in the store. It closed in 1968.
1936 George “Baldy Red” Yeomans, the most famous bootlegger
of the Peace Country, dies on February 14 at the age of 69, and is buried in the Hythe Cemetery.
1936 Sylvestor Post Office
Opened in the General Store on NW 19-69-11-W6. The first postmaster was Thomas Elliott. It closed in 1951.
Opened in the Waknuk home on NW 34-79-7-W6 in in Waknuk home. It closed in 1964.
1933 Pipestone Creek Post Office
Established in the Pipestone Creek Store at NE 14-70-8-W6. Allan & Selina Watts, the proprieters of the store were the postmasters until it closed in 1963.
1933 Fitzsimmons Post Office
Established in a private home on NW 23-73-3-W6. Charles William Milner and his wife Ruth were the first postmasters. It closed in 1951.
1932 Smoky Heights Post Office
Opened in the home of Annie Fogle on SW 13-74-2-W6. It closed in 1958.
Established in the home of Wm Alfred Hague on NE 24-76-6 W6. It was later moved into the hamlet of Woking.
Established in Pollock’s Store on the SE-28-73-12-W6. George Pollock was the first postmaster.
1931 76 school districts have been incorporated for the Grande Prairie.
1931 A government ferry is installed across the Wapiti River
near Pipestone Creek, facilitating traffic to the Grovedale district.
1931 The Census that year lists the population of the Grande Prairie to be over 13,000.
The Town of Grande Prairie has 1,464 people. The population for the incorporated villages are: Sexsmith (304), Hythe (278), Beaverlodge (211), Wembley (183), and Clairmont (110).
1931 Northmark Post Office
Opened in the home of Edmund Baker on the NW 20-76-6-W6. It was later moved to the Northmark Store and closed in 1968.
Established south of the Wapiti River and Pipestone Creek in the home of Robert Rutledge on NE 4-69-8-W6. .It closed in 1967.
1931 Sturgeon Heights Post Office
Opened in Joseph Harrington’s home on SE 25-70-25-W5. In 1952, it was moved to the Sturgeon Heights Store. It closed in 1968.
Established in Brochu’s Store on the SE 22-78-1-W6. The name was changed to Codesa in 1938, and the post office closed in 1980.
1930 With the Great Depression worsening, the provincial government
decides to disallow homesteading in the Peace River district for non-Albertans. During the most severe part of the Depression, 1930-36, the town of Grande Prairie had to cut back salaries of municipal workers and teachers to maintain basic services.
1930 First Teepee Creek Stampede
is held during the 1930s, eventually becomes the largest amateur rodeo in Canada.
1930 Crooked Creek Post Office
Opened in the home of Peter Friesen Thiessen on SW 26-71-26-W5. It was later moved to the Crooked Creek Store.
1930 Gordondale Post Office
Established in the Stewart home on NW 31-78-10-W6. George Frederick Stewart was the first postmaster.
1930 Homestead Post Office
Opened north of Valhalla in the home of Christian Nordhagen on SW 20-75-9-W6. It closed in 1962.
1930 Poplar Hill Post Office
Established in the Axelson home on NW 22-73-9-W6. Axel Axelson only postmaster. It closed in 1944.
1930 Bridgeview Post Office
Established in Antonio Drouin’s home on SW 15-77-6-W6. It closed in 1952.
1930 Hazelmere Post Office
Established in Herbert & Louise Jordan’s home on the NE 3-70-12-W6. It closed in 1964.
1930 Bay Tree Post Office
Opened in the Bay Tree Store at NW 1-79-13-W6. Rosario Tremblay was the first postmaster.
Opened in the home of Anton Kulachkosky on SW 9-80-12-W6. The name was changed to Bonanza in December 1930 and later moved to the Bonanza General Store.
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1929 The large, brick Grande Prairie High School is built.
This will serve senior students throughout the Prairie.
1929 Beaverlodge, Hythe, and Sexsmith are incorporated
as villages with populations of just over 200 each.
1929 Village of Beaverlodge incorporated
1929 Valleyview Post Office Established
The post office and a near-by school are the first public buildings in what is now the Town of Valleyview.
1929 Village of Sexsmith incorporated
1929 Village of Hythe incorporated
1929 The Grande Prairie Municipal Hospital is built
1929 Sunset House Post Office
Established in the home of Sam Pasicka on SE 5-71-19-W5. It was later moved to the Sunset House Store.
Established in the Langlois home on SE 36-78-24-W5. Isidore Langlois first postmaster.
Opened in the home of Mrs. Nettie Goodwin on SW 35-74-13-W6. It later moved to the Demmitt General Store.
Opened in Hancharyk’s Store on the NW-27-74-5-W6. Andew Hancharyk was the first postmaster. It closed in 1966.
1929 Windsor Creek Post Office
Opened in the home of George Clarkson, on the NW 31-71-12-W6. It closed in 1942.
Established in a private home on the NE 22-71-9-W6. Clara Clow was the first postmistress. It closed in 1970.
Established at NE 29-72-10-W6, with Mrs. Sigrid Johnson as the postmistress. In 1931, the name was changed to Albright Post Office. It closed in 1955.
1929 Valleyview Post Office
Established in the home of David Williamson on the SW 15-70-22-W5.
1929 Eaglesham Post Office
Established in the Village of Eaglesham at SE 25-78-26-W5.
1929 Whitburn Post Office
Established in the home of Mrs. Maplet Scott in unsurveyed territory, 18 miles west of Spirit River and 6 miles south of Blueberry Mtn. Mrs. Scott was the only postmaster until in closed in 1967.
Established in the home of George Reiswig on the NE 30-76-3-W6. It closed in 1970.
1928 Village of Wembley erected
1927 Dimsdale Post Office
Established in the home of Andrew Ramsfield. It was later moved to Leslie’s Store on Lot 14, SW 15-71-7-W6, and closed in 1967.
1927 Cut Bank Lake Post Office
Established in Phoebe Anderson’s home on the SE 33-72-8-W6. It closed in 1928.
1926 Immigrant farmers sponsored by Lord Lovat's British Overseas Settlement
program begin to arrive on the Prairie. Many Ukrainian families establish farms in the Spirit River area.
1926 Silverwood Post Office
Opened in the Esher Railway Station south of Rycroft, at NW 17-77-5-W6. Mrs. Mary Cashaback was the first postmistress. It closed in 1968.
1926 Blueberry Mountain Post Office
Opened in the store on the SE 15-80-8-W6.
1925 First District Nurse for Rural Areas,
Miss Brighty, arrives in Wanham. Soon there will also be district nurses at Valleyview and Blueberry Mountain.
1924 The E,D & BC Railway is extended from Wembley through
Beaverlodge to Hythe
Opened in a private building on Lot 9, Blk 3, NW 15-71-8-W6. Rose Sinclair was the first postmistress.
1924 Teepee Creek Post Office
Established in the store at SW 9-74-3-W6. John King first postmaster. It closed in 1977.
Opened in the Goodwin Store on the NE 27-71-2-W6. It closed in 1961.
1923 Heart Valley Post Office
Established in the store at NE 9-76-2 W6. Thelma McLean was the first postmistress. It closed in 1968.
1923 Hinton Trail Post Office
Established in the home of Stan Ronksley on the NW 5-70-10-W6. It closed in 1968.
1923 Smoky River Post Office
Established in Patrick Rooney’s Store on Section 34-72-3-W6. Patrick Rooney first postmaster. It closed in 1927 after Rooney’s Store moved to the new townsite of Bezanson.
Established in the home of Elbert and Laura DeBolt on the SW 12-72-1-W6. The building also included a store.
1923 Valhalla Centre Post Office
Established in Horte’s Store on the SW 18-74-9-W6. Olaf Horte was the first postmaster.
1922 Leighmore Post Office
Established in the home of George Beadle on the SW 10-71-11-W6. It closed in 1947.
1921 World War I Captain 'Wop
to the Grande Prairie from Edmonton.May convinced Grande Prairie Town Council to establish a landing field west of the town.
1921 A recession begins on the Grande Prairie,
engendered by the post-war overproduction of grain in North America.
1920 British veterans of WWI take up homesteads as part of the Soldier Settlement.
Many Ukranian families establish farms in the Spirit River area.
1920 Elmworth Post Office.
Established in Brewer’s store on the SE 17-70-11-W6. Frank Brewer was the first postmaster.
1920 Clearview Post Office
Established in Daniel Matthew’s home on the NW 24-72-11-W6. It was closed in 1929, and replaced by the Albright Post Office.
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1919 The international Spanish Flu epidemic begins to result in many
deaths on the Grande Prairie. At least two mass graves are dug to accommodate the large number of victims.
1919 Grande Prairie is incorporated as a town with over 1,000 people.
The first mayor is G.A. James.
1919 Brainard Post Office
Opened in Ma Brainard’s Stopping Place on the NW 2-74-12-W6. It closed in 1961.
1919 Rio Grande Post Office
Established in a private home with Mary Scully as the first postmistress. In 1920 it moved to Ewan MacDonnell’s store. It was destroyed by fire in 1955, reopened, and finally closed in 1957. Photo 0276.02
1919 Goodfare Post Office
Established at the Goodfare Store on Section 27-72-12-W6, with Ellen Jean Third as the postmistress.
1919 Town of Grande Prairie incorporated
1919 A telephone system is installed in Grande Prairie.
1918 Another settlement wave begins on the Grande Prairie
with encouragement from the Soldiers Settlement Board, which is attempting to locate war veterans on the land.
1918 The biggest unsolved case of mass murder in Alberta's history
takes place. The murders occurred on two farms just north and northwest of Grande Prairie.
1918 Post Office and Store First Public Buildings in Wanham
established by Peter Tansem.
1918 World War I ends
Established in Tansem’s Store on the NW 3-78-3-W6. Peter Tansem was the first postmaster.
1918 Ben Bodeker, the last trader at Fort Dunvegan, closes the post
1917 Beaverlodge Agricultural Research Farm
established by W.D. Albright east of the old townsite of Beaverlodge.
1917 Rail service on the E,D & BC is now twice weekly.
It takes approximately 37 hours to travel from Grande Prairie to Edmonton.
1917 Prudens Crossing Post Office
Established at the railway townsite of Watino on the NW 35-77-24-W5. Carl Donis was the first postmaster. The name was changed to Watino Post Office in 1925.
1917 Prestville Post Office
Established in the home of J.F. Johnston on the SW 7-78-4-W6. In 1937 it was moved to Joberty’s Red & White Store. It closed in 1960.
Established in the home of F.G. Webber on the NE 7-74-8-W6. An actual post office was built in 1952.
1916 The Edmonton, Dunvegan & British Columbia Railway
is extended over the Smoky River into the Central and South Peace, creating the townsites of Watino, Tangent, Eaglesham, Codesa, Belloy, Wanham, Spirit River, Woking, Sexsmith, Clairmont, and culminating in the existing village of Grande Prairie, which is the end of steel.
1916 Village of Spirit River established
1916 Sexsmith Townsite Surveyed on ED & BC Railway
and named after David Sexsmith, who established the first general store and warehouse in the town.
1916 M D of Spirit River No. 133 incorporated
1916 Railway trestle across the Smoky is built at Watino.
1916 Prohibition on the sale of alcoholic beverages begins in Alberta.
This has already been in effect on northern Alberta, with medical permits required for the import of intoxicants.
1916 Grizzly Bear Post Office
Established in the W.A. Smith home at Egg Lake Ranch, on the SW 15-78-2-W5. The name was changed to Belloy in 1926, and it closed in 1969.
1916 Clairmont Post Office
Established in the MacDonald home at Lot 13, Blk 2, Section 25-72-6-W6, in the new townsite of Clairmont.
1916 Valhalla Post Office
Established in Gus Owen’s home on Section 14-74-10-W6. It closed in 1970.
1916 Spirit River Station Post Office
Established beside the railway on the new townsite of Spirit River. Angus Campbell was the first postmaster. The name changed to Spirit River Post Office in 1920.
1915 The Beaver, a long narrow river boat, begins a passenger and
freighting service on the Smoky River between Bezanson, the Goodwin Crossing, Pruden’s Crossing, and Peace River.
1915 First electric lighting plant installed in Grande Prairie by Joe Voz.
1915 Bezanson Post Office
Established in Leonard’s Store at the old townsite of Bezanson on Section 17-71-2-W6. It was moved to the Hunter homestead in 1924 and to the current hamlet of Bezanson in 1926.
1915 Hermit Lake Post Office
Established in a private home on Section 32-71-7-W6. Mrs. S. Braybrooke was the first postmistress, followed by Mrs. A. Cranston. The post office closed in 1919.
Established in the home of Mrs. Anna Bredin on the north east corner of Bear Lake, SE 25-72-7-W6. It closed to Clairmont in 1930.
Established in a private home on Section 7-73-7-W6 in in home. R.E. Bezanson was the first postmaster. It closed in 1932.
1915 Spitfire Lake Post Office
Established in the home of John Beattie on the SW-4-74-7-W6. The name was changed to Buffalo Lake Post Office in 1917. It was located in Buffalo Lakes Store for many years and closed in 1975.
1914 Grande Prairie is incorporated as a village with 100 people.
Established at the old townsite on SE 14-73-11-W6. Mary Ellen Hartley was the first postmistress. It was moved to the new Village of Hythe in 1928.
1914 In August, hostilities in Europe lead to the beginning of
World War I. Young men from the Grande Prairie begin returning to points in eastern Canada and Britain to prepare for active service.
1914 Glen Leslie Post Office
Established in Rooney’s Store on Sec 25-71-4-W6. It closed in 1956.
1913 Norwegian Colony Settles around Valhalla
at the encouragement of Rev. Halvor Ronning. This results in the communities of Valhalla and Valhalla Center, where there is a creamery, lumber yard and mill, community hall, school, and stores.
1913 The Grande Prairie Herald begins printing under the editorship of
1913 Halcourt Post Office
Established in the home of Thomas Metcalfe on Sec 33-70-10-W6th. It closed in 1962.
1913 Kleskun Hill Post Office
Established in a private home on Section 17-72-4-W6. J.A. Brims was the first postmaster. The post office later moved to the Tempest Home, closed in 1940, and relocated to the Heritage Village at the Grande Prairie Museum.
1912 Rural Municipality of Bear Lake incorporated
1912 Rural Municipality of Grande Prairie incorporated
1912 Sexsmith Post Office
Established on Sec 7-73-5-W6, with Mrs. K.E. Johnstone as the first postmistress. The post office was moved to Sexsmith townsite in 1926.
1911 A trail is opened between Grande Prairie and the
Grand Trunk Pacific railway town at Edson. The Edson Trail instantly becomes the favoured route for the hundreds of settlers headed for the Grande Prairie. That spring, the trail is provided with a stage service operated by John Taft.
Established on the Sturgeon Lake Indian Reserve. It was located on the south shore of Sturgeon Lake, at River Lot 2, Sec 2-70-4-W5; and S.M. Scott was the first postmaster.
1911 Grande Prairie Post Office
Established at Sec 23-71-6-W6. The first postmaster was J.O. Patterson, and the post office was located in the Patterson & Son Store until a separate Federal Government Building was built in 1926.
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1910 First Public School in the Area
established at Beaverlodge.
1910 The first land rush in the Peace River Country begins.
With all or parts of 17 townships on the Grande Prairie declared open for settlement, over 300 applications for land are accepted or confirmed by Peter Tomkins at Lake Saskatoon.
1910 Bear Creek is renamed Grande Prairie City by the
Argonaut Company. The Argonaut Company scouted Bear Creek, located on the southern border of “the Grande Prairie” for their new town site, renaming it “Grande Prairie City”. Traditionally, the site was a popular camping and fishing ground for First Nations people. Grande Prairie did not become a city until 1958.
Grande Prairie Museum’s Heritage Village and the Muskoseepi Park buildings have taken the place of homes and gardens which once lined the shores of Bear Creek.
1910 Bezanson Townsite Surveyed
at the confluence of the Smoky and Simonette Rivers.This will eventually be abandoned ca. 1920.
Established in the Lossing home on the original Beaverlodge townsite, at SW 1-72-10-W6. In 1912 the name was changed to Beaverlodge.
1909 Bull Outfit takes up land around Beaverlodge,
the first large group settlement. They are methodists from Ontario who came over the Long Trail with oxen pulling their sleighs, hence the name Bull Outfit.
1909 Ferry is installed to cross river at Dunvegan
Telegraph reaches Dunvegan the following year.
1909 Beaver Lodge Post Office
Established in unsurveyed territory at Lake Saskatoon. This was in the home of William Lowe, the first postmaster, at about Twp 71-5-W6. It was renamed the Lake Saskatoon Post Office in closed December 12, 1931, after the Village of Lake Saskatoon was relocated to Wembley.
1909 Survey of Farmland into Sections and Quarter Sections
begins with Walter McFarlane, Dominion Land Surveyor.
1908 Canada's Fertile Northland, a report commisioned by the
Senate,concludes that the Peace River Country, and especially the Grande Prairie, is ripe for large-scale settlement.
1907 Flying Shot Lake Settlement Surveyed
for First Nations community of Cree-Iroquois living around Flying Shot Lake. By 1908 the settlement included H.B. Clifford’s Store and home.
1907 Spirit River Settlement Surveyed
to include the HBC post, the Catholic Mission and the Anglican Mission along the Spirit River.
1906 Special Prairie Census for the Peace River Country
carried out by Allie Brick, includes 100 members of the Beaver First Nation who have adhered to Treaty 8.
1906 Residential School established at Sturgeon Lake
by the Sisters of Providence. It will operate until the 1970’s.
1906 George Breeden opens a blacksmith shop and Hotel
This was the first business on the site of modern-day Grande Prairie.
1905 The Grande Prairie is included in the electoral riding of
1905 Spirit River Post Office
was established in the English & Calkins Store at the Spirit River Settlement. The name was changed to Roycroft in 1920, and to Rycroft in 1931, where it is still in operation.
1901 The Federal Census of the Peace Country is carried out by
St. Pierre Ferguson.The non-Treaty population numbers 93, with most people living near Flying Shot Lake. Adherents to Treaty 8 are not counted at this time.
1900 Several people from the Beaver First Nation on the
Grande Prairie travel to Dunvegan to adhere to Treaty 8.
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1899 Alex Monkman and Jim Cornwall cut the first
wagon trail from Spirit River to Saskatoon Lake.
1899 Treaty 8 signed at Dunvegan
Reserves are established at Sturgeon Lake.
1899 Cornwall & Bredin open fur trade post at Lake Saskatoon.
The settlement which develops around the post eventually becomes the Village of Lake Saskatoon.
1897 North-West Mounted Police made its first
patrols into the South Peace.
1897 The Klondike Gold Rush
results in “Klondikers” coming from Edmonton through the grande prairie area on the way to the Yukon. Some of them, such as Alex Monkman and David Sexsmith, will return to settle on the prairie.
1897 Huson's Bay Company Ranch established near Spirit River
based on a herd of 35 cattle imported from Calgary. The ranch is to supply beef and dairy products to HBC posts, NWMP posts and incoming settlers. Ranch is sold to Charles Bremner and Peter Gunn in 1896.
1880 A new influx of people of Cree-Iroquois descent arrive on the
Grande Prairie. arrive on the Grande Prairie.
1880 Hudson's Bay Outpost established on the grande prairie
southeast of La Glace Lake by George Kennedy, who plants one of the first gardens in 1881. A new building at this post, constructed in 1896, is now in the Grande Prairie Museum Heritage Village.
1879 George M. Dawson surveys the Peace River District for
the Geological Survey of Canada and concludes that the rich soil of this prairie would be ideal for large-scale farming.
1878 Dunvegan becomes headquarters of the
newly created Peace River District
1877 Hudson's Bay Outpost established at Sturgeon Lake.
Sturgeon Lake, since the mid-1850s has been the fishery and hunting base to supply the HBC post at Lesser Slave Lake. Managed by “The Captain”, a leader of the Cree First Nation. The HBC Store at Sturgeon Lake finally closes in the 1970s.
1870 Charles Horetzky, surveyor, and John Macoun visit Dunvegan
on behalf of the Canadian Pacific Railway. They determine that the area would be viable for agricultural settlement.
1867 St. Charles Mission established at Dunvegan,
with Father Tissier as the first resident priest. He also works as a bookkeeper for the HBC. It operates until 1903. St. Charles Mission is now an historic site.
1830 Most of the Bison are gone from the Upper Peace,
decimated by over hunting and sever winters. This results in starvation and disease for many First Nations people.
1821 The North West Company is amalgamated with the
Hudson’s Bay Company. The HBC supplies practically all of the imported materials used by people on the Grande Prairie.
1805 A fur trade post is opened at Dunvegan by the North West
Company. Archibald Norman McLeod was sent by the NWC to build the fort. McLeod named it Fort Dunvegan after his family’s ancestral castle in Scotland. Iroquois, Beaver, and Cree First Nations all trade at Fort Dunvegan.
1804 Explorer David Thompson journeys up the Peace River
1793 Explorer Alexander Mackenzie notes a First Nations
encampment on the flats along the Peace River, the future location of Dunvegan.
1705 The entire upper Peace River Country is occupied
by people of the Beaver First Nation. The Beaver are an Athapaskan (Dene) people, closely related to the Chipewyan to the northeast and the Sikani to the west. During the 18th Century, Cree Middlemen, with superior weapons, begin displacing the Beaver.
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For a more complete history of the South Peace, please refer to Dr. David Leonard’s timeline and to “A Sense of the Peace: A Historical Overview and Study of Communities and Museums in the Peace River Country” by Roberta Hursey. It is from these works that this timeline has been created.
Please notify the Archives of any corrections that are needed.