Fort Edmonton park
digg TOP
  Posted April 6th, 2016 by Zdenko  in Edmonton | 4 comments

Edmonton history

Source: Edmonton History

A Salute to Edmonton’s History – The beginning of Edmonton
Today Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, Canada, is a main destination all by itself. A long time ago, it was just a stop-over town for people on their way to a different destination.
dsc_30061Edmonton started when the Hudson’s Bay Company was established near what is now called Fort Saskatchewan in 1795. It was a fur-trading post known as “Edmonton House”. In 1826, the trading post was an important distribution centre for the Prairies. The trading post today is known as Fort Edmonton. Fort Edmonton was relocated four times. By 1830, it finally settled on the land today known as the Alberta Legislature grounds. In British tradition, the town would be named after a person who lived in the town. The person who named Edmonton probably named it Edmond’s Town, and then was shortened to Edmonton.

Let Fort Edmonton Park take you back in time! The park is open to the public daily from the May long week-end to Labor Day and is located on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River just below the Quesnell Bridge in west Edmonton.

This year Fort Edmonton Park is celebrating the 97th birthday of its popular Baldwin steam train, with special displays about changes in travel and transportation through the years.


fort-site-map-11This is Fort Edmonton today.

During the time of 1870-1880, the first newspaper company was established and businesses, schools and shops were built. In 1871, distributions of land were made. The settlers could buy 160 acres of land to settle on for the cost of $10. The population of Edmonton by 1892 was 700. In that same year, Edmonton was put on the map because of the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon. Many prospectors came to Edmonton to get supplies. The economy boomed, the town’s reputation was established, and its population doubled, within two years. Edmonton grew dramatically during these years.

Free steam engine train rides from the park entrance to the Fort as well as free streetcar rides down 1905 and 1920 streets. Period rides such as wagon, stagecoach, pony and buggy are a big hit with everyone on 1885 stret and can be enjoyed for a nomi nal fee.

train-b0421The Edmonton Yukon & Pacific was named after the first railway built in Edmonton.
It began on the south side in 1902 and by 1906 crossed the river and ran as far west as 123 St. and Stony Plain Road. The EY & P Railroad operated passenger trains until 1926 and finally ceased all operations in 1951. The track was still still as a spur line until the early 1970s.

The Fort Edmonton Park ride is 2.5 miles and has two main stops; at the Train Station entrance to the park and at the Fort. The train arrived in Edmonton in 1977 and began service in 1978.

Rowand House was builit in 1842, had four levels and an area of approimately 2100 square feet. The main floor had dining rooms, offices and a large hall. The second floor had family sitting rooms as well as four guest rooms for visitors to the fort. The third floor was used for storing dried meat. The ground level floor consisted of storage areas, sleeping quarters, the kitchen and a root cellar. 

dsc_30111The courtyard was the area of activity for welcoming ceremonies for traders and dignitaries, fur packing, food processing and supply loading.

dsc_30081One of Edmonton’s premier attractions, the Park represents four distinct time periods, exploring Edmonton’s development from a fur trade post in the vast Northwest, to a booming metropolitan centre after the First World War.

dsc_30131Trade took place in this building between the Hudson’s Bay Company and Indian traders. The building included a room for making trade, a store where merchandise was sold, a warehouse and a loft for storage of the furs.

dsc_30241The park features over 75 structures many of which are the originals. Costumed interpreters operate the site and live the way of the past. Exploring each building, each room, and talking to the ‘inhabitants’ makes for an extremely enjoyable recreational visit. This attraction can be viewed in a few hours or may take many return visits to appreciate the sense of the past.

dsc_30261Rowand House – hunters room.

dsc_30361A reconstruction of a Cree Indian Village.

dsc_30441Area where trading of goods and supplies was carried out. At Fort Edmonton it serves the purpose of selling tickets for wagon, stage coach and pony rides. Souvenirs, film, postcards, snacks, native crafts items and jewellery are now sold here.

dsc_30471This house was built around 1861 and was located on the Victoria Trail in north-east Edmonton. Peter was an interpreter and guide. His family lived in the house until 1941 and was part of the Great North-West Pioneer Village before being moved to Fort Edmonton Park.

dsc_30491This reconstructed building houses two businesses. The harness shop occupied the lower floor. The harness shop opened in 1891 where harnesses, blankets, saddles, combs and brushes, as well as soaps and oils for the main mode of transportation, the horse.

kernohan’s millinery shop notes. The millinery shop opened in 1888 and the items for sale included ladies and girls clothing, stationary and fancy foodstuffs.


dsc_30771Streetcar # 42 was built in 1912 by the St. Louis Car Company. It began it’s operation in Edmonton in 1913 and ran until 1950 where it was pulled from service.

The streetcar was sold and used as a cottage near Sylvan Lake. The car was acquired in 1981 and took 5 years to restore it. It began operations art Fort Edmonton Park in 1985 and has seen extensive service since then. There are 2 other sister cars, # 33 and # 38 at the streetcar barn awaiting and being restored.

dsc_307111905 Street represents Edmonton in its development. Connecting a railway from Edmonton to Calgary and then from South Edmonton to the north side of the river began Edmonton’s development from a small community to a thriving urban center.

Edmonton was incorporated as a town in 1892, achieved city status in 1904 and in 1905 became the capital of the new province of Alberta.

The buildings on 1905 street represent this period, when businesses of all kinds were thriving, and people could afford to purchase more than just the bare necessities needed for daily living.

dsc_30591Tourists enjoy Fort Edmonton…

dsc_30511McDougall Methodist Church was completed in 1873 and was one of the first buildings constructed outside the walls of Fort Edmonton. It is one of the few original buildings at the Park and was moved there in 1978.

dsc_30871This is a recreation of the Selkirk Hotel originally located at the corner of 101 Street and Jasper Avenue. The recreation was built in 2003 and is three stories high and contains 30 rooms furnished in the 1920′s style. Guests can stay overnight in the hotel.

On the lower floor is a functioning dining room seating 80 guests called Johnson’s Cafe. It features a continental breakfast, a casual lunch menu with daily specials and a fine dinner menu. Also on the main floor is the Mahogany Room, a full-service bar and stand up saloon. For many years the Mahogany Room was known as Canada’s longest bar.



Have a good and healthy season.

Follow Zdenko’s Corner on Facebook !



Gotta Comment?
If you've got a comment or opinion you'd like to share, send me an email or fill the comment fields bellow, with only requirements your name and email address. I might just publish you in glorious pixilated black & white! Comments may be edited for grammar, spelling and length, or just to make them better.

Submit your own stories for the Zdenko’s Corner about rides, Gran Fondo’s, having a good time traveling and/or cycling, Croatian cycling history, etc. All stories are very welcome. There are more than 400 stories already in this blog. The search feature at the top right, works best for finding subjects in the blog. There is also translating button at the top of every story so you can translate each page to language of your choice.

Send your comments to:

4 comments to “Fort Edmonton park”

  1. Comment by Visnja:

    Ovo me na nesto podsjeca…..

  2. Comment by Sandy-from Florida, USA:

    I know two of those tourists. It’s my cousin, Marija, & her husband, Damir!
    You have a very interesting web-site with good stories & lovely pictures.

  3. Comment by Zdenko Kahlina:

    I remember Maria talking about you last summer. You had a good time in Zagreb with Sandy from Edmonton. Damir is my cousin. His father was my mothers twin brother… thanks for the comment!

  4. Comment by Earnest Clynes:

    Hi. I truly enjoyed reading through your current post!. High-quality content. I would definitely recommend you to come up with posts a bit more frequently. By doing this, having this form of a useful webpage I sense you will rank higher within the search engines . I also subscribed for your Rss. Continue the excellent work!

Leave a Reply