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Ancient Edmonton in Photographs: Between the Years of 1867 and 1944; You Have Got to See These Beauties

Lets take a moment to travel back in time… I mean way back – as far back as 1867. (That’s 148 years ago – the same year that Canada was founded, in fact.)

What a sight to see. Sit back, relax, and have a gander at these ancient photographs and postcard images:

Jasper Avenue looking west, ca. 1930

Jasper Avenue looking west, ca. 1930

Photo: Peel’s Prairie Provinces, a digital initiative of the University of Alberta Libraries

In the 19th Century, 97 Street and Jasper Avenue began to develop as the centre of town. It started out with just a few wooden, false-fronted stores, but then brick, steel and concrete started becoming the average building materials for new developments along the Avenue.

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East-facing view of downtown from Hudson Bay tower. Year unknown.

East-facing view of downtown from Hudson Bay tower. Year unknown.

Photo: Peel’s Prairie Provinces, a digital initiative of the University of Alberta Librarie

The above photo was taken from the historic Hudson’s Bay building along Jasper Avenue between 102nd and 103rd streets. When the site was first developed in the late 1800s, the original HBC building consisted only of a single street-level retail floor with living quarters upstairs for the manager, his family and an assistant.

Downtown looking north, ca. 1910

Downtown looking north, ca. 1910

Photo: Peel’s Prairie Provinces, a digital initiative of the University of Alberta Libraries

A century ago, “Mrs. McC” sent the above postcard to her friend, a Mrs. George Wright of Portland, Oregon, with a note on the back that read: “Dear Friend, I write you a letter a long time ago did you get it. I tow in little trucks. I hope you are all well. Is Mr. W. in the same place. I guess there has been some changes there. We are getting on fine. The baby is well. I have never had any pictures framed but when I do I will send some A Happy New Year. Mrs. McC.”

ANOTHER GREAT POST:  Edmonton Event! - Donations Needed for Silent Auction

Check out the rest of the photographs via BuzzBuzzHome.

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9 Responses

  1. Leah Myrah Leah Myrah says:

    My great great grandfather was a German immigrant that moved to canada in 1894.

    The Govt of Canada had established the Papachase Indian reservation here. As a result of the Riel rebellion it was decided that it was to close to Fort Edmonton. The chief and the Northern Cree were moved to Lesser Slave Lake and the Plains Cree were moved Louis Bull reserve at Wetaskiwin. The land was then sold to a group of German Lutheran emigrants.
    At the junction of Ellerslie road and Beaumont trail. On the north west corner of the intersection is St Pauls Lutheran church. There is a parking lot. If you are in the parking lot you are on the quarter purchased by Wilhelm Drewes. If you look south across Ellerslie road you will look at the quarter purchased by J Heinrich Drewes (my g-great grandfather) The church sits on land originally given by Wilhelm. Heinrich (MY great-grandfather) gave 5 acres south across the road for the minister to pasture his milk cow.
    If you walk into the church yard on the east side of the Church is the original Betsaal that they built. Near it is stone cairn recognizing there contribution.

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  2. Kathy Arndt Kathy Arndt says:

    Wow, some great pix of my home town. Would have been even more interesting if they had posted modern comparison pix right next to each of these old ones. Recognized the Mac, the Lege, and the bridges, and even some the old buildings on Jasper Avenue. But not necessarily the street corner of the shot.

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    • I couldn’t agree more about the modern side-by-side photos! That’d of been outstanding. 🙂 I’d do it myself, but I think that’d be quite difficult for me, as I don’t know the exact location of 95% of these photos.

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  3. Life seemed so much simpler and valued.

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