February 22, 2017
1912: An early shot of Strathmore's main street. On the right is the King Edward Hotel, centerpiece of the town's social life, while hardware stores, stables, banks and churches further up the street served the farmers in the surrounding area. At Strathmore's incorporation as a town in 1911 the population stood at 520. After that initial burst of growth the town's size and shape were set down. It would change remarkably little for over 50 years.
This is an introductory paragraph that will very briefly outline Strathmore's history and discuss the app project. It will also contain thanks fo the Western District Historical Society, Town of Strathmore and Travelodge.
1907: Newly arrived settlers set out from the colonization office on the left, to scout out the land and pick a site for their homesteads. The life that awaited these bold pioneers was one of endless work, brutal climate conditions, and crushing loneliness. Bruce Klaiber is the grandson of German immigrants to Strathmore. His grandfather, he recalls, told him a saying about the pioneer life: "The first generation dies. The second generation works, and the third generation lives well."
1925: A member of the Blackfoot Nation on horseback during the Strathmore Stampede parade. The Blackfoot suffered terribly from the arrival of white settlers. In Strathmore First Nations people were not a particularly common sight, though some did come to work as ranchers, on the irrigation projects or on farms. Others, like the man in this photo, came to perform in the Strathmore Stampede, aweing the settlers with bravura performances of horsemanship and dancing.
1920s: Ray Buker and Margaret Keeler, winners of the best dressed cowboy and cowgirl in the Strathmore Stampede, take part in the Stampede Parade down Main Street, past the Union Bank. The brick-built Bank, prefabricated in British Columbia and shipped to Strathmore by rail, is the only prominent commercial building to survive from Strathmore's early days.
1910s: The Anglican Church which was completed a few years before the war.
1940s: The King Edward Hotel.
1914: A shot of Main Street around the outbreak of the First World War. We can see that it has largely taken shape by this date. It would be decades before the street was paved, something only really made necessary by the rising popularity of cars.
1911: On this spot was once the tiny office of the Strathmore Standard, the newspaper that kept its finger on the pulse of the young community. Standing on the right is John Mackenzie, a Scotsman who was to remain the paper's editor through those exciting pioneer years. The Standard, like newspapers in towns across the prairies, played a hugely important role in fostering a sense of pride and community amongst the farmers and the townspeople, and in bringing them news of the outside world.
1912: A panorama view of Strathmore taken from the west, around Westmount School's playing field. While none of the buildings match up, the streets actually do, proving that this is quite an accurate re-creation of the original photographer's perspective. This shot is revealing in that at this early point much of the town has yet to be filled in. The Catholic Church at centre no longer stands, and neither does the United Church with the square tower just to the left of it. However the steeple at far left belongs to the Anglican Church, which does remain.
1958: A pretty shot of Kinsmen Lake at dusk, showing the big blue elevator that matched the colour of the sky.