The Michener Fountain
reprinted from Red Deer Express July 27, 2005
One of the new beautiful parks in downtown Red Deer is located on
the north west corner of 45 St. and 52 Ave.
However, while the park is new, the main feature of it is a
treasured landmark from Red Deer's past, the fountain that was
originally gifted to the City of Red Deer by Edward Michener.
Edward Michener was born in Tintern Ontario in 1867, the year that
Canada became a nation. After studying theology, he moved to Alberta
in 1895 where he took charge of the Methodist Church in Banff.
In 1897, he married Mary Roland, also of Tintern Ontario and they
moved to Lacombe. While at Lacombe, their oldest son Roland was
born, a future governor general of Canada.
Ill health forced Edward to resign his ministry. In 1901, the
Micheners moved to Red Deer where Edward went into the real estate
and mortgage business.
For a while, the Micheners lived in the red brick house on the
corner of Mann (49) St. and Nanton (48) Ave., currently the offices
of the law firm, Lee and Short.
Edward later built a grand new house on the brow of the East Hill,
in what is now known as Michener Hill.
Meanwhile, Edward went into the land development business with his
partner Stan Carscallen.
Among the subdivisions that they developed were Parkvale, Highland
Park (Michener Hill), Grandview and Hillsboro.
With Red Deer growing very rapidly, Edward Michener and Stan
Carscallen were soon two of the wealthiest businessmen in Red Deer.
In 1904, Edward ran for mayor and was elected by acclamation. He
served for three terms.
In 1906, as part of a bid to make Red Deer the capital city of the
new province of Alberta, he offered 10 acres on the north east
corner of the East Hill as a site for the provincial legislature.
While the Lieutenant Governor, Premier and all the M.L.A.'s were in
Red Deer to hear the presentations on Red Deer's bid to become the
capital city, a ceremony was held in the park in front of the C.P.R.
All the visiting dignitaries planted trees in the park to
commemorate Alberta becoming a province.
In 1907, Edward Michener decided to give the park an impressive
centerpiece. He donated a beautiful ornamental fountain, which, once
installed, was surrounded by a large concrete bowl. The fountain and
the park became of the landmarks of the community.
Edward later went into provincial politics. He was elected as Red
Deer's M.L.A. in 1909. He became the leader of the Alberta
Conservative Party and served as the leader of the opposition in the
In 1918, he was appointed to the Senate. He passed away in Ottawa in
Ironically, in 1955, while Alberta was celebrating its 50th
anniversary as a province, a proposal was made to turn the beautiful
C.P.R. Park into a parking lot.
While initially nothing happened, in the summer of 1960, the park
was finally paved over, the trees were all cut down and the fountain
Fortunately, the fountain was salvaged by Russell McFaul, a local
contractor. Coincidentally Russell's brother in law, W.J. Goard, was
the original builder and owner of the brick house on 49 St. where
the Micheners used to live.
The fountain was later sold to Ken Martin, who used it as a
centerpiece in his yard at Penhold. Mr. Martin very generously
decided to donate the fountain back to the City of Red Deer, on the
understanding that it would be put in an appropriate park setting
and with a promise by the city that the fountain would not be
discarded again in the future.
The original C.P.R. Park site is now the location of the Clarica
building on 51 Ave. Consequently, a new park was created, south east
of the Medican complex, along 52 Ave.
Red Deer once again has its landmark fountain for people to enjoy as
we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the province.
C.P.R. Station Park
with the Michener Fountain in the centre and trees planted
to commemorate Alberta becoming a province along the edge.
courtesy of the Red Deer and District Archives
community landmark - the Michener Fountain
(Red Deer Express June 2011)
Station Park once shining jewel of Red Deer
(Red Deer Express June 2009)
Red Deer's downtown hotels have celebrated
(Red Deer Express June 2009)
The history of Red Deer's CPR station
(Red Deer Express April 2007)
Red Deer becomes a divisional point for CPR
(Red Deer Advocate Special March 2007)
Canadian Pacific Railway Stations in Central Alberta
Red Deer 1910 CPR station 'jewel' still
dominates Ross Street
Calgary and Edmonton Railway (CPR)
Calgary and Edmonton Railway at Red Deer (CPR)
News article: Arches mark influence of
railroad on city (Red Deer
News article: A new face for the old
(Red Deer Life July 1996)