The beginnings of a regional distribution centre
the summer of 1891, the Calgary and Edmonton Railway is completed
between the two fledgling major cities and by 1892, the new
community of Red Deer is starting to come alive.
agreement between James Ross and Rev. Leonard Gaetz in early 1890
had created a new townsite on the Gaetz property;
The building of the Calgary-Edmonton Railway (now
Canadian Pacific) determined the location of several communities along the
way, including Red Deer, Penhold, Innisfail, Bowden, Olds, Blackfalds,
Lacombe, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin. Most of the communities were even named
by the railway.
It marked the end of 'The Crossing'
settlement where Fort Normandeau is today and the stagecoach along the
Calgary-Edmonton Trail was no longer viable with the trip between
the two centres by train taking 12 hours compared to the 4 days by
1890s CP bridge, Red Deer townsite, early train photos courtesy of
Red Deer Archives