The Spruce Grove Archives & Museum
Open May 14 - Closed on October 1, 2016
Tuesdays 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Saturdays 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Visitors are welcome to come in, visit, browse, and share stories. Should these times not be convenient for you, an appointment can be made. Please call Isabel at 780 962 3522 or Margaret at 780 962 3051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Spruce Grove Archives has been in operation for more than 19 years, and relies on the hard work and dedication of its volunteer members. The Archives are sponsored by the Spruce Grove & District Agricultural Heritage Society.
The goal of the archives is to collect, restore, and preserve the oral and written history of the area. In addition to stories, records, documents, and other paper history, the archives also accepts donations of items and articles which represent the early years of the Spruce Grove District. At this time, many items are primarily in storage until the new facility is built to house the collection. In the meantime, items are regularly on display in the Archives & Workshop - featuring various themes and events as space permits. Please contact us at (780)960-4600 if you have vintage or antique items to donate.
Interested in the history of Spruce Grove and District? Access to the book As the Roots Grow: The History of Spruce Grove and District is now available online!
The Spruce Grove Archives seeks any information, photos, documents, or stories about the Lanterns Dance Hall, which was in Spruce Grove c.1948 - 1952. If you have anything to share, please call Isabel at 780-962-3522 or send us an email.
Your assistance in helping us preserve the history of this community is greatly appreciated.
A 'Lil History
The first recorded people in this area lived totally in tune with the plants and animals in their environments. They developed the knowledge to use shrubs and plants for medicinal purposes. Have you ever wondered what their reaction may have been to the fur traders who moved into the area?
Many fur traders with the Hudsons Bay Company were of Scottish ancestry. Whitemud House (Northwest Co.) and Nelson House (HBC) both situated at the conjunction of Wabamun Creek and North Saskatchewan River in Mewassin area were built by the fur traders.
Edmonton House, 1796, was home to the Metis who arrived with the fur traders from Eastern Canada. HBC and North West Company merged in 1821, forming the Hudsons Bay Company. Coins (called beavers) were the currency of that time. Our current nickel still carries the beaver insignia from that period of our history.
1872 marked the beginning of the arrival of immigrants from Europe. $10.00 was the purchase price of 160 acres, and the purchaser agreed to clear a specific amount yearly and remain on the property for three years. Only males, eighteen and over, were entitled to apply. Once British (Canadian) citizenship and other requirements were met , a title was awarded to the homesteader.
Chinese immigrants began to arrive in this area in the early 1900’s, working mostly in railroad construction. The Edmonton Yukon and Pacific railroad, later named Canadian Northern, built the 1906 Spruce Grove townsite at mile 11.5. The Grande Trunk Pacific Railroad, later named the Canadian National, arrived in 1909 and laid out the townsite 3 miles west and 1/2 mile north of the original location. Archival maps show two locations with the same name, but the second site is the one which we know today as Spruce Grove.
The discovery of oil at the Leduc Woodbend oil field in 1947 marked an increase in the arrival of American oil workers. That field has one thousand wells today and has the potential for three hundred and seventeen million barrels. In 1948, the well Atlantic #3 in the Leduc field blew wild for six months, spilling one million barrels of oil.
In 1898 William Aldridge, an American near Waterton Lake, collected, bottled, and sold oil seepage from Cameron Creek. It was used as medicine, machinery lubricant, and cattle dip. He is the first known person to make his living from oil in Alberta.
Thanks to Doug Cargill for sharing some of the photos above with the Ag Society.