The Top 6 Historical Sites in Alberta
Take a moment and shift back to a time when triceratops roamed the earth. Touch sites older than Stonehenge itself and watch as the first railroad begins to boom.
Alberta heritage is really old but always interesting. There is no end to the historical sites in Alberta that can be uncovered. There is probably more there than anyone can possibly see with just one trip. Don’t take that as a challenge. It’s not wise or fun to speed through it.
Here are ten historical sites that no one should miss or rush their way through on their first trip to the beautiful and historical Alberta.
1. Frog Lake
What occurred at Frog Lake happened due to high tensions between the Prairie First Nations and the Government of Canada.
The Plains Cree was faced with a severe food shortage due to the decline in bison herds. It was also attributed to the government’s decision to withhold food rations that they previously promised under Treaty 6.
Eventually, these tensions boiled over into violence that tragically killed nine people. Today, Frog Lake is a historical site that tells the story of hardship and hunger and the history-altering downfall that came as a result of it all.
2. Fort George and Buckingham House
This interpretive centre was opened by the Province of Alberta in 1992. The opening marked the bicentennial establishment of the two fur trade posts on the site.
It is operated by the Alberta Culture and Tourism, Heritage Division.
Friends of the Forts Society
The Friends of the Forts Society are a charitable organization who have made it their mission to support programming and operations of the site including,
- Volunteering on site
- Providing gift shop, concession services
- Participating in special projects fundraising
- Providing professional insight and expertise
- Maintaining a positive relationship with the community
3. The Lac La Biche Mission
The Lac La Biche Mission is a Roman Catholic site that can be seen 16 kilometres from the Northwest of the hamlet of Lac La Biche. There are several different historical buildings there just waiting to be explored.
As far as buildings go, visitors will get to see a convent, a church, a laundry house, garage, and a chicken coop. There are also landscape and complementary sites like a cemetery, a grotto, and the architectural remains of the Grey Nuns Convent, and Rectory.
The real heritage value with this site comes from its religious background as well as its pioneer achievements and French-Canadian architecture. Over the years, the Lac La Biche Mission became the center of the Oblate’s territory.
4. Metis Crossing
The Metis crossing site is located near the Smokey Lake and is the home of a cultural center, and historical center complete with costumed interpreters that tell the history of the Metis community.
Here, visitors will be surrounded by Metis values like self-sufficiency, respect for elders, the participation of youth and cultural pride. The purpose of the site is to excite its guests with programming that encourages participation. It is made up of river lot titles from original Metis settlers so it is absolutely rich in culture.
5. Victoria Settlement
The Victoria Settlement focuses on three main things: missionary activity, the fur trade, and of course, settlement. Many historical figures weaved their stories here.
George McDougall first arrived the site was occupied by temporary camps built by the Cree. The Hudson Bay Company trading post and Metis traders arrived a few years after he did. The community named itself Pakan.
The coming of a railroad and a community north of Pakan brought an end to the settlement. There are only a few remains left.
The historical site strives to preserve the historical, architectural, cultural, archaeological, and ecological aspects that it once held. The site uses costumed interpreters, tours of the site, educational programs, social media, and experiential activities to bring the once great settlement back alive.
6. Elk Point Historical Mural
In 1987 to celebrate a mural project began that continued to grow more and more as the years went on. It started as a proposal to paint a historical scene on a downtown business wall.
Fast forward to a year and a half later and now there are 25 four-by-8 sheets of crezon board that span over 25 years of history. The project was coordinated by The Elk Point Historical Society.
They brought in Billie Milholland, a local artist, and history buff. The rest of the community contributed to the project with old photos, anecdotes, memories and served as models for all the personalities in the mural.
It is protected by two finishes, one to seal it to the board, and one to protect it from harsh UV rays. Guests will love walking through this artistic version of history!
Visit Historical Sites in Alberta Today
Alberta has many more historical sites than these to offer. Travel through historic houses and chapels, visit the erratic, and take a tour through the collieries. Get transported back in time with these beautiful landmarks, and talented interpretations.
Planning a trip to get lost in the rich Alberta heritage? Visit our contact page to get more information.