Heritage Markers tell Alberta’s History

You have all probably seen them – large blue heritage markers located at highway rest areas or points of interest throughout Alberta. These interpretive signs tell of Alberta’s rich heritage. Come, travel Alberta and read a featured heritage marker:

Japanese Settlement

Most of the first Japanese to reach Alberta were contract or temporary workers on railway and irrigation projects. Others worked in the sugar beet fields near Raymond. By 1906, however, a few Japanese had settled permanently in Alberta. The largest early Japanese settlements in Alberta were at Redwater, Raymond and Hardieville, a mining community north of Lethbridge. After 1914, some Japanese women joined their husbands in Alberta, though the community remained very small. At the outbreak of World War II there were just 540 Japanese Canadians living in Alberta.

The war transformed the Japanese community in Alberta. In 1942, people of Japanese descent were prevented from living within 160 kilometers (100 miles) of the Pacific coast. Many were forced into internment camps or to resettle in southern Alberta. After the war, some returned to British Columbia, but others stayed. Together with new post-war immigrants from Japan, they have become one of Alberta’s most dynamic cultural communities.

This heritage marker is located west of Raymond on the north side of Highway 52, 1.1km west of Highway 844.

If visiting Raymond you might like to also check out the Raymond Buddhist Church. It is a Provincial Historic Resource listed on the Alberta Register of Historic Places.

10 thoughts on “Heritage Markers tell Alberta’s History

  • How dose one go about getting an older or missing marker replaced? There was an older marker for the ghost town of Whiskey Gap, Alberta (hwy. 501) which has recently been taken down and not replaced.

    • The Whiskey Gap sign was taken down as part of a program to remove old and damaged signs. The sign had faded badly and had cracked. The sign is on the replacement list but we cannot indicate when that will happen as the list is quite long. The program is looking at new ways to produce and install the signs that will increase both their cost-effectiveness and the visitor experience.

    • Hello Kelvin, There isn’t a website listing all of the heritage markers but regardless, I should be able to help you out. Is there a specific marker or topic that I could help you out with?

      • Thanks for the offer. We are planning a tour of Alberta this summer and thought that the Heritage markers would be a nice way to plan the trip. Many other states and provinces have a list of their “markers” and I thought Alberta would as well.

      • We have an Epic Alberta: Historic Places Road Trip Guide that I could place in the mail for you. It contains the locations of most heritage markers along with information on historic resources located all throughout Alberta. If you send me your mailing address to albertahistoricplaces@gov.ab.ca I will be sure to place a copy in the mail.
        Happy travelling!

  • I am curious about a marker that was removed recently. It was at the SE corner of the field at the intersection of 814 and township road 502.
    Also, is the Epic Alberta: Historic Places Road Trip Guide still available? If I stopped by a tourist info, would it likely be there?

    • Thanks for your comments, Tracy. I am unsure if of all the tourist information centers are stocked with Epic Alberta but can certainly mail you a copy. You can e-mail your mailing address to albertahistoricplaces@gov.ab.ca. As for the marker you mention…we are looking into this one! Will follow up with additional information once we have it.

      • Hi Tracy. Sorry for the delay in responding. We have tried to find information on this marker – it does not appear in our inventory and, from what we could glean from Google Streetview, does not appear to be a Provincial marker. Our inquiry with the municipality also did not yield any certainty about what the marker was for. Do you have any photos or information on what the marker was in reference to? Thanks!

    • If you’re talking about that stone cairn that was on the NW corner of 814 and airport road, I believe that was a family marker. I always meant to stop and see what it was about. It might also have been a marker for an old school site.

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