Apparently we can use some kind of built in WordPress web analytics tool to find out which search terms people enter into their web browsers to arrive at RETROactive. Curiously, over the past few days, there have been a number of searches for the origin of the name Andrew, which is a village in east-central Alberta. There is nothing on RETROactive that will provide that information, so I figured I would make the origin of the name of the Village of Andrew the subject of this post. So, anonymous searching person, I don’t know if you are still out there, but This One’s For You!!!
Andrew is a village located in east-central Alberta, approximately 70 km northeast of Edmonton and 45 km NNW of Vegreville. The community is named for prominent, early resident Andrew Whitford, who was a member of the large Métis, Whitford family that resided in the vicinity of Victoria Settlement. The nearby Whitford Lake, Whitford Creek and the hamlet of Whitford are all named for the family.
Andrew Whitford was born about 1830. It appears that he worked as a freighter and travelled extensively throughout the North West Territories. In 1885, he served as a scout during the North-West Rebellion, for which he, along with other scouts and militia members, received two adjacent quarter sections of land. Whitford selected the SE and SW quarters of Section 32, Township 56, Range 16, West of the 4th Meridian. He was widely acknowledged as a leader in the community; issues of the Edmonton Bulletin note many instances of his support for local charitable causes and his frequent support for orphaned children and destitute families in the Star/Whitford/Andrew region through the late 1890s. He also served as a founding trustee and later treasurer of the local school district, which was established in 1895 and called, fittingly enough, the Whitford School District No. 393. In the spring of 1901, a small pox epidemic broke out in east-central Alberta. Andrew Whitford contracted the disease and passed away on April 26. A short obituary appeared in the May 3, 1901 issue of the Edmonton Bulletin:
Died, at Whitford on April 26th, 1901, Andrew Whitford, aged about 70 years of small pox and complications. The demise of Mr. Whitford removes from our midst a man of universal respect and an old land mark of the west who could tell many reminiscences of early life between old Fort Gary and Vancouver. He was a trusted and worthy scout of ’85, and saw much of the stirring rebellion. At his death he was treasurer of Whitford P.S.D., April 26, 1901.
John Borwick, a long-time guide and early settler in the same region, operated a stopping house at NW28-56-16-W4, near the junction of the Winnipeg Trail and the Calgary-Pakan Trail. Following Whitford’s death, Borwick named the stopping house the Andrew Hotel, in honour of his friend and long-time compatriot. Alongside the Andrew Hotel was a store owned by Ed Carey. On March 1, 1902, a post office was established and given the name Andrew. Eliza Borwick, John’s wife, was the first postmaster. A small, but thriving rural community began developing around these three facilities.
In 1928, after much lobbying by area residents, the Canadian Pacific Railway built a line through the region and surveyed a town site at SE32-56-16-W4 on the north side of the tracks. The rural community of Andrew was located mostly on the neighbouring quarter section to the southeast. The Andrew Hotel, the post office, the store and most of the rest of the community moved to the new surveyed town site. Fittingly, the new town site of Andrew was located on one of Andrew Whitford’s original quarter sections. Two years later, on June 24, 1930, Andrew was erected as a village. According to 2011 Census of Canada, the Village of Andrew has a population of 379, down from 465 in 2006.
Written by: Ron Kelland, Historic Places Research Officer and Geographical Place Names Coordinator
National Topographic System Map Sheet: 83 H/16 – Willingdon
53° 52’ 42” N & 112° 20’ 07” W
Alberta Township System:
Sec 32 Twp 56 Rge 16 W4
Approximately 70 km northeast of Edmonton and 45 km NNW of Vegreville.
More information about the Village of Andrew can be found in:
Andrew Historical Society, Dreams and Destinies: Andrew and District, (Andrew: Andrew Historical Society, 1980).
Cathy Chorniawy, Commerce in the Country: A Land Use and Structural History of the Luzan Grocery Store, (Edmonton: Alberta Culture, Government of Alberta, 1989).
Resources of significance to Aboriginal peoples are located throughout Alberta. Sometimes these will be places of important traditional use as well as places of great spiritual value. Municipal staff and officials, however, are often not highly aware of what they can do to better understand the many dimensions of Aboriginal heritage.
At this year’s Municipal Heritage Forum, Valerie K. Knaga, Acting Director of the Aboriginal Heritage Section, provided an informative introduction to this important work. Many connections were made as municipal stakeholders asked questions and networked with Valerie and Blair First Rider, another staff member of the Aboriginal Heritage Section.
The Aboriginal Heritage Section, which is part of Alberta Culture’s Historic Resources Management Branch, has knowledgeable staff – including Valerie and Blair – who are available to assist in building municipal capacity to respond to significant matters of Aboriginal heritage, by:
relationship building & facilitation;
educational site visits;
cultural training; and
2012 marked the first time the Section has been represented at our annual Municipal Heritage Forum and we plan to sustain this important connection in years to come.
Written by: Matthew Francis, Manager of Municipal Heritage Services
Yellowhead County: Municipal Heritage Survey and Inventory
A municipal heritage survey of approximately 300 sites and a municipal heritage inventory project to evaluate 30 surveyed sites for eligibility, significance and integrity have been keeping the highways and byways of Yellowhead County busy. Throughout 2011 and 2012, heritage consultants and local heritage enthusiasts have been exploring, identifying and learning about the history and heritage of one of Alberta’s largest rural municipalities – Yellowhead County.
West of Edmonton, Yellowhead County is located along Yellowhead Highway 16. It encompasses 7,012,000 acres stretching from the Pembina River in the east to the Jasper National Park gates in the west. Travellers that frequent this section of the Yellowhead Highway are likely familiar with the Towns of Edson and Hinton and, of course, the iconic Rocky Mountains. What might be less familiar is that alongside these Highway 16 destinations and nestled off into the north and south of this transportation corridor are reminders of a long and varied history. Trapping, logging, farming, coal mining and more recently oil, gas and tourism have all impacted the development of what is now Yellowhead County. Various structures, cultural landscapes and buildings located in the hamlets of Evansburg, Wildwood, Robb, Cadomin and Brule (amongst others) retain glimpses of this diverse history.
Miners cabins, ranches, hotels, industrial remains, barns, schools, churches, a pool hall and a water tower exemplify the range of potential historic places documented and evaluated in Yellowhead County’s heritage survey and inventory projects. Throughout 2011 and 2012 an extensive but not exhaustive survey was completed. Upwards of three hundred potential historic places located in all corners of the County were photographed and geographical, architectural and historical information was recorded for uploading to the Alberta Heritage Survey database.
Currently, thirty of the three hundred surveyed sites are being evaluated to determine if they possess significance – in other words – why are the sites important to area residents? Did they have a lasting impact on making the community what it is today? The sites will also be evaluated for integrity to ensure they still possess the ability to communicate their significance. The results of this analysis will be written up into Statements of Significance and Statements of Integrity. Yellowhead County staff, combined with the services of a heritage consultant and the County’s Heritage Advisory Board, will see this project through to completion.
The municipal heritage survey and the inventory project will allow applicable municipal staff, councillors and residents to better understand the older places that make their communities unique and vibrant. Essentially, these projects will serve as a foundation for establishing a local heritage conservation program and will contribute to sense of place and community identity.
Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer
The Morris Schumiatcher room at the Glenbow Museum was standing-room only during Michelle Reid’s dynamic breakout session at the 2012 Place MattersMunicipal Heritage Forum. Her topic: “How Cultural Landscapes Build Strong Communities.”
We were honoured that Michelle was available to provide Forum attendees with an inside look at some of the stellar work that the City of Calgary is doing with its urban historic landscapes. Not only did we glean a deeper understanding of the historic legacy of William Roland Reader, Calgary’s first Superintendent of Parks, but we also saw how the cultivation and care of some of these landscapes have had a positive social impact in communities like Bridgeland, the Beltline, and Bowness.
Alberta’s largest city is making a difference when it comes to preserving and celebrating its dynamic public spaces, but Michelle made it clear that this is not only a Calgary or a big city focus. Many attendees from rural municipalities and smaller towns and villages also connected with these places, and saw ways to strengthen their own communities by nurturing their historic landscapes.
Presentation of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation Heritage Awards (November 30, 2012)
“It’s very important to remember that heritage preservation is much more than paying tribute to our past, it is about building strong communities for our future …” This was one of the key messages of Honourable Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture, as she paid tribute to the accomplishments of eight recipients of the 2012 Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF) Heritage Awards.
On the evening of November 30th, the historic McKay Avenue School in Edmonton was bustling with excitement, pride and nostalgia as Minister Klimchuk joined AHRF board, staff and guests in celebrating the achievements of heritage community members.
In keeping with the theme of honouring excellence, the Minister first presented a plaque to Dr. Carolee Pollock in recognition of her nine years of service with AHRF as board member (since 2004) and Chair (since 2009). As the night unfolded, Dr. Pollock then proceeded with the presentations of the AHRF heritage awards. Board member Joe Friedel graciously handed out the plaques.
The community of Lacombe was beaming with pride as they took home two plaques this year: a Heritage Conservation award went to the Lacombe and District Historical Society for their commitment to the conservation of the Lacombe Blacksmith Shop and the Municipal Heritage Preservation award went to the City of Lacombe for their successful multi-phased Heritage Management Program.
AHRF was also honored to recognize Catherine Cole with a Heritage Awareness award for her excellent work on Piece by Piece: the GWG Story.
Last but not the least, the stories of Outstanding Achievement award recipients filled the evening with fond memories of family life and dedication to conserving their community’s heritage. The Outstanding Achievement awards were presented to Kermith Anderson of Scandia, Judith Ann Carleton of Blackfalds and Jack Manson of the Mulhurst area.
It is through the tireless efforts of these heritage community members that we and others continue to enjoy Alberta’s rich heritage.
On behalf of the AHRF board and staff of Alberta Culture, congratulations to all award recipients!
Additional information on award recipients as well as photographs, audio clips and videos of the awards ceremony are available at Alberta Culture’s newsroom.
Written by: Carina Naranjilla, Grant Program Coordinator