Where Urban Meets Rural: A Survey of Strathcona County

Over a hundred sites later, Strathcona County has completed a Municipal Heritage Survey. From residential and commercial buildings to churches, schools, agricultural buildings and cultural landscapes, the County has documented a wide range of potential historic places located in all its urban and rural corners.

(IMG00387-20121017-1934.jpg) Attendees at the Brookville Community Hall open house. Historic Resources Management Branch 2012
(IMG00387-20121017-1934.jpg) Attendees at the Brookville Community Hall open house. Historic Resources Management Branch, 2012.

Strathcona County is located directly east of the City of Edmonton and to the west of Elk Island National Park. With 126,620 hectares and a population of 92,490, Strathcona County is one of the more populous municipalities in the Edmonton area. It is also one of the few specialized municipalities in Alberta. This classification is designed to accommodate the unique needs of a municipality that contains both an urban centre and a large rural area. Approximately seventy percent of Strathcona County’s population lives in Sherwood Park (an urban service area) while the remaining thirty percent of the population is divided between eight hamlets (Antler Lake, Ardrossan, Collingwood Cove, Half Moon Lake, Hastings Lake, Josephburg, North Cooking Lake and South Cooking Lake).

This mix of urban and rural places and spaces provided a diverse array of potential historic places. The one hundred and sixteen sites documented were photographed and geographical, historical and architectural details were recorded. Over the coming months, the gathered information will be placed on the Alberta Heritage Survey database.

Throughout the project, area residents were invited to learn about the initiative and to provide additional information on the documented sites. Special open house events were hosted by the County and input was encouraged during various community events (i.e. Senior’s Week Celebrations, Josephburg Chicken Supper, Wilderness Centre Fall Open House). I attended an open house at the Brookville Community Hall on October 17, 2012. At this event I witnessed a high level of community interest; a large number of area residents attended and they were all very keen to ask questions.

Interested in learning more about this project? Read these articles from the Sherwood Park News:

“Heritage sites pin-pointed”

“Survey names historic sites”

If your municipality would like to complete a municipal heritage survey or a different municipal heritage planning project, please visit our Municipal Heritage Partnership Program website or contact MHPP Staff.

Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

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