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County of Ponoka GenWeb Project - Local History
Local History & Timelines
The EARLY HISTORY of Ponoka County
"Siding No. 14"
HISTORICAL TIMELINE for ALBERTA highlighting events that affected the County

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"Trails & Paths"

By Lloyd Bowie - an excerpt from Ponoka Panorama

"The first white man to cross the Ponoka district was David THOMPSON. He travelled south from Fort Augustes, the first part of April, 1800, guided by a Chief of the Water Fall Band of Blackfoot. He describes his trip.
They left Peace Hills at noon, and travelled across a treeless plain to Bears Hill, which was covered with heavy timber and camped for the night. The next morning they went south-east to Battle River Leavings. Here the trail divided; one went to the east and south to Buffalo Lake and Tail Creek (crossing the Red Deer River), the other went up the west bank of the Battle River. The trail going on the west bank of the Battle was four to six feet wide to the Barr of stones, just south of the north bridge in Ponoka. On the Barr of Stones the trail crossed the Battle to the east side and turned southwest to Wolf Creek crossing where the party camped for the night. The trail again; one crossed the creek and was called the Plains Trail, the other being the Wolf Creek Trail. The Plains trail crossed Pretty Plains by Pleasant Hill. The Hudson Bay Company had their storehouse on Wolf Creek near Pleasant Hill. To this day this same trail has been used as a road to link Ponoka and Lacombe. THOMPSON went the Wolf Creek trail, or the wet weather trail. This trail went south on the east side of Wolf Creek, across the school section and across the Vold Land to what is now the C.P.R. right of way. The railroad was built on this same trail to just north of Lacombe. South of Lacombe, the Mountain House trail turned west and passed Gull Lake on the south and went over the Lodgepole Medicine Hills and came out at the Big Stone, a mile north of Mountain House.
The next fur trader to travel this way and leave an account, was Alexander HENRY in October, 1810. He travelled from White Mud House near Pakan to Rocky Mountain House.
George McDOUGALL and his son John travelled the trail in 1863. John used the trail several times in 1867 and 1868.
W.F. BUTLER when sent by the Dominion Government to look into law and order, used this trail. His advice was used in forming the N.W.M.P."

"Siding 14"
The town of Ponoka was originally called "Siding 14" as that is where it was located on the railroad. A station was built there that housed the section crew and the caretaker who looked after the windmill that pumped water from the Battle River to the water tower. The first stationmaster was Mr. Tom J. WEST.

Historical Timeline for the Province of Alberta (events affecting Ponoka County)


Alberta became a province. (Previously, it had been known as part of the NorthWest Territories)


The United Farmers of Alberta was formed.


Alberta Wheat Pool was formed.


Co-op Livestock Marketing Association was formed.

Historical Timeline for the town of PONOKA


First issue of the Ponoka Herald was published (W.D. Pitcairn, editor)


First Real Estate office opened by, C.C. Reid who acted as Dominion Land Agent. He provided legal advice to the settlers and is noted as being the first lawyer in Ponoka.


First hat shop is opened by Mrs. Joe Stretch.


The first hardware stores opened: Spackman's, and R.K. Allan's Hardware


The first furniture store opened, owned by R.K. Allan.


The first men's wear store was opened by A. Fairfield and W. Wornick.


The first 2nd hand store was opened by P.A. Copeman.


The first telephone pole to be installed in the Bell Telephone Calgary to Edmonton phone line was set up across from the Royal Hotel in Ponoka.


Incorporation of the Town.


First mayor was Mr. John D. MacGuillivaray.


The first real estate office was opened by Mr. J.D. MacGillvary.


First telephone exchange in Town was located in Campbell's Drugstore.


Construction began on the Provincial Hospital for the Insane in Ponoka (1 3/4 miles outside of the Town of Ponoka)


First patients were admitted to the Provincial Hospital for the Insane in Ponoka.


Ponoka U.F.A. Cooperative District Association was formed.


Ponoka Co-op Association retail store was opened with G.N. Field as manager.


Ponoka Livestock Association began directing livestock sales.


The Ponoka Hog Pool was formed to handle hog sales in the area.


Gas was piped into the Town


Opening of New General Hospital


Installation of water and sewer works was completed


Installation of concrete sidewalk, curb and gutter was undertaken


Main thoroughfares were paved.


Ponoka Co-op Oils Ltd. was formed to supply farmer with gas and oil at a cheaper price and to pay out dividends on the profits from bulk sales.



Homeglen Springdale Mutual Telephone Company was formed



Looking for more information ? Check out these sites....
Come, visit our Archives site for more bakground info about the County of Ponoka
County of Ponoka ARCHIVES
Come, visit our Historical Archives for more about the development of the County of Ponoka
Visit the Alberta GenWeb Project
Visit the Canada & Alberta GenWeb Projects...
Visit the Canada GenWeb Project
Deb's logo... All articles & graphics were developed, compiled or created by D.A. Owens. 1997 - 2003. All Rights Reserved. The information provided is for research purposes only, and it's accuracy is subject to confirmation. Commercial use of this information is prohibited.