In a 1914 Maclean’s story entitled “The Third Chapter of Western Growth,” W.D. Albright, reported a stream of newcomers arrived in the Peace Country with the railroad, which had reached Grande Prairie. Wheat and barley yielded very well, he claimed, but production in the region was hampered by a lack of machinery.
Rail lines and roadways provided needed access to Alberta’s coal resources, and Edson served as a supply depot as the railroad pushed West. The community was also the jumping-off point for those who travelled the Edson to Grande Prairie Trail to homestead in the Grande Prairie Region.
Modern farming in Alberta is based on a thin sliver of soil with a thick history. The story of every field in Alberta begins over 180 million years ago when the province sat, smooth and flat, inside a geological plate that began slowly crashing into islands and belts of land to its west. The collision, which ended about 50 million years ago, lifted the mountains of B.C. and Alberta and tilted this province down to the east. Since then, sand, silt and gravel poured down the slopes and laid the bedrock basement beneath our rubber boots.