In 1891, as the C & E Railway line was extended to Edmonton, the 16th railway siding north of Calgary was merely a grassy area watered by a creek meandering across the plain. Railway officials gave the siding a name that was suggested by Father Lacombe. The Cree name for the area was Wetaskiwin spatinow which meant the place where peace was made, referring to a peace accord between the Blackfoot and Cree that took place in the mid 1800ís. By October of 1892, with settlers already streaming in to farm the rich soil, a community was being established. Mr. Freeman Kelly describes Wetaskiwin. " ..the only buildings were a small shack like an old box car for the station, a small general store, a log feed and livery barn and a huge tent for the accommodation of settlers." Soon there was another store and a large hotel, larger than any others between Calgary and Edmonton.
By 1906 Wetaskiwin, now a part of the province of Alberta, was named a city. It was known as the smallest city in the British Empire and at one time had so many grain elevators, that in 1912 it was called the "Elevator City of Alberta". 1906 saw Wetaskiwin named the centre of a large judicial district and in 1907 the provincial government began construction of an impressive court house. Local businessmen erected gracious homes and these along with the large brick schools, hotels and bank buildings gave the city a prosperous and established appearance. Growth was slow but steady and Wetaskiwin remained the commercial hub for area farmers and their families for many more decades.
old Wetaskiwin City Hall was built in 1939 and extensively remodeled in 1967 and
again in the 1990ís. The Archives is located on the lower level, in what were
originally police cellblocks. Municipal offices and fire services have occupied
this site since 1904 but in November 2007 City Hall moved to the old Court
Wetaskiwin has many historic buildings including two residences that are provincially registered heritage resources and two nationally registered sites, the old Court House/City
Hall building and the original Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church and cemetery.
City of Wetaskiwin Archives
4904 - 51 Street, Wetaskiwin, P.O. Box 6210, Alberta, Canada,
T9A 2E9 || 780-361-4423
archives @w e t a s k i w i n.c a