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News Articles - Alberta history as online home

Alberta history as online home
Edmonton Journal, October 01, 2005
By Stephanie Classen

(Copyright The Edmonton Journal 2005)

Albertans in search of everything from the Athabasca Plain to the Edmonton Zoo will have the province as their fingertips following the launch of albertasource.ca

The Heritage Community Foundation on Thursday kicked off the website, a centennial legacy project seven years in the making. The digital encyclopedia contains more than 12,000 pages of multimedia material and will serve as resource for students, teachers and people curious about Alberta. The main website plays host to more than 50 sub-sites with topics that include Alberta: How The West Was Young and Albertans: Who Do They Think They Are?

It would take months to get through every article, photo, video and audio clip on the site, but here is a sampling of interesting facts that pepper the web pages.

What Alberta-made Invention streamlined a popular recreational activity?

A bowling alley pin-resetting machine was patented by Calgary’s Mechanical Pin Resetter Company Ltd. In 1956.

Which Edmonton-born author’s short story was transformed into the movie Field of Dreams?

W.P. Kinsella’s tale Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa was adapted into a Hollywood movie staring Kevin Costner in 1989. Kinsella taught creative writing at the University of Calgary. He was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1994.

What is a hoodoo?

A pillar-shaped rock formation formed when a hard caprock protects soft rock from erosion. Examples of hoodoos can be seen in southern Alberta around Drumheller.

Hoodoo, meaning bad luck, was originally associated with voodoo and the rocks were seen as sinister and magical to many Europeans.

When was the first recorded hockey game in Alberta?

The Town Boys defeated the Tailors 4-2 on Jan. 4, 1893, in Calgary.

Who was the first woman awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta?

Famous Five suffragette Irene Parlby was recognized by the university in 1935. Parlby was the first female cabinet minister in Alberta history and was a founding member of the United Farm Women of Alberta.

When was the first known human occupation of Alberta?

The oldest archaeological sites pertaining to humans date from about 11,500 years ago. People inhabiting these sites hunted Ice Age animals such as the mammoth as well as bison and horses using stone-tipped spears.

What house, constructed in 1832, was thought to be the largest building between Winnipeg and the Rocky Mountains at the time of its completion?

Hudson Bay Company Chief Factor John Rowand’s 2,100-square-foot home was famed for its size. Built near Indian House, home to fur trade transactions, the Fort Edmonton structure was known as Big House.

When did Alberta’s first mosque open?

The Al Rashid mosque opened on Dec. 12, 1938, in Edmonton. The structure was built at a cost of $5,000. The mosque evaded demolition in the 1980s when the Canadian Council of Muslim women raised the money to have the structure moved. It now sits in Fort Edmonton Park.

How many dry wells did Imperial Oil drill in the 1930s and 1940s in search of a replacement for the declining Turner Valley reserves?

The company came up short 133 times over 27 years before hitting it big near Leduc in 1946. The area’s first drill site, Leduc No. 1. It stopped flowing in 1974 after producing 317,000 barrels of oil and nine million cubic metres of natural gas.

Who are the Blackfoot?

The Blackfoot, or Siksika, were the first aboriginal nation to meet the fur traders.

The northern tribe was part of the Blackfoot Confederacy, a Plains Indians society that also included the Blood, Peigan, Sarcee and Gros Ventre nations.

The Siksika nation is located east of Calgary and has about 4,200 members.

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