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Camrose

Few people know that Camrose has only been "Camrose" since the middle of the twentieth century. Before then, the town was named Sparling, after Reverend Dr. Sparling of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The name had been given on May 4, 1905, the same year the railway came to the settlement north and east of Red Deer.

Postcard view of Camrose, Alberta, ca. 1900-1909. The Arlington Hotel is on the left, and the Windsor Hotel on the right. There had been settlers in the area since 1900, and in 1883 Father Bellevaire had built a trading post and a mission house in the Duhamel district, just six miles south of the future settlement. In 1910, the Norwegian College Association founded the Camrose Lutheran College, which became Augustana University College. By 1911, a local plant supplied Sparling with its own electricity.

But there was already a Stirling in the province, and a Sperling also, and on January 1, 1955 the town was officially renamed Camrose. Although without supporting evidence, it is generally believed that "Camrose" was the name of a town in South Wales.

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