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Donalda, Settlement

The Donalda townsite settlement began on the rim of the coulee as early as 1909, with Max Damberger one of the first residents, operating a livery barn. Others that helped establish the town were Jesse Graham and Mr. Foster, who owned a lumberyard and hardware store, Bill Batke, a pool hall. The Lutheran Church was established in 1905 in the rural area of Donalda with services being held at a local residence. The actual church was built in 1912 with the addition of a United Church in 1919.

Donalda was established 1911 and was named after the niece of Donald A. Mann, Donalda Crossway. Donald A. Mann was an early era Canadian National Railway official and one of the builders of the railroad. The first settlers were Harry Wallace, Dan Hines, Harker, I.N. Haviland, James Imeson, Leslie Bell, Lawrence Olson, Max Damberger, O.M. Vikse and B.A. Vikse.

Some of the merchants and residents were: A.H. McLeod, Manager of the Merchants Bank; L.W. Bell, operator of the Post Office, Drug Store, and Telephone office; the Wright and Sabey Barbershop and Pool hall; Fred Jones, Blacksmith; Wallace's General Store; J. Olsen Real Estate; S.N. Haviland, manager of the Donalda Hotel and Livery Barn; and Donalda's first restaurant, The Chinese Café, served the area at all hours and even supplied sleeping accommodations.

The village of Donalda was incorporated in 1913. The site chosen was not the most promising as Main Street was built on a slough. For many years, dirt was hauled in to get rid of the slough. In the early days, the village was a thriving commercial centre.
However, with the consolidation of rural towns, the loss of Donalda's grain elevators and the railway tracks, which brought the Alberta Prairie Stream Tours to town, Donalda diminished as a community.

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Cities and Towns of Central Alberta

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