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Immigration

  • How Alberta Got Its Name - Alberta becomes a province in 1905, a governor general's loving tribute to his wife.
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  • Dominion Land Survey - The Dominion Land Survey began in the late 1860s, after Canada bought Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company.
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  • Dominion Land Survey, Part Two: Alberta - In 1880, surveyors began sectioning land for homesteading in Alberta. Listen to learn more about how the land was surveyed.
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  • Dominion Land Survey: Part Three - How did the first surveyors get their jobs? Who were they, and what could they expect for their efforts? Listen, and learn.
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  • Dominion Land Surveys: Part Four - What jobs did the surveying crew do? Listen to learn about the engineer, the chainmen, teamsters, and other members of the surveying team.
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  • US Canada Boundary Survey: Part One - The effort to draw a boundary between Canada and the United States dates back to the early 1800s. But not until 1874 was the land ready to be surveyed.
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  • US Canada Border Survey: Part Two - How did Canada wrest the northwest from the US? Learn of the tactics used by both the Americans and the British to establish the 49th parallel.
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  • Homesteading, Part One: Political Context - Before people could settle in newly-bought Rupert's Land, the Canadian government put policies in place that would secure it for various purposes, including homesteading.
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  • Homesteading, Part Two: Advertising For Settlers - How did the government of Canada attract settlers to Alberta? Listen to learn more.
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  • Homesteading, Part Three: Getting Here - Alberta's first settlers had to endure many hardships before they even arrived in the province. Learn how immigrants dealt with the arduous journey into Alberta.
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  • Homesteading: Part Four - Who was allowed to come to Alberta? What were the provisions of settlement, and what could settlers bring with them? Listen to find out.
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  • Homesteading: Getting Started on the Land - What were the immediate prospects for the new settlers? You'll discover this was no time to relax!
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New Land

  • Ivan Pilipiw and Vassail Ilenyek Come to Alberta - Who were the first Ukrainian settlers, and why did they head for Alberta? Hear the story, now!
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  • Ukrainian Settlement, Part Two - Hear the story of Ivan Pillipiw, one of the first Ukrainian settlers in Alberta.
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  • Ukrainian Settlement, Part Three: Joseph Oleskiw - Joseph Oleskiw helped his fellow immigrants come to Alberta. Hear how he did it!
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  • Ethnic Settlement: Hutterites, Part One - Listen to learn about the history of the Hutterites: the events that led to their eventual emigration to America.
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  • Ethnic Settlement: Hutterites, Part Two - The over 25,000 Hutterites who now live in Alberta have a long history of persecution since the seventeenth century. Hear how they came to the plains of America in the late nineteenth century, and to Alberta in 1917.
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  • Ethnic Settlement: Hutterites, Part Three - The Alberta government passed the Land Sales Prohibition Act in 1942, limiting the spread of Hutterite colonies. Hear how Hutterites have fared in Alberta until the present day.
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  • Stephansson House: Part One- Stephan Guthmundarson Stephansson was a famous Icelandic poet before he came to Markerville, Alberta. Hear about Stephansson and his little farmhouse near Red Deer.
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  • Stephansson House: Part Two- The Stephansson farmhouse, at Markerville, Alberta, grew with the Stephansson family, room by room. Stephansson House is now a historic site.
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  • Stephansson House: Part Three - Listen to the history of Stephansson House's unique architectural details, from its brilliant colours to its eight lightning rods!
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  • Stephansson House: Part Four - Stephan G. Stephansson has been called the Shakespeare of Iceland. Hear some of Stephansson's poems, and learn about the man himself.
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  • German Immigration to Alberta: Part One - German people came to Alberta in the late nineteenth century, attracted to Alberta's reputation for religious tolerance and economic opportunity.
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  • German Immigration to Alberta: Part Two - German peoples continued moving into Alberta throughout the twentieth century, establishing the settlements of Josephburg, Bruderheim, and Stony Plain.
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  • German Immigration to Alberta: Part Three - During the World Wars, German peoples in Alberta kept a low profile, despite being the second-largest ethnic group in the province. Many German place names were changed during this time.
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  • Mennonites: Part One- Mennonites were among the peoples who emigrated to Alberta because of religious persecution. As pacifists, Mennonites fled north to Canada to avoid fighting in the American civil war.
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  • Mennonites: Part Two - More and more liberal congregations of Mennonites settled throughout Alberta after the original 1889 settlement in High River.
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  • Mennonites: Part Three - The Mennonites of the late 1920s returned to the rigid fundamentalism of their forefathers. Listen to the history of the most unique Mennonite colony, established near Fort Vermilion.
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  • Barr Colony at Lloydminster: Part One - Hear how the Canadian government launched an aggressive campaign to populate the prairies with British sympathizers.
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  • Barr Colony at Lloydminster: Part Two - George Lloyd and Isaac Barr actively recruited almost 2000 British people to settle the area near present-day Lloydminster. But Barr didn't make it. Hear why!
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New Communities

  • Cardston - Learn about the history of some of the first Mormon settlers in Alberta who settled in what is now Cardston.
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  • Amber Valley and Black Settlement - Hear about the first black settlement in Alberta and Jefferson Davis Edwards, one of its most important members. Then discover how Amber Valley got its name.
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  • Community Halls - Learn about Alberta's first rural Community Halls, which had their heyday between 1914 and 1945.
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  • Kepler Creek - Find out about the adventurous man that gave Kepler Creek its name.
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  • Parlby Lake - Hear about the brothers who gave Parlby Lake its name.
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  • Joe Weiss: Mountaineer - Joe Weiss found his niche in Jasper National Park, as a trapper, mountaineer, photographer, and, eventually, namesake of Mount Weiss.
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  • Towns: Grande Prairie- Grande Prairie City was marketed heavily for settlement in the early part of the twentieth century, but its advantages as a community were always clear.
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  • Peace River - The northern Peace River Crossing remained a unique settlement for many reasons, even after the railway arrived in 1916.
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  • Grouard- Grouard had valuable resources and was once called "the Edmonton of the north." So why has Grouard ceased to exist as an incorporated town?
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  • Scandinavian, Place Names: Armena and Bardo - How did the Alberta towns Armena and Bardo get their names? Hear the story of two of the first Scandinavian settlements in the province.
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  • Scandinavian Names, Part Two: Dalum and Nuorison Creek - Dalum got its name thanks to a group of Danish settlers who settled near present-day Drumheller. Settlers from Finland named Nuorison Creek. Hear more about these first Scandinavian settlers.
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  • Scandinavian Place Names, Part Three: Oyen and Standard - The south-central part of Alberta has been a favourite of Scandinavian settlers since the early part of the twentieth century. Listen, and learn about the Norwegian Andrew family, and the towns of Oyen and Standard.
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  • Scandinavian Place Names: Thorsby and Tindastoll Creek - Settlers from Sweden and Iceland named the towns of Thorsby and Tindastoll in honour of their Scandinavian heritage. Listen to find out more about these towns and their settlers.
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  • Scandinavian Place Names: Valhalla - Valhalla is the mythical home of Viking gods, but it was also the Alberta home of Scandinavian settlers led by Norwegian pastor H.N. Ronning.
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  • Markerville Creamery - The Markerville Creamery was an initiative set up by Mr. C.P. Marker in 1902. Hear Dorothy Field explain the history of this historic site.
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  • Ethnic Settlement in Alberta: Francophones - Oblates from France attempted to convert native and Metis peoples to the Catholic faith beginning in the mid-1800s. Father Lacombe moved his mission to St. Albert, which became a large enclave of francophone culture.
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  • Ethnic Settlement in Alberta Part 2: Francophones - In the late nineteenth century, francophone culture flourished in St. Albert and Edmonton. But when the railway began to supply the community of south Edmonton with greater commercial success, the surrounding francophone communities suffered.
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  • Ethnic Place Names: French, Part One: Demicharge and Cassette Rapids on the Slave River - Listen to hear of the voyageurs, French fur traders and some of the first Europeans to enter western Canada. The rapids along the Slave River provided one of the most difficult challenges to these brave men.
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  • Ethnic Place Names Part Two, French: Pierre au Calumet, La Crete, Carcajou - Ever wonder how the French communities of Calumet, La Crete, and Carcajou got their names? Listen, and find out!
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  • French Oblate Names: Part One - The Petitot River was named after the famous Oblate priest, artist, and scholar, Father Petitot, who came to Alberta as a missionary in 1862. Listen to learn more about this amazing man.
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  • French Oblate Names, Part Two: Father Vegreville - Father Vegreville was an Oblate priest and an expert linguist of native languages. The original francophone community to the east of Edmonton named their town in his honour in 1906, and Vegreville later became the center of Ukrainian settlement.
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  • German Place Names: Those that Changed After WWI - Many German towns changed their names to satisfy anti-German sentiment during the first World War. Hear more about the origin of place names in Alberta.
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  • German Place Names, Part Two: Those That Stayed the Same - Listen to learn about the history behind communities like Hussar and Josephburg, which kept their German names despite hostility created by the First World War.
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  • Irish Place Names: Ardenode - Hear about the origin of Ardenode, named by the twin sons of Irish Major George Davis in 1915.
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  • Irish Place Names: Bantry - Bantry, Alberta was named after Bantry Bay in Ireland, but were the two places at all similar? Listen, and find out!
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  • Irish Place Names: Connemara - Connemara is an Irish word meaning "seaside." Discover how Connemara, Alberta got it's name, and what it's called today!
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  • Irish Place Names: St. Brides - A group of Irish immigrants moved near the northern frontier, and called their new settlement St. Brides. Listen to learn about the fascinating heritage of this Irish saint.
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  • Greek and Latin Place Names: Part One - Many Alberta ranges were named by mountaineers with a background in Greek and Roman mythology. Listen to learn how many peaks, like Mt. Andromeda, were named.
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  • Greek and Latin Place Names: Part Two - Greek and Roman names were given not only to mountains, but to other geological features. Listen to learn more about classical naming in Alberta.
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  • Greek and Roman Places Names: Part Three - Some surveyors used the ancient Greek alphabet when naming Alberta lakes. Hear more about how these lakes were named, and about Ricinus, a locality near Rocky Mountain House.
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New Homes

  • Ready Cut Houses - An economical way of getting started in the west was to buy a ready-cut house, from the catalogue!
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  • Verandahs and Their Demise - Many of the first pioneer homes had verandas, which served as a space for community. Hear about verandas and their eventual disappearance in Alberta.
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  • Sheck Dugout Near Didsbury - A few of the new settlers in Alberta built subterranean homes! Learn more about the Sheck Dugout, near Didsbury.
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  • Sod Houses - Sod houses were an attractive alternative in the grasslands of Alberta. But how -- and how often -- were sod houses actually built?
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  • Magrath Mansion - Listen to the history of the Magrath Mansion, a grand and opulent home just east of Edmonton.
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  • Cobblestone Manor - Henry Haut spent 16 years restoring a log house in Cardston, Alberta, with the cobblestones that surrounded his home.
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  • The Rutherfords: How They Met - Hear about the arrival of the Rutherfords in the 1890s, the most prominent couple in Strathcona at the time.
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  • The Rutherfords - When Alexander Cameron Rutherford first came to Strathcona as a young lawyer, he was not at all interested in entering politics. Learn how Rutherford became Alberta's first premier, just three years later!
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  • Homesteading: Getting Started on the Land - What were the immediate prospects for the new settlers? You'll discover this was no time to relax!
    Read | Listen
  • Homesteading, Part Six: Breaking the Land - Before the settlers could build their homes, they needed to clear and break the land. Listen to historian Pat Meyers describe the implements and the hard work of these pioneers.
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  • Homesteading: Seeding - Learn how homesteaders spent their first spring and summer in the fields. Hear about their first season of seeding new land.
    Read | Listen
  • Stephansson House: Part One - Stephan Guthmundarson Stephansson was a famous Icelandic poet before he came to Markerville, Alberta. Hear about Stephansson and his little farmhouse near Red Deer.
    Read | Listen
  • Stephansson House: Part Two - The Stephansson farmhouse, at Markerville, Alberta, grew with the Stephansson family, room by room. Stephansson House is now a historic site.
    Read | Listen
  • Stephansson House: Part Three - Listen to the history of Stephansson House's unique architectural details, from its brilliant colours to its eight lightning rods!
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  • Stephansson House: Part Four - Stephan G. Stephansson has been called the Shakespeare of Iceland. Hear some of Stephansson's poems, and learn about the man himself.
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Old and New Traditions

  • Hanukkah in Alberta - Stephan G. Stephansson has been called the Shakespeare of Iceland. Hear some of Stephansson's poems, and learn about the man himself.
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  • Buddhist Christmas Tree - Japanese people in Alberta have their own rituals and celebrations at the end of December. Listen, and be enlightened!
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  • Ukrainian Christmas in the 1920s - Ukrainian settlers in Alberta celebrated Christmas in unique ways. Hear about the agrarian traditions that influence Ukrainian Christmas rituals.
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  • The Meal at Ukrainian Christmas - The traditional Ukrainian Christmas meal consists of twelve dishes, all without meat. Listen to David Goa explain the other Christmas traditions that Ukrainian settlers brought with them to Alberta.
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  • Ukrainian Carolling - Caroling was one of the most important traditions of the Ukrainian Christmas season. Hear more about this festive ritual!
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  • Epiphany: Blessing the Water - The Epiphany was the final Ukrainian holiday of the Christmas season. Listen, and learn about the tradition of blessing water on this day.
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  • Cottage Schools - Cottage schools were constructed to provide a temporary space for schooling, but the cottage school in North Red Deer continued to be used until the 1960s.
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  • Dominion Day Celebrations - Many of the larger Alberta towns were celebrating Dominion Day by the 1880s. Learn about these festivities throughout the years until 1927.
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  • Cemetery Day in Raymond - Cemetery Day is celebrated in a certain Alberta town each summer. Hear about the cultural history of this day, and which town continues to celebrate it!
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  • Victoria Day - Victoria Day was a way of celebrating Canada's connection to Britain and its monarch, Queen Victoria. Listen to learn more about Canadian patriotism years ago.
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Homesteading

  • Reverend Forbes Homestead in Grande Prairie - The hard work and fortitude of the Forbes family allowed them to create a mission house, complete with hospital and church, in the wilderness which is now Grande Prairie.
    Read | Listen
  • Homesteading, Part One: Political Context - Before people could settle in newly-bought Rupert's Land, the Canadian government put policies in place that would secure it for various purposes, including homesteading.
    Read | Listen
  • Homesteading, Part Two: Advertising For Settlers - How did the government of Canada attract settlers to Alberta? Listen to learn more.
    Read | Listen
  • Homesteading, Part Three: Getting Here - Alberta's first settlers had to endure many hardships before they even arrived in the province. Learn how immigrants dealt with the arduous journey into Alberta.
    Read | Listen
  • Homesteading: Part Four - Who was allowed to come to Alberta? What were the provisions of settlement, and what could settlers bring with them? Listen to find out.
    Read | Listen
  • Homesteading: Getting Started on the Land - What were the immediate prospects for the new settlers? You'll discover this was no time to relax!
    Read | Listen
  • Homesteading: Breaking the Land - Before the settlers could build their homes, they needed to clear and break the land. Listen to historian Pat Meyers describe the implements and the hard work of these pioneers.
    Read | Listen
  • Homesteading: Seeding - Learn how homesteaders spent their first spring and summer in the fields. Hear about the first season of seeding their new land.
    Read | Listen

Farming

  • Threshing, Part One - How did Alberta's first settlers deal with the huge cost of farm equipment? Listen as historian Pat Meyers explains how the difficult task of threshing was accomplished.
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  • Threshing, Part Two - Every farmer needed the large threshing engine when fall came. But the steam machine was also charged with destruction of many kinds.
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  • Threshing: Jobs - Learn about the engineer, the head of the threshing team.
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  • Threshing: Jobs - Hear about the many people of the threshing crew, including the separator, engineer, and pitchers.
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  • Threshing: Harvest Excursionists - Not even the largest of families could handle the annual job of threshing by themselves. Many young men from the east came as excursionists to help the threshing team.
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  • Threshing: Feeding the Threshing Crew - Men weren't the only ones working hard during the fall threshing season. Farm women had to plan and prepare hearty meals for the hungry threshing crew.
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  • Haying Season, Part One: Horsepower - Preparing plants for fodder was an important part of the agricultural year. Hear how farmers cut and collected hay.
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  • Haying Season, Part Two: Haystacks - Listen to learn how farmers managed to stack and store their hay during the hot summer season.
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  • Haying Season, Part Three: From Horses to Engines - The tractor replaced horse power on Alberta farms after the second world war. Find out why!
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Ranching

  • The Mexico Ranch - Lord Beresford had ranched in Mexico, so when he came to the badlands of Alberta, he named his cattle operation the Mexico Ranch. Hear more about the history of this fascinating site.
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  • Sheridan Lawrence Ranch - When Henry Lawrence first came to the Peace River area, the area had not even been opened for settlement. But in a few years, he had both a family and a successful ranching operation.
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  • Stampede Ranch at Longview - The Stampede Ranch was famous not for its cattle, but for its hospitality. It even became the set of several Hollywood westerns!
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  • The Bar U Ranch: Part One - The Bar U Ranch's success in the 1880s owed much to Britain's demand for beef.
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  • The Bar U Ranch: Part Two - The Bar U hosted a famous outlaw and a famous artist. Hear about the celebrities associated with this ranch!
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  • Bar U Ranch: Prince Edward Comes to Visit - His experience at the Bar U so impressed Edward, the Prince of Wales, that he bought a ranch for himself. Hear about the prince's visit to Longview, Alberta.
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  • Bar U Ranch: Gee Bong Polo Club - There was more to recreation at the Bar U than you might expect. See what challenging sport the cowboys played for fun!
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  • Bar U Ranch: Percheron Horses - As the market for cattle declined, George Lane decided to breed horses, and built the world's best Percheron ranch of the time.
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  • Bar U Ranch: The Life of the Cowboys - Learn about the many types of men on a ranch like the Bar U, from the riders to the choreboys!
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  • Bar U Ranch: Cowboy Life - Listen to Simon Evans explain living conditions for the riders at the Bar U, and hear about the famous cowboy, Charlie Miller.
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  • Bar U Ranch: Aboriginal Cowboys - First Nation peoples contributed greatly to the success of the ranches like the Bar U.
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