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Mirror, Settlement

Mirror was named after the well-known English publication, The London Daily Mirror. When the Grand Trunk Pacific railway constructed a branch line between Edmonton and Calgary via Mirror, the railway decided that since Mirror was between the two centres it would become a divisional point. The railway crew proceeded to build a roadhouse, living quarters for train crews, a repair depot and an 8-billion gallon water reservoir. The company then surveyed the townsite and began advertising Mirror as the perfect place to live in newspapers throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Northern Europe. The railway company had great hopes that Mirror would become one of Alberta's largest cities.

By 1911, interest in the new town was widespread and a special train from Winnipeg brought many prospective buyers to town. Property was then auctioned off over a two hour time period. As a result, $60,000 worth of lots was sold to the highest bidders. The next day at approximately 10 a.m. the sale started again. After approximately nine hours, another $191, 648 worth had been sold for a total of $251, 648 in 11 hours. The price of these lots ranged from $300 to $2,075.

Mirror was incorporated as a village on July 27, 1912. With the amalgamation of the Grand Trunk Pacific and the Canadian Northern Railways, the lines became the Canadian National Railway on October 4, 1922. Mirror was a railway town and the emphasis was on the large number of railway employees. Although, when the railway converted to diesel units it was not necessary for the railway to continue using Mirror as a divisional point. This left many of the railroad buildings such as the roundhouse, living quarters and the water reservoir available to industries. The phasing out of Mirror as a divisional point was gradual. Railway crew members were transferred to other areas or they decided to retire. As a result, the population of the area significantly decreased yet many retired farmers and railroad workers took up residence.

Cities and Towns of Central Alberta

Maint Street, Mirror

Maint Street, Mirror

Auction Sale

Auction Sale