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Carstairs, Settlement

Carstairs was named after a town in Lanarkshire, Scotland not a staircase made of automobiles! The early settlers of the village were ranchers due to the large amounts of hay in the area. The Sam Scarlett Ranch was the stopping point for the stagecoach from Edmonton to Calgary from 1881 to 1900. With the arrival of the railway from Calgary in 1889, the settlers came to Carstairs in large groups. In 1901 the first school and church of Presbyterian faith were built.

By the 1900s, Carstairs was stirring as settlers began arriving in great numbers. The railway station - as it was the only building - was a busy centre of activity. It was used for church and mail service. E.W Stone was Carstairs' first businessman and first citizen. In 1901, he built a general store and then the Albion Hotel. With the abundance of settlers in the area, a livery barn was established by Big and Little Jim Murray near the post office. Perspective land seekers rented horse and buggy often to explore the surrounding area. Carstairs officially became a village in 1903.

In 1904, the population was 101 people. In 1905, Dr. Thomas Hays, a medical doctor from St. Louis, Missouri, arrived to assist his brother Dan in real estate.

In 1906, 20 businesses were built and about 30 homes. Businesses included the Rosebud Creamery, a lumber company, two implement dealers, a flour and feed store, the Methodist Church, the United Church, the Merchant Bank and a $10,000, four- room school. More grain elevators were added in later years. On September 7, 1906, an editorial appeared in The Carstairs Journal - "Wives Wanted in Carstairs", plus "Grand Clearance of Bachelors" with a list of names. There is no information available as to the success of this venture! Fire equipment was purchased for the village in 1908. In 1910, the Albion Hotel burned to the ground.

Ranchers

Ranchers

Main Street

Main Street