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The Red Deer and Lacombe Frontier



A notable (and sole) study relevant to this chapter in the Red Deer and Lacombe area is a 1978 unpublished dissertation by Dr. Bruce Edward Batchelor, titled, 'The Agrarian Frontier Near Red Deer and Lacombe, 1882-1914' of which a copy exists in the Red Deer and District Archives. This study looks at the early geographical, social and economic developments in the region from 1882-1914.

Three important ideas emerge from this study:

  1. In the period 1882-1900, the region's cultural identity was fostered by selective historical processes in immigration and in land policy, associated with the influence of the Saskatchewan Land and Hometead Company;

  2. From 1901-11 the increase in the region's agricultural productivity originated not from more farms being established, but in increased production and cultivation on existing farms;

  3. During the period from 1912-1914, land speculation, economic depression and the beginning of World War I, resulted in the rural economy failing to deliver the level of farm income expected by rural families. This led individuals and families to reconsider their earlier optimism about the ability and importance of the individual producer in creating an economically successful farm enterprise.



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