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Settlers in Raymond

Settlers began arriving in the Raymond area shortly after the naming of the town site. Most of them were young, optimistic and happy. All of them seemed long on hope and short on cash. They had been attracted to Raymond by the opportunity for immediate employment and by the thought that they could eventually better themselves by owning land in this frontier country. Within six months Raymond had 400 inhabitants, plus several modern homes, a large church, a hotel, mercantile store, meat market, lumberyard and bakery - even a railroad station. In less than twelve months the hamlet of Raymond had become the village of Raymond and by July 1903 the village formally became a town, dwarfing all her predecessors and even rivaling fast-growing Lethbridge.

Settlers came from Utah by train to Stirling and overland by covered wagon, bringing all their personal and household possessions and agricultural equipment with them. Taking weeks, large herds of cattle were driven over the prairies to Raymond. One of the first residents was a carpenter from Cardston who helped to build the new town. The first families who arrived in September 1901 pitched tents and prepared for winter. Within days of their arrival a vicious snowstorm hit when they were poorly prepared for such challenges and most of them, along with others who subsequently joined them, were forced to spend the winter in tents.

Excerpt courtesy of Evelyn Hendry from the Raymond Museum and Archives.

See also:

[back] [First People and Settlers] [New Beginnings] [Adventurous Albertans]

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            For more on the history of settlement in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.