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Markerville's first residents were Icelandic immigrants seeking land in North Dakota and Wisconsin. In 1888, Sigurdur J. Bjornson, came across land by the Red Deer River that he believed suitable for the Icelandic settlers-the area was close to a lake and a river that provided fish and water for livestock and farming.

The small community banded together to build their first homes, constructed of logs, moss and clay, and survived many difficult times, including harsh winters. The people of Markerville were distinguished by their dedication to literature and learning and, appropriately, rural schools were among the first community institutions to be established. Though small in numbers, Markerville became one of the first settlements in Alberta to boast its own library. The town itself is named after Mr. C.P. Marker, a dairy commissioner-in 1902, the Markerville Creamery was established as a federal initiative to help develop a dairy industry in the West.

Markerville was the most predominately Icelandic community in Alberta until the late 1920's and 1930's, decades in which the Icelandic people enjoyed shared customs and traditions, as well as their language. The most important social event in Markerville occurred once a year-on August 2, an Icelandic National holiday was celebrated with a town picnic attended by families from miles around. Between 1900 and 1914, however, immigration from the United States and the rest of Scandinavia meant the proportion of people of Icelandic descent in Markerville gradually declined. 

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