Dunmore and Area Through The Years

1670-1870           -Dunmore was in Rupert’s Land, commercial domain of Hudson’s Bay Co. Rupert’s Land was land with water flowing into Hudson’s Bay

1867           -Canada became a country (confederation of Ontario, Quebec, NB and NS)

1870           -Canada bought Rupert’s Land from Hudson’s Bay Company ($1.5 million)

1871-72           -land in S Alberta surveyed, Dominion Land Act for settlers was passed

1882           -District of Assiniboia was created. Dunmore was now part of the Northwest Territories, the District of West Assiniboia. So was Medicine Hat, as illustrated on the map. Mail came to homesteaders in the area by horse and buggy from Medicine Hat                     

Canadian prairies 1898: before 1905 (when Alberta became a province)
Dunmore (and Medicine Hat) were in West Assiniboia.

1883           -CPR from Maple Creek reached present site of Dunmore (May 28). Named Dunmore after Earl of Dunmore by the CPR. Lord Dunmore was a large shareholder in CACCC (Canadian Agricultural, Coal and Colonization Company). Some houses were merely dugouts with sod roofs. Before this, mail came to homesteaders in the area by horse and buggy from Medicine Hat

Coleridge (now Dunmore) as early as the 1880’s

1883           -first church Methodist service in a CPR building (Sept). Congregation consisted of 15 men and a few women. The pulpit was an anvil draped with a blacksmith’s apron!

1886           -Dunmore was founded, first post office opened (Feb 1). First passenger train service           

1886           -Dunmore Junction became a booming place (2 miles west of Dunmore village). A narrow gauge track was built to haul coal from Lethbridge to the rail junction. Large numbers of men worked here (workers unloading large coal dock, CPR crew and maintenance workers). First Dunmore post office at Dunmore Junction.    

1886           -Dunmore renamed Coleridge when post office moved to Dunmore village. (In 1957 it was renamed Dunmore Post Office). The village grew rapidly; supplies were brought from Medicine Hat by cart

1880’s-1890           -a school was built, Dunmore SD #173 was formed

1888           -One of ten ’76’ ranches was started in Dunmore area by Sir Lister Kaye, floated with financial backing of the CACCC. Large numbers of cattle and horses and supplies came by rail from Eastern Canada via Maple Creek.

1889-1891           -a German colony of 350 inhabitants established near Dunmore, known as Josephsberg. After two years of drought these settlers left for places near Edmonton.

1898           -daily trains hauling coal from Lethbridge and passenger service from Medicine Hat via Dunmore to Lethbridge to Kootenany Landing.

1899           -population of Dunmore Junction was larger than that of Medicine Hat

1905           -now Dunmore is in the newly formed province of Alberta

1908           -large deposit of good clay was found along Bull’s head Creek, located two miles south of Dunmore. A spur line was built from the clay pits to Dunmore Junction rails. Eight or nine train carloads of clay per day were transported to Medicine Hat’s clay plant, (Alberta Clay Products Co. operated until 1962).

1908           -Coleridge Rifle Association organized, 30 men signed up. They competed in many shoots around Alberta. Silver and gold spoons were given as prizes, gold to top contenders.

1908           -Phantom Train legend associated with a CPR train wreck

1910-1913           -a brick school replaced the other one (was in use until 1947)

1913           -a church and manse were built with regular Sunday School classes. Services had been in private homes before schools or halls were built.

1912           -a land boom when a group of investors from Winnipeg purchased land. Dunmore had a gas well that supplied the village. Cost for heating, lighting and cooking was $2 a month! Water was hauled to barrels at the houses, investors hoped for better water service. (In 1987 MD of Cypress got a bid for water with SE Med Hat). A hotel with a telephone was built;residents could use the one phone when needed. There were two stores, a poolroom, a barber shop, taxi service to MH and a trucking business. (At one time it outran the Medicine Hat population!)

1914           Dunmore Junction population was about 400. There were three trains each way on the Transcontinental line going through Dunmore. A large roundhouse could house ten locomotives, rail yards had 14 sets of tracks. There were machine shops, section houses and telegraph operators on duty 24 hours. Water from the Ross Creek dam pumped water two miles to a tank in the rail yard. The water was needed to service the train’s steam engines. The section houses and bunkhouse had water from there (running water?)

1929-1931 & 1937-1952           -Alberta Wheat Pool elevator

1930’s           -population less than 200 then around 50, now a hamlet. CPR closed operation at Dunmore and employees were sent to MH All that is left is one store, a school and two elevators

1947-1974           -Dunmore Cash Store, Post Office and garage operated by Ron Gale          

1952           -electricity came to Dunmore, a Rural Electrification Association formed, (gas lights were the norm until now). Accomplished by a group of citizens (REA), CHAT Radio and the CPR

1952           -new Trans-Canada Highway went through Dunmore

1958           -farms around Dunmore (and Med Hat) got electricity

1976           -long time businesses still operating in 1976, a dairy on the south side of the highway and chicken business on the north side

1978           -Community Association formed eventually getting road improvements, street lights and garbage bins

1979-1999           -Willard Dumont in “The Woodshed” made Red River carts that went to Leduc, High River, East End, Weyburn, Regina and one donated to Fort Walsh and Etzicom museums. He made wagons, buggies, toys and more.

1984            -became Municipal District #1 of Cypress County. (In 1890 there was local government, in 1912 became RM of Excelsior #92, in 1938 became Improvement District #11). Also in 1984, park and playground established.

1985           -a new metric and computerized Wheat Pool elevator opened

1987           -Dunmore serviced by Medicine Hat city water

1990           -last via passenger train went through Dunmore

2016           -population 514 (Federal Census). (There was a greenhouse, sandblasting business and a used tractor parts business)

2020 – Hockey school relocates to Dunmore:


What Business do You Find Around Dunmore?

           -Cypress County Office

           -Prairie Rose School Div #8

           -Eagle Butte High School

           -convenience store/ 2 service stations

           -pub & light industrial district

           -storage unit business

           -sand and gravel quarries

Have Fun in & Around Dunmore:

           -Dunmore Dugout

           -Dunmore Park (playground, baseball diamond, outdoor hockey rink/basketball court)

           -Eagle Ridge Park (kid’s play structure and playground)

           -Canadian Gunhub (indoor shooting range, sporting goods store, firearms licence training centre)

           -Dunmore Equestrian Society (outdoor riding arena, chore horse & western competitions, clinics, horse hotel and a Percheron therapy team)

           -Coyote Coulee Riding Arena Ltd (indoor facility with horse boarding that offers 4-H and school equine programs, summer kid camps, lessons and is open to special events)

           -Willowbend Equestrian (indoor facility, horseboarding, riding lessons, summer camps)

           -Shine Esthetics Studio (lashlifts/tints, wax and brow tinting, gel nails)

           -Blondie’s Gift and Garden Shop ( greenhouse/garden centre and unique gift shop)

From the book: Plains, Trains & Wagon Wheels

From the internet site: Cypress County Celebrating Our History

Thanks for the info and editing from various persons

Researched and presented by Jen Zollner

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