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Garden Plain

Masonic Lodge Bonspiel, 1954 Masonic Lodge Bonspiel, 1954


Garden Plain was a trading centre and post office before the railroad came through. The freight and mail was hauled from Stettler and Castor by horses. The mail was distributed from the post office to Fertility and Greystone. Garden Plain also boasted three coal mines operating in 1909. Its name came from the town in Iowa where T.A. Kane, the storekeeper and mine owner had originated.

With the construction of the Scapa-Lovern rail line, the townsite was moved about three miles southeast of its original location. Some of the pioneers were: Claypool and son, F. Kennedy, the Wright family, H. Brown, Graham and son, Benzie brothers, Taylor families, Lewis family, Lepard family, Cattanach family, R. Fredericks, Burt French, Robert Unsworth, Wagner brothers, Conrad family, Mr. Alley, Mr. Clark, Ben Bunce, Ironside family, M. Siverson, Alex McLean, Glover, F. Blackwell.

Text courtesy of The Hanna Herald

The following was submitted by: Barb Young, of Calgary, Alberta in 2000

"In 1910, an American named "Mr. Kane" opened the first Coal Mine in the Garden Plain district just two miles north of the Horace Lewis Homestead. This was a "Godsend" to the settlers in the area as "buffalo chips" was the only fuel for heating their homes until this time. Soon it was learned that the area was rich in coal and other coal mines were developed. Mr. Thomas Walters opened a store near the Kane Mine which flourished for 3 years until it burnt down in 1912. In the spring of 1913, it was rebuilt on the west side of the Coulee and the store supplied groceries, lumber and hardware to the district. The same year (1913) Alf Sturgess opened a Post Office at the same location. When the railroad came to Hanna in 1912, it drew all the trade for the next 3 years. However, when World Was 1 broke out in 1914, the need for a district store arose again. Mr. Kane opened a Store and Post Office in 1916 (near where the present Garden Plain Hall now stands). During that time, he mailed out notices to all settlers for a name for the community. Suggestions such as "Glen Lyon" "Flowery Glen", etc. poured in, but the name of Kane's birthplace in the United States was chosen and the district was called "Garden Plain". It was an appropriate name as the land was truly a green rolling plain like a garden."

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