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      Lethbridge and District Association of REALTORS®
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Fort Macleod  


Fort Macleod is a vibrant community of 3,000, located within breathtaking sight of the Canadian Rockies. This town is a magnet for those who are seeking a relaxed rural life style, proximity to the Rocky Mountains, a strong sense of community, access to high speed internet and a short drive to Western Canada's corporate capital, Calgary. And of course, it's only an hour drive to the scenic wonders of the Rocky Mountains! The town boasts the best weather of the Prairie Provinces, including the highest number of sunlight hours in Canada. The Chinook conditions provide mild winters and cooling breezes in the summer. Fort Macleod was the first outpost of the North West Mounted Police in Western Canada, established in 1874 on an island 2 miles downriver from the present townsite. Flooding problems at this location necessitated a move to higher ground and in 1884 the entire police barracks and inhabitants of the fledgling village relocated to a core area along today's Main Street. Initially, commercial structures were constructed of log with plank boomtown fronts, then in the late 1880's of sawn lumber from the Maclaren Saw Mill. Fort Macleod was the hub of Southern Alberta's ranching industry, and a flourishing trade developed to serve the needs of the ranchers, the police barracks and the neighbouring Blood and Peigan Reserves. Bull or ox trains and stagecoach provided north-south transportation from Fort Benton, Montana on the Missouri River. Then in 1897, when the Canadian Pacific Railway completed construction of its Crowsnest line, Fort Macleod's trade was oriented to the east-west Transcontinental C.P.R. system. The town continued to be a service centre for regional ranchers, but the railway building boom brought in new capital, and when the C.P.R. designated Macleod as a divisional point, the town's economy became largely dependent on the railway. New businesses were established along Main Street, the Post Office building (1897), Chinese Laundry, Reach Warehouse and Midnight News (latter 1890's) represent the end of the boomtown era, while the Cowdry Bank (1900), Grier Block (1909), Queen's Hotel (1903), Union Bank (1902), Court House (1902) and Young's Drug Store (1903), reflect Macleod's increased growth stimulated by the railway. The first commercial brick structure appeared on the town's main street in 1899, and the first sandstone building, the Queen's Hotel, was completed in 1903. The fire of 1906 which destroyed the Reach Store, prompted the Town passing a by-law in 1907 which restricted all new construction in the downtown to either sandstone or brick construction. This legislation and the subsequent building boom have left a legacy of what is now the Fort Macleod Provincial Historic Area.

 

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Lethbridge and District Association of REALTORS®
516 - 6th Street South - Lethbridge, AB T1J2E2
Phone: 403.328.8838 Fax: 403.328.8906
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