During the 1880s, extensive surveying took place for both the expanding urban settlement and surrounding river-lot farmlands. A year after Fort Saskatchewan was incorporated as a town (1904), the Canadian National Railway line reached the town and built the bridge Jarvis had envisaged years earlier. The town remained a small rural farming centre until after World War II.
In 1954 Sherritt Gordon Mines Ltd (now Sherritt International Corp) completed the community's first major industry, a multimillion-dollar nickel refinery. Over the succeeding years, Fort Saskatchewan experienced steady growth with PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRIES moving into the area. In 1966 Sherritt began producing coins and medallions , which later included the blank for the Canadian $1 coin (the "loonie"). The company has since sold its interest in this coinage operation.
There are now more than 20 complexes located in and around the city, including Dow Chemical Canada Company, Praxair and Agrium. Today, these industries, a provincial jail - here since 1914 - and a thriving service component support one of Alberta's oldest settlements.
Author MARK RASMUSSEN
Links to Other Sites
Official website for the City of Fort Saskatchewan.
The RCMP March West
Read Commissioner George Arthur French’s day-by-day account of the treacherous journey that brought peace and order to Canada’s prairies -- the March West of 1874. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police website.
The Beaver Hills Country: A History of Land and Life
Read an illustrated online book by Graham A. MacDonald that documents the ecology and the human history of the region of Alberta between the North Saskatchewan and the Battle Rivers. Offers details about local indigenous peoples, Métis, and European immigrants.
Profiles of AlbertaFirst member communities provide important business, economic and lifestyle information to compliment the statistical information available for all communities.
A brief history of fur trade activity in the Edmonton region of Alberta. From the River Valley Alliance.