Camrose, Ab, Canada

  • Camrose is a city in central Alberta, Canada, amid some of the richest farmland in the prairies. It is a relatively small city which originally grew up along a railroad and now grows along Highway 13.

    The area around Camrose was first settled in around 1900. At that time the nearby settlement of Wetaskiwin was a major centre for pioneers; typically, it was the last stopping-off point before they set out in search of nearby land. The site that was to be Camrose was about a day's journey from Wetaskiwin along the railroad, which made it a popular place on the route of pioneers. 

    From 1905 to 1914, there was a great deal of railway construction in the Camrose area. Camrose became a bit of a railroad hub, sitting on railways that connected to Edmonton and Calgary, as well as many of the smaller towns in central Alberta, such as Vegreville, Stettler, Drumheller, and Wetaskiwin. By 1914, twelve passenger trains came through Camrose daily. In those days the growth of Camrose was strongly linked with the railway.

    On June 26, 1912, the first building of the Camrose Lutheran College (known as Augustana University College from 1991 to 2004) was opened. Today the campus continues as the Augustana Faculty of the University of Alberta.

    Camrose has continued to expand, even as the significance of the railroads waned. It is now stretching out along Highway 13, and is becoming a major stop for travellers along that road. With the advent of the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose it has become even more oriented towards tourism and hospitality.

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