History Well Told: George Stout

1885 Street, Share your Story

In this Fort Edmonton Park’s 40th anniversary, we find ourselves reflective. Join us for our History Well Told series and meet some dear departed interpreters of the past.

I remember George Stout.

When I first arrived as a young interpreter, I was introduced  to a fine older gentleman who helped run the Bulletin Building on 1885 Street. George Stout, a journalist for much of his life, had even met the building’s original inhabitant, newsman and politician Frank Oliver when George was young and Frank was in his golden years.

I enjoyed chatting with Mr. Stout, especially as his favourite topic of conversation was the Park. He had been involved with Rotary and the Fort Edmonton Park Foundation and had so many stories about building the Park and other ideas that had flared brightly and then disappeared. A streetcar bridge over the Whitemud Creek was one of his favourite could-have-beens.

Visitors enjoyed George just as much “ the older ones for his journalist’s ability to tell a story and the younger because of the endless “Wanted” posters George would print for them. Then, and now, you could have your own name printed on a “Wanted” poster casting you as ˜Crackerbox’ Johnson, a cardsharp who ran into trouble with the Mounties in 1880s Edmonton. I’m probably not the only adult who asked for his own wanted poster with a slight pinkening of the cheeks and a self-conscious smile.

George passed away just last year in 2013 and his life inspired tributes both large and small from a city lucky to have had a chance to meet such a fine gentleman.

Do you remember George? Share your stories with us!