Lovisa McDougall – September 22, 1878

1885 Street, Letters From History

Once again, Lovisa writes to us. As one of the few literate women in the Edmonton settlement, her letters home offer us a unique window into our past. In 1878 John and Lovisa are itinerant traders, selling their goods from the back of a wagon as they travel across the territories from location to location. One constant in the prairies …

Wardrobe Profile – 1885 Bustle

1885 Street, Fort Edmonton Park Fashion

This is an 1880s bustle outfit, and another group effort by all of the members of the costume shop – Nicole built the petticoat, Aileen built the lobster bustle cage, Kristen draped the skirt, and Adele built the bodice, in that order. The bodice sleeves are inspired by a wedding dress designed by Charles Frederick Worth, the “father of haute …

Ask Tom – Gatling Gun on 1885 Street

1885 Street, Ask Tom

We recently had a question on Facebook about our Gatling gun housed in the North-West Mounted Police gunshed. We took the question to Public Interpretation Coordinator Tom Long to find out more… The Gatling Gun on display in 1885 Street’s NWMP gunshed is a small, but vital part of the story of the larger North-West. Dated to 1886, it is …

Wardrobe Profile – 1880s Walking Suit

1885 Street, Fort Edmonton Park Fashion

Fort Edmonton Park Wardrobe Manager Adele Schatschneider gives us a peek into the happenings in the Wardrobe Department. 1880s walking suit without a bustle (bustles are what were used to create the large posterior popular in waves throughout the 1870s and 1880s). It is comprised of three pieces; a skirt, a bodice, and a jacket. 100% cotton with glass and …

Lovisa Jane McDougall – Mar 28, 1880

1885 Street, Letters From History

Welcome back to our ‘Letters from the Past’ series, in which we present a monthly missive from an Edmontonian, snatching it from a moment in time to bring it to you, dear readers. In January we introduced you to Lovisa McDougall, the young Ontarian woman who travelled west to the tiny settlement of Edmonton in 1879 along with her husband, trader …

Lovisa Jane McDougall – Jan 28, 1879

1885 Street, Letters From History

We are very pleased to bring you the first in a series of letters from historical Edmontonians represented at Fort Edmonton Park! We hope you will forgive us for being a few days late. Lovisa Jane McDougall was born in Cannington, Ontario in 1854. She married John A. McDougall in 1878 and shortly thereafter moved out west where “Johnnie” worked …

Back to School in Early Edmonton

1885 Street

With Edmonton children back to school this past September, and everyone preparing for the long winter ahead, we wanted to introduce you to some early Edmontonian siblings. Meet John and Jo-Anna Smithe – John, born August 1896, came into this world at a time marked with notable world events – the first modern Olympics were held in Athens, and Henry …

Interesting Objects – Candlemold and Tallow

1885 Street

Fort Edmonton Park is full of interesting objects and antique tools. One such object recently caught our attention. An interesting device that we couldn’t explain so we turned to one of our amazing Curators, Benita Hartwell to find out more. “The proper term for the device is a candlemold. It would have been made by a tinsmith, probably working out of the …

Silent Films

1885 Street

Fort Edmonton Park is a fun place for film and photo and we have seen some great creations and hidden gems online. We recently came across a “silent film” we wanted to share. Staring various park staff, this creative piece would be fun to see in the Capitol Theatre.

“Women’s Fashion in 1885“ How to Look the Part

1885 Street

Fashion is constantly evolving. In the late Victorian era, women’s fashion was subject to a shift from wide skirts provided by hoop cages and ruffles to a more tailored silhouette. With an increase in travel and settling overseas, it also became more practical. That being said, while we consider yoga pants and cotton tee-shirts to be practical travel fashions, they …

Building Profile – Ross Brothers Hardware

1885 Street

Hardware stores in the 1880’s sold a lot of the same items that you’d find at your local Home Depot today – door hardware, screws, nails, locks and stoves were popular purchases. The original Ross Brothers Hardware was built in 1884 near what is now Jasper Ave and 98 Street. It was opened by James “Charlie” Ross and his brother …

Early History of Edmonton City Council

1885 Street

In honor of the recent civic election, I thought we’d take a look at the early history of Edmonton City Council. During the 1870’s and 1880’s, the only form of organized government in the Edmonton settlement existed in the form of the Edmonton Public School Board (est. 1884) and the Edmonton Separate School Board (est. 1888). Matthew McCauley (pictured) and …

Profile Reverend Robert Rundle

1885 Street

Who was he? Reverend Rundle became the first missionary on the western plains. He was assigned to minister to the natives in the area. What did he do? Rundle conducted marriage ceremonies, baptisms and eventually learned enough Cree and Assiniboine to conduct services in the languages. He travelled extensively throughout the area and introduced many Natives to the practice of …

The Journey to Edmonton in 1885

1885 Street

The journey to Edmonton along the Carlton Trail in 1885 was long and difficult. We caught up with Mr. and Mrs. McPherson on 1885 street, arriving to Edmonton after 100 days of travelling from Winnipeg to stake claim in the free land being offered in a promising Edmonton.

Profile – Henderson Round Barn

1885 Street

One of the most uniquely shaped attractions at the park is at the end of 1905 street. Have a look behind the Henderson farm house and you’re sure to spot Henderson’s round barn. This twenty sided structure is one of the last round barns in Canada. It was built in 1898 on a dairy farm near Rabbit Hill and was …