An exciting new book coming soon to PPG…
100 Years of Memories: Celebrating Strathmore’s Centennial
Coming soon in eBook, paperback, and limited edition hard cover versions! Watch for it here!
Excerpts from the book…
Americans R. B. Langdon and D. C. Shepard (both from Minnesota) had been awarded a rail contract from present day Oak Lake, Manitoba to Fort Calgary. Both men would meet with such success that their names would be given to towns along the way. The site they numbered 17 would become the present-day Strathmore.
The original 5,600-foot siding of Strathmore was actually on Eagle Lake, 3.5 miles south of the town’s present location.
28 July—In a single day, 6.38 miles of track were laid at what is now the Town of Strathmore. Although it proved to be a short-lived record, it gave the siding some note for years to come.
1 December—The name “Strathmore” first appeared on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Timetable. It was likely given the name by CPR Superintendant James Ross.
Strathmore’s Scottish Heritage
Today, if one were to do a quick accounting of the cultures that have had the most to do with Strathmore’s make-up, a similar list would appear as with all prairie towns: the British Isles, much of the Western European continents, smatterings of Eastern and Northern Europe, a few unique groups such as the Chinese, the odd Greek or Italian, and there’s no underestimating the impact of the nearby Native reservation’s culture on Strathmore then and now. However, there is no ignoring that the name Strathmore comes from the highlands of Scotland.
In 1883, CPR Superintendant James Ross was giving Western European (especially British) names to many of the new railway sidings across Western Canada. This system of using familiar names had two effects: (1) it helped in the expediency of naming, using pre-existing rather than newly-created names, and (2) it attracted settlers to locations that bore familiar names. Ross had a particular affinity for Scottish names, being himself a Scotsman, and it was almost certainly he who named Strathmore.
In Scotland, Strathmore is the name of a valley of the Isla branch of the Tay River, north of Dundee. The valley is home to Glamis Castle, famously the residence of Macbeth, and the traditional home of the Earl of Strathmore, a relative of the British Royal Family. In Scotland, the name is pronounced “StrithMORE,” with heavy emphasis on the second syllable. Translated from Gaelic, strath means “valley” and mohr means “big.” The original location of Strathmore on Eagle Lake would have been enough like a Scottish valley to warrant the comparison.
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