Rural history from the skies

Local history enthusiasts can soar the skies above this Alberta municipality to survey its early rural landscape from a vantage scarcely if ever seen by its residents back in the day. Archival photos—oblique aerials from the 1970s back to the 1920s—of farms, businesses and settlements offer context and a rare perspective on Strathcona County's "yester-year." Mostly due to development, many of the older buildings are now gone; about a half dozen still stand today. 

These timeworn images offer a history lesson that give us a sense of what it was like “back in the day.” From the north of Strathcona County to the south, every locale is different. Most photos were taken from a model of plane that featured an overhead wing; removing the doors enabled the photographer to get a better angle of properties at very low altitudes.

At your own pace, click on any photo to study it in full screen and read the history. You can then use the arrows on the sides to toggle between the images. 

Sources

  • Berry, J.P., Clover Bar in the Making, 1881-1931. [Clover Bar, 1931]

  • Boyd, Michael G., Report: The History of Lakeview Pavilion and Resort at South Cooking Lake, Alberta, 1929 to 1995. [Sherwood Park, Alberta] 2017

  • Dodds, Jane and Matichuk, Allison, Guide Book for Sherwood Park’s Heritage Mile [Sherwood Park, Alberta] 2001

  • Christie, Agnes. Down Memory Lane in Colchester. Calgary : Glenbow Alberta Institute, 1980

  • Fischer, Bradley. South of the North Saskatchewan. Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta : Josephburg History Book Committee, 1984

  • Harrington, Kate ed. Sherwood Park, the first twenty-five years. [Alberta] : Jostens/National School Services Ltd., 1983

  • Richard McDonell, The Speediest Land Traveller – A History of Alberta Auto Racing : Granville Island Publishing, 2005 

  • Ream, Peter T. The Fort on the Saskatchewan: a resource book on Fort Saskatchewan and District. 2nd. Ed. [s.l] Metropolitan Printing, 1974

  • Redekop, Linda, and Wilfred Gilchrist. Strathcona County: a brief history. [Edmonton] : W. Gilchrist, 1980

  • South Cooking Lake Heritage Committee. A fond look back from the new millennium: a history of South Cooking Lake. Sherwood Park, Alta. : South Cooking Lake Heritage Committee, 2000 (second printing 2002)

  • Strathcona County Retired Teachers' Association. The Schools of Strathcona County: a Success Story. Sherwood Park, 1999.

  • Wallace, Al. Track of the Edmonton Tornado, Friday, July 31, 1987: preliminary report. Edmonton : Alberta Weather Centre, Aug. 1987

  • Women of Unifarm (Assoc.). Cherished Memories. Ardrossan, Alta. : Ardrossan Unifarm, 1972

  • www.kalynacountry.com/josephburg-germans, captured May 29, 2020

  • Emails with local historians Michael G. Boyd and Deb Galloway in May 2020.

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Last updated: Thursday, July 29, 2021
Page ID: 50783