It was on April 14, 1893 that the North-West Territories government, the government of the day, declared an area in Strathcona County -- Township 53, Range 22, West 4th Meridian -- Statute Labor and Fire District Number Two.
It was the 56th year of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's reign, and this measure was taken to address problems that settlers were having with fires and wandering livestock, and their need for trails.
The ordinance required that there be at least 50 resident males between 18 and 60 years of age living within the boundaries. Besides paying an average 5 cents per acre property tax, residents of the local self-government were required to work building and maintaining trails and roads, and fighting fires.
With a tax rate of $8 per quarter section, property owners could see a 10-per-cent discount if they paid before the July 1 deadline. In 1913 wages for all work in the local improvement district were paid at 25 cents per hour to a man doing manual labour, 30 cents per hour to a man working as foreman and 50 cents per hour for men with a team of horses.
This district, which became known as Clover Bar, was enlarged from 108 square miles in 1893 to 216 square miles in 1903. In 1913 it became known as Local Improvement District 517. In 1943 the Municipal District of Clover Bar #517 merged with the Municipal District of Strathcona #518 and became known as the Municipal District of Strathcona #83.
In 1903, the Labor Districts became Local Improvement Districts. There were six townships, 216 square miles in size. In 1912, they were enlarged to nine townships, and called Local Improvement District Nos. 517 and 518.
In 1918 the Local Improvement District No. 517 became the Municipal District of Clover Bar, and Local Improvement District No. 518 became the Municipal District of Strathcona, No. 83.
Meanwhile, the Government of Alberta amalgamated 76 one-roomed schools in the Strathcona and Leduc areas, and named them the Clover Bar School Division No. 13. In 1955 the Co-terminus Boundaries Act united the Municipal District of Strathcona and the school districts within its borders.
This led to the amalgamation of these two bodies - the municipality and school divisions - on January 1, 1962 to be called County of Strathcona No. 20.
This lasted until 1994 when the school division was split off to form Elk Island Public Schools Regional Division No. 14.
Effective January 1, 1996, Strathcona County was granted status as a specialized municipality by Alberta Municipal Affairs. This means that Sherwood Park and the Urban Service Area immediately around it is considered equivalent to a city for purposes of provincial programs and grants, and rural Strathcona is recognized as equivalent to a municipal district for program and grant purposes.
Local government timeline
Source: Story of Rural Municipal Government in Alberta 1909 to 1983, published by the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, 1983