The Town of Indian Head


To celebrate Canada’s 150th, the Indian Head Community Development Committee is sponsoring the publication of accounts from the Indian Head History Book (1984), celebrating stories of its founding families.

This piece is called “Town Trivia” written by Austin Dewar*

  • The first cemetery was located on the north east corner of the townsite. This was very low land and as a result many of the caskets floated to the top. Early in 1900 the cemetery was moved west to the north west of the townsite where it remains to this day. Most of the buried caskets were recovered and moved but some old-timers have said that quite a number were missed. This we'll never know.
  • The Cricket Club with the club house on the south side of sports grounds, had a large porch for visitors and players to "sip" tea.
  • We had a gopher-poison factory located in the Clem Peltier building across the street south of the Balmoral Hotel. This was used off and on up until the early 30's by the RM of Indian Head.
  • On Railway St, just off the west end of Water Street, stood one of the largest privately owned Flour and Feed Mills in western Canada. This was started by Wm. Wilson in 1895. His head miller, Joe England, purchased it in the early 1920's and operated it until the early 1930's. It processed many grains and flour for relief food and feed projects before finally closing down.
  • The first water supply for railroad engines came from Indian Head Creek, which flows east of town about 1/4 quarter mile from the east crossing. This creek rises at Deep Lake almost south of the town a distance of 7 or 8 miles. This source was used until the town pipeline from Squirrel Hills was completed in 1905. The CPR erected a large overground storage tank that served two standpipes for east and west bound trains. This installation was used through the years until the coming of diesel engines in the late 50's (1957 and 1958).
  • The first railway station was located south of the track almost directly where Main Street and Railway Street meet. The first freight office was located west of the station and also south of the track. The first Section House (for foreman's use) was located east of the station. When the water tower became operative a new and very substantial station was built where the shell of it still stands on the CPR right-of-way across from the Memorial Park at the south end of Routledge Street. The Freight Office was moved to new quarters in the 1920's and located west of Elevator Row. A small remnant of this still stands. The Section House was abandoned and torn down in the 20's.
  • One of the 3 only streets in Indian Head with a 100-foot right-of-way is Main Street. Oddly enough, for a great many years it was the shortest street-in town. Grand Avenue and Woodward are the other two streets of 100-foot right-of-way.
  • The only house in Indian Head ever built on the compass (or square) is still standing and is located north and a little west of the station on Railway Street. Alex Badenoch Sr. (harness maker, leather goods and shoe merchant) lived there for many years.
  • The center of the townsite is located about 80 feet west of the Sports Center and about 120 feet in from Woodward. The original idea was to have the school nearly in the center of town.

*selected pieces of trivia were chosen