Tour - LaPrairieaire local history
Start time: Flexible
Duration: 2+ hours
Location: LaPrairieaire home base
Highlights: Local history, geology, archeology, commanding views, precolonial history
Cost: $200 (Max. 4 participants, $75 per additional participant)
La Prairieaire lands have witnessed dramatic change in the past 12000 years, starting with the formation of the Battle River & Meeting Creek valleys when the moraine which sustained glacial Lake Edmonton breached. The resulting valleys became ideal habitat for both man and beast as well as travel corridors, eventually used by early explorers.
Fortunately for me, my parents, Palmer & Berit Hagen were passionate about local history, researching and compiling the histories of many early Norbo & Donalda district residents. As a result, much family time was spent researching local history. In the early 60's, a group led by my father excavated a Hudson's Bay trading sub-post at the Metis “Hivernant” settlement at Buffalo Lake. Locating this overgrown site was possible only by my father’s research. The artefacts discovered, including musket balls, a fur seal, buttons and clay pipe fragments, are on display in the Donalda & District Museum. I will point out that amateur digs are now illegal!
Since my return to LaPrairieaire 20 years ago, before the passing of my parents, I documented "many" of their and others recollections while pursuing my own research. We have also been fortunate to have been graced by visits from the Archaeological Society of Alberta, The Royal Alberta Museum, and the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology whose observation of sites on our lands have validated what was up to then, conjecture. Visits to the Provincial Archives in Edmonton have yielded numerous local Township Maps compiled by government surveyors in preparation for arriving settlers that documented land features and early trails, guiding them to their dream properties.
The tour will explore: the routes of early trails, the sites of early commercial settlements and ventures, homesteads, rural schools and stores, and the route of the Red Deer Forks Trail utilized by Métis traders and their “Red River Carts” as it passed through the Meeting Creek Valley on its way to Ft. Edmonton.
Tour 4 is a driving tour with short walking diversions optional.