Early History (this page is currently being developed)
1879, the Dominion’s Land Act opened up the North West Territories for homesteading.
It was in 1904 that Duncan Sampson brought a wagon load of lumber from Wetaskiwin, to build the first commercial building in what has become Downtown Camrose. Sampson’s general store still stands at the corner of 50th Street and 50th Avenue and was recently restored by the current owner Audrey Pfanmuller and the Camrose Mainstreet Project.
There is a collection of more than 40 buildings in the Downtown, that are more than 50 years old. More than a dozen have been either restored or enhanced by the project.
A brochure for a self-guided historic walk of the Downtown can be picked up at the Visitor Information Centre, 5402 – 48 Ave. or Downtown Camrose office on mainstreet in the Business IQ Computer Training Centre, 5044-52 St.
Our 100th anniversary celebration was marked by the introduction of Founders Days. In the first year, we honoured Francois Adam who died in 1961 at the age of 104, and is known as “The Father of Camrose”.
Born in Belgium, Adam was involved in the founding of the first school, hospital, Canadian Club and other organizations. He was an entrepreneur owning several businesses, and known as a philanthropist and an honourable gentlemen.
Excellent copy of pictures of historic downtown can be viewed at the Mona Sparling Building at the Camrose Heritage Railway Station & Park, and the main building of the Camrose & District Centennial Museum contains books, maps, .
Founders Days in August is a weekend honouring early founders important to the decision making and growth of our City, as well as recognizing important milestones for buildings and organizations.
The Visitor Information Centre at 5402 – 48 Ave has a limited number of Pictoral Camrose – A complete Pictorial Diary of the City of Camrose booklets for sale. The first edition of this 44-page booklet was printed in April 1958, and is a terrific historical recording of our buildings, sports grounds and equipment in use at that time.