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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

A Look At Vermilion In March 1906

I often like to look through old newspapers, and the Internet makes that much easier to do.

There are always major events that happen in a town’s history, but there are also the events that are much smaller. Some would call them mundane, but to me, they are part of the fabric that built the town.

Today, I am taking a look at what was happening at the beginning of March 1906 in Vermilion.

First, Harry Bowtell had returned from Edmonton where he was on business.

Meanwhile, R.E. McCormick had completed the addition to his pool room and N. Murray completed a comfortable office next to the Bank of Montreal and was moving into it.

A Mr. Dobson from North Battleford was putting up a building next to the Vermilion Trading Company’s store, and it was his intent to start a tailoring business there.

A new sign was put up over the post office and by all accounts was described as quite nice. Also on the note of the post office, tenders were put out for someone to carry the mail from the Vermilion station to the post office six times a week. It was hoped that someone would soon take on the job that was become a vital need in the community. The post office also found out that as of March 1, the name Vermilion could be used. Prior to this, the name of Breage was used.

One bit of sad news was that Willie McCormick, a young child, had died after a week of illness. His funeral was held in March and was well-attended by residents of the growing community.

An addition on the Alberta Hotel was completed and opened to the public. This addition had 12 rooms to give the hotel a total of 30 rooms. The new bar had also opened and was described as being the best in the west.

W.J. McNab was doing well with his fur business. The previous month, he had been able to purchase $2,000 in skins and sell them for a profit.

Last, the Vermilion Trading Company was rushing to finish its store. The store would be two-storeys, measuring 32 by 68 feet with an 8x10 feet plate glass window at the front.

Sharing Canadian history through social media, history columns and on my podcast is what I do for a living. Please consider supporting that by donating at

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