top of page
  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

The Dream That Became A Provincial Park

Melvin Hill, who owned a hardware store in Vermilion, had a dream. He wanted to see a provincial park established in the Vermilion area.

Hill had been working as the hardware dealer for the town since 1930 and over the course of the years, he worked hard to make sure residents of the community had somewhere to go to enjoy nature.

After a concrete dam was built that penned in the waters of the Vermilion River, a lake began to form. That lake became a popular place for people to visit in the summer, especially on hot days. The lake that was formed by the damming was 6.3 kilometres long.

The lake was visited by many of the 50,000 people who lived in the area around Vermilion by the 1950s and Melvin Hill wanted to preserve that area for future generations.

On warm afternoons, as many as 400 people were coming out to bathe in the cool waters of the lake in the 1950s, with another 35 boats on the water. Fishing was also growing in popularity on the lake with jackfish the fish many were catching.

In the early-1950s, work began to construct the park and provide it with facilities that people could use including a proper boat launch, playground facilities, camping facilities and bathrooms.

On May 29, 1953, this park was established as the newest provincial park in Alberta. It was the seventh park integrated into the Alberta Parks System.

To reward him for his work in getting the park established, Melvin Hill was made chairman of the park’s advisory board.

That park has also gone on to make some history. It was there that Beckie Scott began skiing on the trails. She went on to win a gold medal in the 2002 Olympics in cross-country skiing, and a silver at the 2006 Olympics in team sprint.

Eventually, the CNR station was moved into the park, along with an old CNR caboose.

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 https://www.buymeacoffee.com/craigU

Contact Craig at craig@canadaehx.com

Listen to my podcast Canadian History Ehx on all podcast apps.

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

A Big Class At The Vermilion School Of Agriculture

The largest class in the history of the Vermilion School of Agriculture, to that point, graduated in the spring of 1932. It was a major victory for the school, which had been doing well as The Great D

Sweet And Sour Burger Stir-fry

Here is a dish that is designed to be a quick and easy after-work meal. You can use ground beef, turkey, or moose. The garlic is important to help the body absorb the iron in the meat. Vinegar is prov

Vermilion 100 Years Ago This Month

It is that time again, when I journey back once a month to 100 years ago to find out what was going on in Vermilion in 1924. Let’s strap in, get up to 88 miles per hour and journey back to April 1924!

Comments


bottom of page