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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

What Was Going On In Vermilion In January 1912

This week, I wanted to explore Vermilion early in its history, in January 1912. This was before the First World War, as thousands of people, are moving into Alberta on a monthly basis from Europe.

So, what was going on in Vermilion in January 1912?

Things started off cold for the Vermilion area when the New Year was ushered in with a temperature of -37 Celsius that was accompanied by a very high wind creating a bone-chilling wind chill.

At the Alberta Hotel on Jan. 2, a fire broke out and there was quite a bit of excitement but the fire brigade responded quickly and the fire was out before any major damage happened. The fire began in a stovepipe at the hotel in a bedroom on the second floor.

On Jan. 5, curlers were arriving in Vermilion to compete in a bonspiel.

H.C. Stiles was appointed as the chief of the fire department, taking over from F.G. Miller who had recently resigned.

There were plans put down for a large addition to the Vermilion Hotel and work was going to commence as soon as the weather allowed.

The cold weather continued through the first weeks of January, with temperatures regularly dipping below -40 Celsius.

The Young Conservatives gave a smoker and concert in January which was attended by a large number of people and quite enjoyable for everyone.

A large carnival was also held at the skating rink on Jan. 16.

The Vermilion Agricultural Society announced that it was going to purchase its own grounds, where it would hold its annual fair. The proposed site was opposite the Pilkie Subdivision on 25 acres of land with a 1,500-foot frontage. The price for the lot was going to be $1,000, or about $27,000 today.

On Jan. 19, a carnival was held with prizes for the best-dressed man, woman, boy and girl.

A sale was held by the Auctioneer Palmer for Cummings and Hayward near the end of January. The sale was a big success. One cow was sold for $79, while Norman Darling bought 125 head of cattle for an average cost of $46, and 25 head of cattle for $50 each.

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Listen to his podcasts Canadian History Ehx, Canada’s Great War, From John to Justin, Pucks and Cups and Canada: A Yearly Journey on all podcast platforms.

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