Photograph: “The north side of Richmond Avenue looking west from midway down the 100-101 Street block. The telegraph and electrical power lines are visible, as are many early businesses.” (SPRA 032.08.008.08.1056)
Phase 4 of the Downtown Rehabilitation begins next week in the City of Grande Prairie and will continue throughout the summer. This construction project marks the newest chapter in Grande Prairie’s continuous development. Richmond Avenue has a rich history of community and commerce, as the location of many early businesses and social activities. To mark the newest phase of construction, the South Peace Regional Archives is taking a look back on downtown… by launching a series of photographic reproductions in our online store!
The prints showcase Grande Prairie’s Main Street through the years, excellently showing the development of Grande Prairie between 1918-1965, from dirt roads and and wooden buildings that wouldn’t look too terribly out of place on the set of a Western in 1918 (We can make out no swinging saloon-doors though, and the weather in Northern Alberta would make that a rather foolish choice by a business); to crowds and automobiles flooding Richmond Avenue on their way to the circus in 1928; to paved streets festooned with lights, parking meters, and dozens of business signs in 1965.
You can view and order them the prints yourself here. and learn more about the history of downtown here.
Supplies are limited, so if you’re interested, you should act sooner rather than later!