I don’t know about you but history has never been a subject I have been particularly interested in. Oftentimes it’s like reading a fictional story, it may be nice but it can be hard to relate to. I think it is important though; knowing your heritage, the history of your family, and even the history of our city. So whether you just moved here or have lived here for your entire life it may be interesting to find out some fun facts about Grande Prairie.
Fun Fact #1: We took a literal perspective when naming Grande Prairie!
We did not inherit our name from a pioneer who first discovered the land nor an influential person who once lived here; we rather took a more logical approach to the question. We looked to the East, the West, and the North and realized there was a vast amount of prairies surrounding the area, perhaps even a “Grande” amount.
Fun Fact #2: We began as a farming community!
Did you know that for the first 40 or so years Grande Prairie was strictly focused on agriculture? The economy rose and fell depending on the agricultural world. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that oil and natural gas were discovered in the area and now that is primarily what we’re known for.
Fun Fact #3: The Herald Tribune has been around for a LONG time!
In the starting out years of Grande Prairie there were two rival newspapers: The Grande Prairie Herald and The Northern Tribune. In 1939 the two merged to become what we know of today as The Daily Herald Tribune.
Fun Fact #4: A bank, hotel, post office and land office were our humble beginnings!
In 1912 Grande Prairie consisted of those four things: a bank, a hotel, a post office, and a land office. Grande Prairie has come a long ways since then, in a quick search I found 18 banks listed, 6 Post Offices, and 20 Hotels, along with countless other businesses that make up our city today.
Fun Fact #5: This year is Grande Prairie’s 100th anniversary!
On April 30th of 1914 Grande Prairie was incorporated as a village. We turn 100 this year, what a milestone!
I mentioned that history has always seemed unrelatable, while researching I began to see things with a whole new perspective. I wasn't just learning about a city, I was learning about my home.
For more information about the history of Grande Prairie try these sites: