Canadian History Ehx : Bow Island in the beginning
By Craig Baird
The first settlers would begin to arrive in the Bow Island area around 1900 as a new influx of immigrants were coming into Canada. There was no Bow Island at that point, just a collection of individuals in the area. All that there was in terms of civilization was the railroad and telegraph poles.
It would be in 1903 that the first building would be set up in what would one day be Bow Island. This building was nothing more than a small shack for accommodation of section men for the railroad.
J. Oilquist, the section foreman, would settle his headquarters there as well as his homestead. His homestead would eventually become the townsite.
A J.W. Hopkins would arrive in 1903 and build the first house in Bow Island. At the same time, he became the first postmaster, setting up the post office on his property.
When the CPR water tank was set up, Bow Island became more of a stopping point and from there the community began to grow. It was at this time that the community would get its name of Bow Island. The legend says that the CPR got stakes mixed up between Grassy Lake and Bow Island and that Bow Island should have actually been called Grassy Lake. It is likely this is not true through. It is much more likely the community was named for an island north of Grassy Lake.
From this water tank came the community. In 1907, the Bell Brothers would build the first store and Sun Chuen would build the first combination store and restaurant two years later. The first settlers into the community began to arrive in 1908 and 1909.
The Village of Bow Island would officially form in 1910 and the first minutes of the village would be recorded on July 28, 1910, in the home of E.C. Ludtke, one of the councillors of the community. The other councillors were H.E. Beattie and F.W. Dyer. Beattie was also chosen as the chairman of the community for the year.
The new council began to get to work raising money for the community. M.A. Fuller was hired as the first police chief, the mill rate was set at 10 mills, a newspaper was started and sidewalks were put down on Main Street measuring six feet wide. Licences were also issued for dogs and taxes were collected from the residents.
From this point, the community would grow into the one people live in and love to this day. InformationcomesfromBowIsland1912-1962 Efirstname.lastname@example.org ListentomypodcastCanadianHistoryEhxonall podcastplatforms