Origins

Prior to 1905 Chipman district was part of the Northwest Territories. When settlers first arrived around 1892, supplies were brought from Edmonton by team and wagon, or by settlers on foot carrying their supplies on their backs.

In 1905 the Canadian Northern Railroad was laid, a town site was surveyed, and a railway station wand water tower were built. The settlement thus begun was named "Chipman" after Clarence Campbell Chipman, secretary to Sir Charles Tupper, who was Commissioner of Railways. Mr. Chipman later became Chief Commissioner of the Hudson Bay Company. The first mail carrier was Frank Wiltzen, who brought the mail overland from Edna (Star). There was a post office called Beaver Lake, about eleven miles south east of Chipman (Padola).

Also in 1905 Alberta became a province, and Chipman became a local improvement district (NE 30-54-18-4). Some of Chipman's first settlers were of the Parry Sound Colony from Ontario (Calvert, Crosweel, Hisey, Peirce), although the majority of that colony stayed around Lamont and Josephburg. There was a large representation of American colonists, including such names as Ferrel, Olsen, Logan, Tupper, Hansen, Baidak, Van Buskirk and other s that settled to the south and west of Chipman. The entire area was filling up with homesteaders, many of them the earliest of the Ukrainian settlers to come to Canada. A monument erected in one of the village church grounds commemorates Wasyl Eleniak, the first Ukrainian settler to arrive in the west. As the Ukrainians in the outlying areas raised their families they required schools. These schools were built about five or six miles apart, at a cost of less than $1000 each and were usually given names familiar in the old country such as Lwiw or Kaluz.

The first business premises in Chipman faced the railroad, so in the beginning the main street ran east and west. The first commercial building was a long, log building, located about where Peter's Tire once was. This building was in three sections, with three separate entrances, the three parts of which were hauled by S. Calvert from Edna. One section was a store, run by James Kirkpatrick, who also became the first postmaster in 1906. One section was an office, which from time to time was used a post office, insurance office, law office, shoe maker shop etc. the third section was used as a cafe, and it was here that Mrs. Etta Hains ran her first restaurant called the "White Cafe." At the back of one of the log sections was a grain crusher that was operated by Mike Tymchyshyn. To the east of the log buildings sat a two-storey structure owned by Martin Wiltzen. On the lower floor was a store, which later also contained the first telephone switchboard. Part of the main floor also served as a machinery agency run by Martin Wiltzen. The Wiltzen family made their home above the store, but the rear of the building was a dance hall, which in addition to dances was also used for Christmas concerts and other forms of entertainment.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

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