The beginnings of the Town of Edson are intertwined with the history of the railway in the region. The Galloway Station exhibit explores the area's rich railway history and is the origin of the museum's name.
How did the Town of Edson come to be?
During the early 20th century, two railway rivals, the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) and the Grand Trunk Pacific (GTP), were in a fierce competition to make it to the west coast.
The GTP chose Wolf Creek as their divisional point. As the word spread, ‘land boomers’ bought up all the real estate surrounding Wolf Creek and the small town of Wolf Creek (now gone) was created.
The 'land boomers' hoped to profit off of the GTP; however, faced with an expensive and difficult situation, the GTP decided to move their divisional point eight miles west. It was here that the town of Edson was born.
Did you know? The town of Edson was originally called Heatherwood! In 1911, it was renamed in honour of Edson Chamberlain, who became president of the GTP after the death of former president Charles Hays. Hays perished in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
The first building in Edson
The Boston Hotel, also known as the 'TAR House', was the first building in Edson and was built by Lloyd. It was located at the future intersection of Main Street and 3rd Avenue to the west.
It was a simple two-storey shack lined with black tarred felt (hence the name 'TAR House').
The building was later bought by Johnny
Bonniface, who started the Boston Hotel sometime before 1910.
The Boston Hotel was a stopping point for incoming pioneers and others passing through. The goal was to accommodate the swell of citizens working with the railroad, or those striving to get their piece of the ‘Gateway to the Last Great West’.
The original Galloway Station Museum, prior to the 2011 expansion. Photo by Galloway Station Museum & Archives.