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Fort Macleod

Updated: May 26, 2022

The Town of Fort Macleod, thirty-five minutes west of Lethbridge, holds a special place in Canadian History.

After Canada became an independent nation in 1867, the federal government completed the acquisition of Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company and renamed it the North-West Territories. It encompassed all of provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and what is the current territory of Northwest Territory. Once they gained full authority over the area, the government realized that they had to police a lawless swath of North America. It was filled with whiskey runners from America, and rough fur traders. The American government was also looking for a land route to their newly purchased territory of Alaska. There was a great fear in Ottawa, that the Americans would annex the territory because the Whiskey Runners were American citizens.

To combat the threats, the government created the North-West Mounted Police. They were a combination of police officers and soldiers. Their job was to maintain a Canadian presence in the area and discourage the whiskey trade and American curiosity. Though they stopped in many places, the Mounties settled along the Old Man River and built a fort and named it after Colonel Macleod. Slowly, as the Mounties gained more control of the area, the fort gained a growing town that became a hub for the ranchers and farmers in the area.

With the arrival of law and order, the Church began to send members on colonizing missions to Southern Alberta. Dozens of settlements and hundreds of farms were founded by church members who were sent on these missions. To find out more about these settlements look at our Cardston, Magrath, and Raymond pages.

Today Fort Macleod is a major stop for travelers between Lethbridge and Calgary. Fort Macleod is most known for its use in major film productions such as "Interstellar", "RV", and "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."

The church headquarters a stake in Fort Macleod that covers from Claresholm in the north to Coalhurst in the south and stretches from the Crowsnest Pass in the west to just east of Vulcan. Young Single Adult members of the church are encouraged to attend the Victoria Park Ward.

RCMP image found here.

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