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History of Major Posts
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Development of Communities Around NWMP Posts

As the NWMP forts became established, towns quickly grew around them. Sharp shopkeepers knew that the policemen had money to spend and required such items as tobacco, soap, razors, stationery, favourite foods and luxuries.

Others provided services: hair cutting, tailoring, cooking, laundering, and more. Take a tour through some of these communities - many are still thriving today.

Fort Macleod

"We will have quite a settlement up here next winter. Mr. Power is talking of setting up a store here in opposition to Conrad and Mr. Kerler too intends doing the same. Kanouse has bought Foley out and Foley intends building again. We also have a farmer who intends starting ranch in the immediate vicinity of the fort and Father Scullen intends building a Church and Parsonage as well as inducing a large number of half-breeds to settle down here. So next winter we will have a gay young city."

April 26, 1875, R.B. Nevitt

Fort Calgary

"I. G. Baker's men also erected a building on the flat for a general store and several log houses for residences. The enterprising ex-whisky trader, Harry Taylor, brought a billiard table all the way from Fort Benton and built a hall which was also used for dances. …From Morley the Reverend George McDougall visited us and erected a small church."

Sir Cecil Denny

Fort Battleford

"Some of the men stroll off to the village of Battleford, which consists of about twenty houses, three stores or rather shops, & and telegraph office. Above the village on the hill is situated Government House where the Lieut. Governor of the Territories resides & the North-West Council is held every autumn. There are also three other very fine houses for this country, a stipendiary magistrate's, the registrar's & sheriff's."

September 2nd, 1880 William Parker

Maple Creek

As was the case in other communities where the NWMP had an early presence, the men of the NWMP at Maple Creek became the earliest settlers, ranchers, businessmen and political figures of the community. These men laid the foundation for western Canadian society establishing the churches, schools, businesses, social and fraternal organizations which provided the framework for so many fledgling western Canadian communities. In the case of Maple Creek, four of the first five mayors were former members of the NWMP, as was the first President of the Maple Creek Chamber of Commerce, the first Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Maple Creek and so on.

A street in Fort Macleod.
A street in Fort Macleod.

As the Fort Macleod detachment grew in size and importance, the town thrived.
As the Fort Macleod detachment grew in size and importance, the town thrived.

Fort Calgary attracted settlers and business people.
Fort Calgary attracted settlers and business people.
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4. Establishment of a Police Force

Daily Life and Routine at the Posts
Development of communities around NWMP posts