The Story of Gleichen: Gleichen's Boomtown Era

Gleichen, AB

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History & heritage

For a brief period in the early 20th Century Gleichen was a busy railway town of over 2,000 people that had big city dreams. Looking around today it's obvious those dreams haven't been realized: Today the population is less than a fifth of what it once was. What happened? In this tour we'll examine Gleichen boomtown history, how it grew from a hub of ranching activity and home of the Blackfoot reserve in the late 1800s, to a major farming community. Then we'll see how the successive blows of world war, drought, economic depression and technological change caused people to float away to greener pastures. Yet unlike many railway towns Gleichen did not die, and today the population is slowly picking up again, while a devoted community is working to preserve the parts of the town's boomtown history that survive to this day.

This event runs the duration of Culture Days.


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This event is free.

Organized by

On This Spot

The On This Spot app takes people on guided walking tours through the history that surrounds them. At each stop on their journey users will find themselves standing on the spot a historic photo was taken. They can view a then and now photo comparison, use the built in camera to create their own, and read about local history and how it ties into the broader human experience. Based in Vancouver, On This Spot is working with heritage, tourism, and business organizations across Canada to expand the app's coverage.


Gleichen, AB

Event Contact

Andrew Farris