About the tenth of April 1908, George, Florence, Edith and William Underwood along with Emily Fisher arrived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on the C. P. R. train. More than likely they stopped at Strathcoma because they Canadian Pacific Railway did not continue to Edmonton until the High Level Bridge was opened in 1913. They could have departed the train and took the omnibus from Strathcona to Edmonton or possibly they transferred to the Edmonton, Yukon & Pacific Railway for the trip over the river. I am unsure if there was an agreement with the railway companies. If they had arrived a month later in May, they could have used the street railway that opened 20 May 1908. It is possible that Fred and Percy Underwood who were already in the Edmonton area could have picked them up.
The transportation that would be available to them is listed below.
“Edmonton Bus Line (1890′s)
Omnibus operation between Edmonton and the railway station at South Edmonton (later Strathcona). Service timed to coordinate with railway arrivals and departures. In 1901 other omnibus operators running scheduled service between Edmonton and Strathcona were D.E. Cameron and N. Leclerc (Tingley p. 10). Perhaps discontinued when the two communities were linked by the Edmonton, Yukon & Pacific Railway Co. in 1902, but certainly the market would have dried up when the street railway opened in 1908. “
Press the picture of the horse drawn bus and you get the following advertisement.
“Edmonton Bus Line - A daily bus leaves Edmonton for South Edmonton and C. & E., R.R. and returns every day, morning and afternoon; also meets all trains. Persons desiring bus to call at house, telephone Brown’s livery stable. Fare 25 cents, good return same day. Parcels promptly delivered. Busses for private parties may be had by applying at office, Brown’s livery stable.”
Edmonton, Yukon & Pacific Railway Company
(1902 – 1929)
Between 1902 and 1929 the EY&P operated passenger trains between Strathcona and Edmonton. Schedule was 4 times/day in the 1920s.
Edmonton Incline Railway (20 May 1908 – circa 1913)
Incorporated 1907. A funicular (incline railway) operating at the foot of First Street. Closed when a more convenient river crossing opened.
Prior to the construction of bridges across the North Saskatchewan River ferry services were operated at three points. The “upper ferry”, 1881-1913 (vessel Belle of Edmonton from 1882), between the later Walterdale and High Level bridges, and “lower ferry”, 1882-1900, at the mouth of Mill Creek were owned by John Walter. A ferry service (?-1912) in the vicinity of the Dawson bridge was operated by a teenager named Fred Marshall. (Monto & Lawrence)
These are excerpts by David A. Wyatt from the website below. Left click on the pictures to enlarge them and then use the back arrow in upper left to return to page.
A glimpse of what Edmonton offered in 1908 can be found in this booklet:
EDMONTON FIRE DEPARTMENT
Author: Edmonton, Fire Department. Language: English
Edmonton: Fire Department, 1908
Click on “Find Books – Peel’s Prairie Provinces – University of Alberta
At top right in “Enter keywords“, type in fire department Category Bibliography
You will see 1. Peel 3169: Edmonton fire department
On pages 9,13,15 &17there are listed the streets of Edmonton and what is to be found on them. I have transcribe those below. Public schools pictures are on page 19 and they are of Norwood Public School, McKay Avenue Public School, Alexander Taylor Public School & Queens Avenue Public School
I thought quite interesting is the listing for College Avenue – Splendid view of the valley
(Pages 9, 13, 15, 17 )
EDMONTON — SOME OF ITS OUTSTANDING FEATURES
Edmonton is not a prairie city. It is situated 150 feet above the North Saskatchewan river bed and some 2,158 feet above the level of the sea. The surrounding country is park-like in appearance and very pleasing and restful to the eye. The view obtained of the Saskatchewan River valley at Edmonton is a magnificent one and compares with the scenery as seen at Quebec and Ottawa for its effectiveness and the lasting impression conveyed to the mind of the observer.
For a man looking for a permanent location for himself and family, Edmonton offers inducements that are worth noting, more especially when comparing Edmonton with the other progressive cities of Western Canada.
Being the capital city of the Province of Alberta and being the place at which the Governor of the Province must reside, Edmonton offers to a man fond of society and social functions great attractiveness.
On educational lines also, Edmonton is strong, for across the river in Strathcona is Provincial University and in Edmonton itself is Alberta College, the High School and splendid public and private schools.
To the mechanic in a few years Edmonton will appeal strongly. The Grand Trunk Pacific shops are to be located in Edmonton as well as the Canadian Northern shops.
To the lumberman are the saw mills and timber limits. To the miner are the coal mines and coal lands. To the trader and trapper is the great north country with Edmonton as its outfitting centre. To the farmer are the Packing Plants and stock yards. To the explorer and prospector are the gold fields to the west and barren lands to the north east awaiting discovery and development.
Edmonton has at the present time a population somewhat over 20,000. It is a city of beautiful homes, churches, hospital, schools and banks. The new post office about completed is a $250,000 structure. The new court house will cost a like amount, the Parliament buildings $1,250,000, the bank buildings run from $40,000 to $100,000, the public schools from $20,000 to $80,000, and private residences from $5,000 to $35,000. There are three fire halls, most modern and up-to-date. The streets are being paved and boulevarded as rapidly as possible. The street cars are now in operation between Edmonton and Strathcona. A modern city is being built in the centre of the Province of Alberta which bids fair to rank in growth with St. Paul, Minneapolis or Winnipeg. Once in each twenty years a new city of the 100,000 population class is in the making, Edmonton is the coming city of the above class. What the city at present contains is given in more detail below, and the places mentioned should be visited by those desiring to get a correct impression of the city as a whole.
Jasper Ave. – Cecil Hotel, Grand Trunk Business College, the Theatre Block, Presbyterian Church, Hudson’s Bay Stores, Acme block and stores, Windsor Hotel, McDougall and Second block, Empire block, Orpheum Theatre, Elk’s Club Rooms, Merchants Bank block, Grand Trunk Pacific offices, Bank of Montreal block, Norwood block, C.N.R. and C.P.R. offices, Gariepy and Lessard block, Imperial Bank block, Bank of Commerce, Johnstone-Walker Block, Sandison block, Bulletin block, Archibald’s block, Alberta Hotel, Queens Hotel, Jasper House, Pendennis Hotel, McInnis Lumber Co., Alberta Lumber Co., Edmonton Bottling Works, Alexander Taylor school, Wize block, Bank de Hochelaga, Club Café.
First St. – Incline Railway, Board of Trade Offices (where general information can be obtained and samples of grain, grasses, etc., are kept), Alberta College, Methodist Church, Ribchester’s Carriage Works, Sommerville block, Journal block, St. James Hotel, C.N.R. station, Immigration Hall.
Second St. — Walter’s Saw Mill, Exhibition Grounds, Revillon Bros. block, Masonic Hall, Custom House, Edmonton Cigar Factory, Thistle Rink, Edmonton Tent and Mattress Factory, Baptist Church, Castle Hotel, C. N. R. yards, Alberta Milling Co., Grain Elevators.
Third St. – Government House, All Saints’ Church (English), Separate School, Sanitarium, Westward Ho! School (private), Mechanics’ Hall, Wholesale houses (Third and Fourth streets), Richelieu Hotel.
Fourth St. – Power plant and water works, Mckay Ave. School, Water tower, No. 2 Fire Station, Wholesale Houses.
Fifth St. – Boulevarded and residential.
Sixth St. – Boulevarded and residential, Provincial Government office buildings.
Seventh St. – Boulevarded and residential, Cushing Bros., lumber yard.
Eighth St. – Boulevarded and residential, Parliament buildings at the south end.
Ninth St. – W. H. Clarke sash and door factory.
Tenth St. – Roman Catholic Church, Convent and School, C.P.R. freight sheds, Husdson’s Bay Fort on the river bank.
Victoria Ave. –General Hospital, Ramsays Greenhouses, Land office, Mayor’s residence.
College Ave. – High School, Edmonton Club, Splendid view of the valley.
McDougall Ave. – Grand View Hotel, Post Office, Telephone and City Waterworks Offices.
Howard Ave. – Saturday News Office, Y. M. C. A. building, Massey-Harris Implement building.
Rice St. – Bellamy’s Implement House, Edmonton Printing and Publishing Co., Y. W. C. A…, Market Square, Beals & Hoar Implement House, Great West Implement House.
Peace Ave. – Marble and Granite Works.
Bellamy St. — J.J. McLaughlin, manufacturing chemists building.
Queen’s Ave. – Imperial Hotel, Queen’s Avenue School, Presbyterian Church.
Fraser Ave. – Fire and City Hall, St. Elmo Hotel Salvation Army Barracks, Senate Hotel, Snowflake Laundry.
Namayo Ave. – D.R. Fraser and Co. lumber yards,, Cushing Bros. sash and door factory, German Herold Office, Edmonton Iron Works, German Church, Merchants’ Bank (east end branch).
Kinistino Ave. – Public Hospital, No. 3 Fire Station, Various Mission Churches (east end).
Government Ave. – Penitentiary.
Norwood Boulevard – Public School, Incinerator, Coal Mines.
Fort Saskatchewan Road. – Klondike Gardens, Seven Story Pork Packing Plant (the largest in Canada), Grand Trunk Pacific grading operations.
Fraser’s Flat – Little’s brick yard, Fraser’s saw mill, Coal Mines.
Ross Flat – Campbell-Ottewell Flour Mill, Edmonton Brewing and Malting Plant, Huff Grading and Gold-washing plant, Edmonton Cement works, Edmonton Ice Co., Edmonton Hotel.
South End of Bridge – Cameron Hotel, Anderson Brick Yard, Coal Mines, Gallagher Hull Packing Plant, Sand-Lime Brick yards, Edmonton Saw mill and yards.
To see photographs of many of these buildings in Edmonton go to