Notice is hereby given, in accordance with the provision of the Village Act in that behalf that, by order of the Minister if Municipal Affairs in the following area; namely: North-east quarter of Section 9 and the west half of Section 10 in Township 17 Range 17 west of the Fourth Meridian has been erected a Village under the name of the Village of Bow City of the Province of Alberta.
Dated at Edmonton this Thirteenth day of July 1914.
Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs
With the above notice, which appeared on p.692 of the 1914 Alberta Gazette v. 10, a collection of domiciles, shacks and commercial establishments scattered across 800 acres of barren prairie was organized into the Village of Bow City.
Effective July 13, 1914, Bow City’s incorporation as a village, for a brief time, offered hope for boosters and believers alike that their schemes and dreams centred around a coal mine in the dried-out middle of nowhere would be realized.
Although the village hung on for over three-and-a-half years, its fate was in question within weeks of the above proclamation. Undercut by the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, and unable to secure a railroad, the Village of Bow City never stood a chance.
What did Bow City look like on the eve of incorporation? The following images provide a glimpse into the village born unlucky:
Knowing what we know today, it’s a remarkable a village grew up in this location in the first place. Although a hamlet of the same name in the County of Newell exists to this date, the footprint of the village, situated in Vulcan County south of the Bow River, is nearly indiscernible today:
- Bow City: The City of Natural Resources (Source of many of the above photos, available at the Forgotten Alberta Archive)
- Bow City Townsite with BigDoer.com (2013)
- “Something doing” at Bow City (History of incorporation – Part 1)
- The Village of Bow City (History of incorporation – Part 2)
- The Bow City Hotel
- Bow City – The village born unlucky (From Alberta History Journal)