SUNDRE & DISTRICT HISTORY
The Town of Sundre takes its name from Søndre, Norway ("south" in Norwegian). Søndre, Norway is the centre of Ål, the largest community in Hallingdal, and was the home of Nels T. Hagen, Sundre's first postmaster in 1906.
As a young man, Hagen first went to the United States and later came to Canada. When he arrived in the Sundre area, he purchased land and the store from David McDougall, who was one of the first settlers in the area. McDougall was the son of missionary George McDougall.
The Post Office was established Dec 15, 1909, and the name Sundre was chosen at that time. Sundre remained a settlement until 1950, when it was designated a village. In 1956 it achieved the status of Town.
Homesteads in the Sundre Area
The Dominion land policy offered free land to homesteaders. In the first 1871 land policy, a Settler could request a homestead of 160 acres (a quarter-section) for a fee of ten dollars and a residence requirement of five years. In the Second Dominion Lands Act of 1872, the residence requirement was reduced to three years in order to compete with the American offer at the time. While most of the homesteads were assigned in this manner, some 60 million acres were available by purchase through the joint claims of the CPR, the HBC, and school lands.
The survey system designated even-numbered sections as open to homesteads, with the odd-numbered sections being left available for sale.
What are the AREAS of Sundre?
Prior to the settling of Sundre in 1909 our original people and early area Pioneers typically set up their homesteads in distinct areas located outside the Town of Sundre boundaries. As a museum we identify with and hold in trust objects from the following areas:
For more information click HERE to be directed to the Bearberry Heritage & Arts Centre.
Research Books: "Road to Ya Ha Tinda: A Story of Pioneers" 1960, Muriel Eskrick; "Recollections of the Homestead Trails" 1978 1st Edition, 2017 2nd Edition, Bearberry Wapitana Society.
For more information click HERE to find information on the Saturday Bergen Market.
Research Books: "Forever Bergen" 2008, Bergen History Book Committee
Research Books: "Wagon Trails Plowed Under" 1977, Eagle Valley Book Club
Research Book: "Derbytown Echoes: A history of: Rockwood, Lobley, Eagle Point, James River" 1975, Esther Lynn.
Research Books: "Links of Memory" 1983, Harmattan-Westward Ho Historical Society.
Research Books: "The Settlement, The Village, The Town, The People" 1998, Bob Boucher; "The Little Town that Could" 2008, Daryl M. Smith.
What are the school districts?
Eagle Valley - Sundre West - Eidswold - Inverness - Bergen - Sunberry - Westward Ho - Pinecroft - Rockwood - McDougall Flat - Bearberry - Lobley - Red Deer Valley - Sundre East - Eagle Point.