Thousands of photos of Canadian prairie towns available online

Anyone looking for historical photos of the town where their ancestors lived in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba should visit Images of Prairie Towns, a website that contains close to 12,000 images — and the collection continues to grow.

The collection is divided by province and then into an alphabetical list of more than 900 towns. There are photos of streets, schools, railways, and commercial and public buildings.

Many of the town pages include early population numbers — useful information when trying to put flesh on the bones of an ancestor’s life.

Photos of Redcliff, Alberta immediately drew my attention, especially those of the streets and houses and the Dominion Glass Company. John Samuel McCleary, the husband of Lillian Isabella Young, one of my first cousins three times removed, had worked for Dominion Glass in Montreal, Ontario, and Illinois, and in 1916 he moved the family to Redcliff to work for the company there.

Screen capture of page showing photos of Coronation, Alberta on Images of Prairie Towns website.

As of January 1, 2017, Images of Prairie Towns offered the following:
• Alberta — 292 towns, 2,997 images
• Saskatchewan — 421 towns, 6,891 images
• Manitoba — 196 towns, 1,872 images

A nice feature on this website for frequent visitors is the What’s New section.

What is missing on the website are photo captions and dates and information about copyright restrictions. Before publishing any photos, I recommend requesting permission through the Contact page.

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2 Responses to Thousands of photos of Canadian prairie towns available online

  1. Brian Glenn says:

    Found a picture of Normac, Saskatchewan where my Grandfather’s brother was granted land in 1914 – a process that started in 1910. The name was changed to Madison in 1919 and I drove through the town this past summer while tracking down the family’s land grants. No grain elevators any longer.

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