The Beginning

A few years later, stage coaches and freight wagons were transporting back and forth from Fort Calgary to Fort Edmonton on an old Native trail called the “Wolf’s Track” (Poplar Grove 4). This track became a popular place for pioneers to travel on. It was around the 1880s when stopping houses appeared on the trail (later called the C&E Trail). Stopping houses were places where the settlers could receive food and shelter as they passed through. The Innisfail area was originally known as Poplar Grove and more settlers from around the world came to the area.

Alberta was originally known as the N.W.T (Northwest Territory) until it became a province in 1905. The first people in the area were the Brown brothers and Sandy Fraser. The Browns, along with two other friends, came to Poplar Grove and helped construct a stopping house known as “The Spruces”. In fact, Isabelle Brown (sister) was the first white woman to see the area. Sandy Fraser, Napoleon Remillard, Arthur Content and Bill Kemp settled in the area from 1884-1887. These were Innisfail’s first settlers. Dr. Henry George was an important physician and coroner for Calgary and Central Alberta. He settled in Innisfail and built a house he called “Lindum Lodge” (this is where the Dr. George/Kemp house is today). Later the house was occupied by Bill Kemp and Kate Jane Kemp, who ran it as a boarding house until the 60s.

Stopping Houses