Many came at the insistence of their church.
Build settlements on the dry, windy prairie of southern Alberta. And begin the irrigation canal system – the first of its kind in Canada - that would, eventually, turn the area into some of the province’s richest farmland.
Along the way, the Mormon settlers built the unique towns of Cardston, Magrath, Raymond and Stirling – all laid out according to church mandate, with their wide avenues and cooperative farming structure.
Historical Time Period:
1877 - 1899
Cardston is famous for a couple of things: its founders, who came north from Utah in 1877 during one of North America’s last great wagon migrations; and for the wagon museum which, today, keeps that heritage alive with interactive displays, a working repair shop, and the largest collection of horse-drawn wagons and carriages on the continent!
Each summer, the Remington Carriage Museum now features a 'Mormon Historical Tour,' which combines a viewing of the remains of one of the original wagons brought north with the settlers, stories about their journey, and a wagon tour of the town and its gorgeous Temple.
The Card home, built by the leader of that wagon train, is open to the public on Cardston’s main street each afternoon, six days a week in summer.
Cardston is the closest full-service stop to Waterton Lakes National Park, and the gateway to a driving tour of Canada's Mormon Trail.
At the opposite end, Stirling is the best-preserved example of the 'Plat of Zion' town layout, and the whole village is a National Historic Site for that reason. Visitors can learn more about the early settlers and what they had to overcome at a well laid out information kiosk in the village.
Driving directions and more information can be found on the Mormon Trail website (www.theMormonTrail.ca).