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Stirling Agricultural Village National Historic Site of Canada

Stirling, Alberta, T0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/06/22

Stirling Agricultural Village National Historic Site of Canada; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada
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Other Name(s)

Stirling Agricultural Village National Historic Site of Canada
Stirling Agricultural Village
Village agricole de Stirling

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/07/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Stirling Agricultural Village occupies one-square mile (260 hectares) of land in the heart of the short-grass prairie of southern Alberta, appearing as an oasis of trees and farmsteads amid a flat, open landscape. The one-section plat is laid out in a regular grid of wide streets with each ten-acre (4.1 hectares) block divided into large lots with widely spaced, wood-frame houses, agricultural outbuildings, gardens and animal pens. The village also includes a commercial area, a school and a church.

Heritage Value

Stirling Agricultural Village was designated a national historic site of Canada because it is the best surviving example of a Mormon agricultural village.

The heritage value of the village resides in its illustration of a typical Mormon settlement form from the turn of the twentieth century. It was introduced to southern Alberta by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who settled in this region during the Great Wheat Boom era from the late 1890s to 1914. The village of Stirling was founded in 1899 through a partnership between the Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company and the LDS Church to bring American immigrants to build an irrigation canal and found two villages, Stirling and Cardston.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, February 1989; Commemorative Integrity Statement, 1996.

Character-Defining Elements

Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:

- the location of the village near the Galt Canal and the junction of two regional railway lines,
- the one-square mile plat with its grid plan created by 100-foot (30.5 metres) wide streets forming ten-acre blocks, divided into eight lots of 1.25 acres (5058.6 square metres),
- remnants of ditches, culverts, levees, cisterns, and an irrigation channel that drew water from the Galt Canal,
- abundance of vegetation including poplars, cottonwoods, pine, elm, ash, and fruit trees; berry and flowering bushes; carrigana hedges; pastures; and gardens,
- surviving traditional farmsteads with house set back 25 feet (7.6 metres) from the street at one corner of the property, a shelter belt of trees or bushes along the street in front and beside the house, barns and outbuilding grouped at the back of the property, a garden close to the house with a nearby root cellar, with remainder of the lot for corrals and pasture,
- separation of lots with fences of varied materials and design,
- the presence of a school and a Mormon church,
- the collection of houses, barns and outbuildings that survive from the pre-World War Two period in their surviving form and materials.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1890/01/01 to 1915/01/01
1899/01/01 to 1899/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type




Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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