By Dr. Donald G. Wetherell Ph.D., Irene R.A. Kmet, Donald, G. Wetherell, Irene, R.A. Kmet
Within the prairies, the small city rests with ease in our thoughts as a environment of early life innocence, solid neighbours and balance. by way of following the improvement of "Main Streets" in 9 Alberta cities, Wetherell and Kmet current an in depth list of a mostly vanished lifestyle.
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Additional info for Town Life: Main Street and the Evolution of Small Town Alberta,
Towns, like private corporations, grew, died, or stagnated in direct ratio to the initiative of their leaders. Thus, the observation in 1908 that Claresholm's growth was due not only to its natural advantages but "to the energy and enterprise of its leading citizens" represented a stock explanation for urban growth. One corollary to this was an obsessive charting and debating of population figures. "20 In towns, like cities, boosterism relied upon simple-minded endorsement of positive thinking.
Lest this be interpreted as criticism of town businesses, the editorial placed the blame squarely on district farmers, only one-third of whom showed "co-operation" with local business through regular patronage. In an unequivocal assertion of town priorities, the Globe recommended that such people: should keep out of town, or he should tie his horse or leave his car outside the town limits, and walk on the grass. He has contributed nothing for the building of the sidewalks and the making of the roads, and he has no right to walk on them or use them.
17 In a few cases, railways purchased land on which to lay out a town or place a station. This was either homestead land or land being held by a speculator trying to anticipate the location of a station. Private land holders were vulnerable, however, because if their demands were too high, the railway simply bypassed their land and established elsewhere. Most stood the best chance if they developed the land on a shared basis 8 I TOWN LIFE with the railway company. 18 But, generally, stations were sited in existing settlements, such as Drumheller, only if the railway already owned land there.