Fort Normandeau on old C&E Trail
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C & E Trail - Red Deer Crossing

drawing of Fort Normandeau
The Calgary and Edmonton Trail (C & E Trail) evolved from ancient aboriginal footpaths and later horse trails (portions of which became known as Wolf Trail, Bow River Trail, Old North Trail and Blackfoot Trail) into an actual crude road around 1873. The mid point between Fort Calgary and Fort Edmonton was located at a ford across the Red Deer River, frequently referred to as "the Crossing".
When the Canadian Pacific Railway arrived in Calgary in 1883, the Trail became the primary travel route for freight to Edmonton and for new settlers, many of whom homesteaded around Red Deer Crossing and along the Red Deer River. Eventually a small community developed around the Crossing that included a ferry and a stopping house.
Fort Normandeau todayStagecoaches travelled the route from around 1883 to a couple of years after the completion of the Calgary Edmonton Railway in 1891. When troops were sent north to deal with the 1885 Riel Rebellion, a  contingent was established at the Crossing, taking over the stopping house to build Fort Normandeau. It was later taken over by the Northwest Mounted Police.

When the Calgary-Edmonton Railway was built further east, the community at the Crossing moved to the new townsite of Red Deer.

old Calgary Edmonton Trail map

(The map shows many of the stopping houses along the trail from Fort Calgary through Red Deer Crossing to Fort Edmonton.)


For more on the Calgary-Edmonton Trail, click here














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