"If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday."
~ Pearl Buck
The Memorial building is open on Mondays from 10:00am to 3:00pm.
For access to the historical library please contact Kerri Fipke to make an appointment
The pioneers of Alberta, through their foresight and perseverance, were
instrumental in building the foundation of this great province.
They were instrumental in establishing towns, cities, the government,
the university, the Calgary & Edmonton Railway, boards of trade, The Historical Society of Alberta
and many other institutions. On this infrastructure
future generations were to build the Alberta we know today.
To commemorate the pioneers of Southern Alberta and Alberta's Golden
Jubilee, the SAPD built The Southern Alberta Memorial
Building in 1955.
In 1955, the City erected a field stone cairn with an attached flag
pole in front of the building. Today, Canadian and Albertan flags
fly above the cairn. The City affixed to the cairn a brass plaque
which says "Presented to the Southern Alberta's Old Timers
by the City of Calgary in the Province's Golden Anniversary Year
1955." This monument was dedicated on the opening of the
Memorial Building on June 8,1955.
The building is located at 3625 - 4th Street S.W., Calgary, Alberta
on lands leased from the City of Calgary. The building is a true
memorial to the pioneers of Southern Alberta. Situated on a high
promontory, the Memorial Building overlooks the Elbow River, gives
a general view of the city and commands a splendid view of the
Rocky Mountains to the west. In the late 1800's bull trains and
Red River carts from Fort Benton, Montana, and stagecoaches from
Fort Macleod, with their dusty, travel-stained passengers and
picturesque stage drivers passed by this site on their way to
Calgary. The building and grounds offer an excellent setting for
special occasions and events.
In 1967, to celebrate Canada's 100th birthday, SAPD erected the
Centennial Gate at the site. SAPD attached to the Gate, brass
plaques bearing the names of pioneers of Southern Alberta. In
1988, further names were added to the gate bringing the total
number to approximately 2000.
Over the years it was brought to our attention that the Memorial
Building was hard to find. The Building was often referred to
mistakenly as a club house. This was very unfortunate as it is
far from this. It was and is a Memorial Building.
Over the years our members have voluntarily spent enormous amounts
of time and money maintaining the building and grounds and researching
and preserving the history of the pioneers. To make this special
historic resource known and appreciated, SAPD constructed a new
entrance sign at street level in front of the Centennial Gate,
in 1998. SAPD hopes that initiative and this website will make
SAPD better known and that descendants of pioneers and other researchers
will be able to communicate with us more easily.
You can help the SAPD by volunteering your time and money to
help maintain the Memorial Building and the grounds. Please contact
You may wish to do research and help to rescue from
oblivion the history of the pioneers. Or, you may wish to augment
our Archives by donating pioneer histories, pictures and other
artifacts relating to them. In which case please contact