Edson, Alta, incorporated as a village then as a town in 1911, population 8475 (2011c), 8098 (2006c). The Town of Edson is the distribution centre for a mining, timber and oil area 200 km due west of Edmonton. Named for Edson J. Chamberlain, president of the Grand Trunk Railway (1912-17), it was founded in 1910 as a divisional point for the GTP some 100 km east of the Rocky Mountains. From 1911 to 1916 Edson served as the main point of departure for settlers of the Peace River Country (see Peace River Lowlands), via a wagon trail to Grande Prairie. It also benefited from its position as the northern shipping point on Alberta's Coal Branch, a line opened by the GTP to tap coal deposits 60 km to the southwest.
Today Edson benefits from its position on the Yellowhead Highway and the Canadian National Railway (formerly GTP). Every July the town hosts a slo-pitch (softball) tournament with some 250 teams competing, earning it the title of "Slo-pitch Capital of Canada."