Grouard

In 1915 Grouard's population was about 2000, but when bypassed by the railway that year the town soon collapsed. Settlement continued to the north however, and in 1970 a Northern Lakes College (vocational) campus was built near St Bernard's Mission in the community now known as Grouard Mission.

Grouard, Alta, Unincorporated Place. Grouard, incorporated as a town in 1913 but dissolved in 1944, is located at the west end of LESSER SLAVE LAKE, about 35 km northeast of HIGH PRAIRIE. In 1802 the NORTH WEST COMPANY built a post off Buffalo Bay at the west end of the Lake, which, in 1821, became a HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY post. In 1872 St Bernard's Roman Catholic Mission was built nearby. At Stony Point, about 10 km south, Treaty 8 was negotiated with the district CREE in 1899. Here a small community evolved and was named after the noted Oblate priest, Father Émile GROUARD. A Dominion Land Office was built there in 1909, and the trail to PEACE RIVER Crossing became a major transportation artery.

Land Office in Grouard, Alta
Prospective homesteaders lining up at the Grouard Land Office in 1914 (courtesy Provincial Archives of Alberta/P10733).

In 1915 Grouard's population was about 2000, but when bypassed by the railway that year the town soon collapsed. Settlement continued to the north however, and in 1970 a Northern Lakes College (vocational) campus was built near St Bernard's Mission in the community now known as Grouard Mission. The college maintains the much complimented Native Cultural Arts Museum, while the 1903 St Bernard's Mission was designated a provincial historic resource in 1977.