19871211000 | Map of the Galt Co. enterprises in southern Alberta and northern Montana

Map of the Galt Co. enterprises in southern Alberta and northern Montana
Ink on paper
This artefact belongs to : © Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives
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Keys to History

The creation of the third pillar of Lethbridge and southern Alberta history began as the search for an answer to a specific problem. By the time the solution was decided upon and implemented, it involved significant changes to the Canadian government's land and settlement policies, international politics and finance, and the influx of a new group of settlers to the Canadian west.

At first glance, the problem seemed straightforward. Coal brought the Galt companies to southern Alberta. Railways moved the coal to market. As assistance in building the railways, the federal government provided land grants to the Galt companies that eventually amounted to 1.25 million acres. The problem was how to dispose of this land profitably.

  • What

    By controlling all of these economic threads, Galt hoped to ensure the success of his investments in southern Alberta.

  • Where

    This map shows the Galt companies' enterprises in southern Alberta and northern Montana.

  • When

    Railways created markets for coal and brought settlers to irrigated lands. The settlers created a new market for coal, and in turn grew agricultural products that were shipped out on the railway.

  • Who

    Sir Alexander Galt developed an integrated approach to his enterprises in southern Alberta. Each supported the others by creating new business opportunities.