19891046021-083 | North side of Galt Gardens showing the irrigation ditch and trees two years after planting, AB, 1903
North side of Galt Gardens showing the irrigation ditch and trees two years after planting, AB, 1903
1903, 20th century
Silver salts on paper
This artefact belongs to : © Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives
Keys to History
Mormon community leader Charles Ora Card (1839-1906) ploughed the first furrows for the new canal on August 28, 1898, and water arrived in Lethbridge on September 4, 1900. The Lethbridge News reported on the celebration. "There was rejoicing among the citizens, and the small boys of Lethbridge found the flowing water a source of much delight, little water-wheels being set going, and sundry fish that had injudiciously come in from the main canal to see the town being caught, a specially large one, of the "sucker" species, falling prey to the prowess of a youngster armed with a potato sack, with which he whipped the fish out of the runlet in front of the residence of Dr. [Frank H.] Mewburn, the Mayor of Lethbridge ..."
This 1903 photograph of the north side of Galt Gardens shows the irrigation ditch and trees two years after being planted in the park.
The arrival of irrigation water literally transformed the town. The trees planted in and around Galt Gardens were only the start of a large-scale beautification program.
Until the first municipal waterworks system went into service on January 1, 1905, Lethbridge depended on water supplied from the irrigation system.
Coal might have been the "bread and butter" of Lethbridge, but water supplied by irrigation was its lifeblood.