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Fort Macleod

Trip Planner Canada  /  Alberta  /  Fort Macleod
(4.1/5 based on 550+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, museums, nightlife
Fort Macleod, originally named Macleod, is a town in the southwest corner of the province of Alberta, Canada. It was founded as a North-West Mounted Police barracks, and is named in honour of the North-West Mounted Police Colonel James Macleod. It was known as the Town of Macleod between 1892 and 1912.HistoryThe fort was built as a 70 by 70 meters square on October 18, 1874. The east side held the men's quarters and the west side held those of the Mounties. Buildings such as hospitals, stores, and guardrooms were in the south end. Stables and the blacksmith's shop were in the north end.The town grew on the location of the Fort Macleod North-West Mounted Police Barracks, the second headquarters of the NWMP after Fort Livingstone was abandoned in 1876. Fort Macleod was originally established in 1874 on an island on the Oldman River, then moved in 1884 to the present town location. The Museum of the North-West Mounted Police is located in Fort Macleod.Once agricultural settlement and the railway came to the region, Macleod boomed. The town became a CPR divisional point and frontier wood construction began to be replaced by brick and sandstone. In 1906 a fire devastated the downtown and destroyed most of the wooden buildings. From 1906 to 1912 Macleod had its greatest period of building, as more new brick and stone building replaced the destroyed wooden ones. Then in 1912 the CPR moved the divisional point and 200 jobs to Lethbridge, devastating the local economy. Fort Macleod ceased to grow, and in 1924 was forced to declare bankruptcy. Until the 1970s, the town's economy stagnated and the buildings from the turn-of-the-century remained untouched.
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