The Naming of Innisfail - Innisfail, Alberta
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member wildwoodke
N 52° 01.744 W 113° 56.928
12U E 297716 N 5768376
Quick Description: This small sign, one of several historical information signs placed around the town, describes the naming of Innisfail, Alberta.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 2/27/2013 10:11:49 PM
Waymark Code: WMGFPF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member GeoKs
Views: 1

Long Description:

For years Innisfail has been a stopping point for travellers between Edmonton and Calgary. Whether its from its early beginnings as a horse trail and a stopping post or as a rail siding on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Originally known as Poplar Grove, the community grew in the early 1900s and is a vibrant community of around 8,000 persons.

The heritage plaque that has been placed along the railway and the site of some of the earliest buildings states contains the following text:
"The Naming of Innisfail
The Canadian Pacific Railway assumed responsibility for naming the sidings which had been settled along the newly constructed railroad line. In August 1891, our area originally known as 'Poplar Grove'. was renamed 'Innisfail' after the island of Innisfail (Inishail) in Loch Awe, Argyllshire County in Scotland. (Letter dated March 1996 from Canadian Pacific Archives.)"

A popular community attraction is the Innisfail Historical Village that is located on 52 Avenue and 42 Street across from the hospital. The village's objective is to preserve and house the history of Innisfail. The Innisfail and District Historical Society operates the village that was opened in 1970. Today there are over 2 acres f buildings and artefacts. The text below is some of what you can read before visiting.

"A few years later, stage coaches and freight wagons were transporting back and forth from Fort Calgary to Fort Edmonton on an old Native trail called the “Wolf’s Track” (Poplar Grove 4). This track became a popular place for pioneers to travel on. It was around the 1880s when stopping houses appeared on the trail (later called the C&E Trail). Stopping houses were places where the settlers could receive food and shelter as they passed through. The Innisfail area was originally known as Poplar Grove and more settlers from around the world came to the area.

Alberta was originally known as the N.W.T (Northwest Territory ) until it became a province in 1905. The first people in the area were the Brown brothers and Sandy Fraser. The Browns, along with two other friends, came to Poplar Grove and helped construct a stopping house known as “The Spruces”. In fact, Isabelle Brown (sister) was the first white woman to see the area. Sandy Fraser, Napoleon Remillard, Arthur Content and Bill Kemp settled in the area from 1884-1887. These were Innisfail’s first settlers. Dr. Henry George was an important physician and coroner for Calgary and Central Alberta. He settled in Innisfail and built a house he called “Lindum Lodge” (this is where the Dr. George/Kemp house is today). Later the house was occupied by Bill Kemp and Kate Jane Kemp, who ran it as a boarding house until the 60s.


See the Innisfail History website at:

Type of Marker: Cultural

Sign Age: Other

Parking: There is on street parking

Placement agency: Town of Innisfail

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