The Town of Eckville (population: 1,019) is located in Central Alberta between Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer and is a few kilometers North of Highway 11.
The name Eckville commemorates Arthur E.T. Eckford. The original landowner of "Old Eckville", Mr. Eckford emigrated from Ireland to the district in 1902. In 1905 he donated land for a store and a post office. By 1908, the Hamlet included a Hotel, cheese factory, blacksmith shop and a school across the river. In 1912 when the Canadian National Railroad completed its line one and a half miles south of Eckville, people and businesses moved to establish "New Eckville" at the present location.
Eckville was incorporated as a Village in 1921 and became a town in 1966. The Town celebrated its 75th anniversary in June 1996 and was most honored to have in attendance several members of the "Eckford" family.
Well-known explorer, Anthony Henday, has referred to the Eckville area in his travels. He is reported to have been told by his Cree Indian guides that the hill NW of Eckville offered his last view of the "Shining Mountains" as he traveled east. Hence, the name "Last Hill" was given to the hill and a local creek.
Eckville is located in the heart of the Parkland surrounded by scenic rolling hills, winding rivers and rich mixed farmland. The rich farmland was homesteaded in the early 1900's by settlers from all corners of the world, particularly Finland and Estonia. In the mid-1960's, Eckville experienced rapid growth when oil and natural gas was discovered in the area. Today, both farming and a thriving oil and gas field provide the mainstay of the local economy, with a trading area of 7,000 residents.
Today, this prosperous growing community is the centre for agriculture, oil and gas, and lumber enterprises, as well as a major centre for people to live in and enjoy the "small town atmosphere" with the "big town amenities".
Eckville offers the visitor and resident alike a full range of retail businesses, shopping, restaurants, public services, banks, excellent sporting facilities, a community centre, senior's friendship centre, senior's lodge, and two golf courses, to name just a few. Within easy access of Eckville are major lakes, trout ponds, campgrounds, and unique guest ranches.
Annual events include the 50's/60's Dance Jamboree, winter carnival, rodeo, curling bonspiels, all kinds of tournaments, including hockey, baseball and school sports.
The economic base of the region is agriculture, forestry, petroleum, manufacturing, construction and retail centers. Some manufactured goods include ampers, camperettes, truck canopies, feed, honey and lumber. Major industrial facilities include a machine & welding shop, lumber and gravel.
Local recreational facilities include the Eckville Arena [hockey, figure skating, public skating, and rodeo], Eckville Curling Rink, Eckville Community Hall / Meeting Rooms, tennis courts, 2 baseball diamonds, 2 community playgrounds and 2 golf courses. Resort areas include the Lions Campground and Peace Park.
Local community groups include the 4-H Horse Club, 4-H Beef Club, Beavers/Cubs/Scouts [co-ed], David Thompson Snow Riders, Royal Canadian Legion, Seniors Friendship Centre, Lions Club, Catholic Women's League, St. Paul's Presbyterian Ladies Aid, Neighborhood Place, Eckville Children's Playgroup, Weight Watchers, TOPS, Library
Special Annual Events/Attractions
- Winter Ice Carnival in February
- Bull-Arena in May
- Canada Day Celebrations in July
- Annual Rodeo & Parade in August
- Annual Tree Lighting Festival in December
- Dance Jamboree in August
Eckville is part of the Wolf Creek Regional School Division #32, with headquarters in Ponoka and has two Public Schools including Eckville Elementary School [K-6] and Eckville Junior/Senior High School [7-12].
Eckville residents have access to Edmonton and Calgary based post-secondary institutions as well as Red Deer College. Red Deer College, located in Red Deer, offers programs including 1-year certificate programs, 2-year diplomas, university transfer, apprenticeship and training in technological areas, academic upgrading and continuing education. RDC also has an outstanding arts program which puts on many impressive and professional performances throughout the year.
Sources: Information in this profile has been provided from a variety of sources including AlbertaFirst.com Ltd. and each community’s website. If you find inaccuracies or information you feel needs changing, please contact us directly stating the correction and the source of your information. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy, currency and reliability of the content and data, it is not warranted to be correct.