History of Carstairs
Carstairs is believed to have been settled in the early 1800s. A Survey map shows the location of the Sam Scarlett Ranch with the Rosebud River and the Calgary - Edmonton Trail crossing the land. By 1890 the railway and telegraph between Calgary and Edmonton was being constructed and the first employees that can be recollected were Mr. Main as the Station Agent, Billie Warren as Section Foreman (about 1902), and Chester Steams, Steam Engineer and Pumpman in 1905.
By 1900 settlers were arriving in numbers. The train station was a hub of activity as it was the Town's only building. It was used for church services, mail, and as a meeting hall.
Mr. E.W Stone of Canmore was Carstairs first businessman and first citizen, although Mr. W. McCrimmon was the first to be born here in 1893.
In 1901, Mr. Stone built a general store and soon businesses were sprouting everywhere. A livery barn was soon built and "u-drive buggies" were big business as prospective land seekers rented them to explore the area. The community continued to grow, and in 1901, a one room schoolhouse was built, closely followed by the cemetery.
This brief reminiscence of the early days was culled from the history book, Beyond Our Prairie Trails. The two-volume set can be purchased locally or browsed through at the Bob Clark Municipal Library. Also, the Carstairs Heritage Centre is a wonderful resource for discovering and learning about the early days of Carstairs and area. The Museum produces a quarterly newsletter called the Carstairs Chronicle.