Bentley

Discover Bentley, Alberta: A Historical and Touristic Overview

Bentley, a charming town nestled in central Alberta, Canada, is a hidden gem within Lacombe County. Situated on Highway 12, it is conveniently located approximately 28 km (17 mi) northwest of Red Deer.

The Rich History of Bentley, Alberta

The history of Bentley, Alberta, dates back to the late 19th century when the first settlers arrived from the U.S. between 1888 and 1890. These pioneers either walked or drove oxen from Lacombe, the nearest railroad station at the time. Bentley's post office opened its doors in 1901, marking a significant milestone in the town's development.

The Methodists built the first church in 1890, and a schoolhouse was established in 1903. Bentley was officially incorporated as a village on March 17, 1915. However, the following year, a devastating fire destroyed all buildings on the south side of the community. In response, the centre roadway was widened to 36 metres (118 ft) to prevent future fires, and new buildings were prohibited within this area. By 1930, a centre boulevard was constructed for fire protection, and street lights were installed. Bentley achieved town status on January 1, 2001.

The Naming of Bentley, Alberta

The town of Bentley was named in honour of George Bentley, an early homesteader and sawyer. However, this choice was not without controversy. When Major William B. McPherson, a U.S. Civil War veteran, opened a post office, many settlers preferred to name the town after him. However, the sawmill employees, who outnumbered the settlers, favoured Bentley. Before 1915, a petition was circulated regarding the town's name. The original suggestions of Oxford and Springdale were rejected as these names were already widely used across Canada.

Demographics of Bentley, Alberta

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Bentley, Alberta, had a population of 1,042 living in 451 of its 471 total private dwellings. This represented a -3.3% change from its 2016 population of 1,078. With a land area of 2.24 km2 (0.86 sq mi), the town had a population density of 465.2/km2 (1,204.8/sq mi) in 2021.

In the 2016 Census of Population, Bentley recorded a population of 1,078 living in 441 of its 463 total private dwellings. This was a 0.5% change from its 2011 population of 1,073. With the same land area, it had a population density of 481.3/km2 (1,246.4/sq mi) in 2016.

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