Discover Mirror, Alberta: A Historical Hamlet in Central Canada
Mirror, Alberta is a quaint hamlet nestled in Lacombe County within central Alberta, Canada. It's conveniently located at the junction of Highway 50 and Highway 21, approximately 42 km east of Lacombe and 52.2 km northeast of Red Deer.
A Brief History of Mirror, Alberta
Founded in 1870, Mirror was incorporated as a village on July 12, 1912. It remained a village until January 1, 2004, when it was dissolved to become a hamlet under the jurisdiction of Lacombe County.
The Origins of Lamerton in Mirror, Alberta
Before Mirror came into existence, Lamerton started as the Buffalo lake trading post in 1892. It was situated just north of the creek that joins Spotted Lake to Buffalo Lake. The post office was opened in 1893 and the first N.W.M.P detachment was opened about 1895. By 1907, Lamerton was a bustling community with a grocery and dry goods store, livery barn, hardware store, confectionery, blacksmith shop, creamery, a church, and a hotel. However, the majority of these buildings were either moved or sold after the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway decided to build their roundhouse in Mirror.
The Establishment of Mirror, Alberta
The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1911 built a branch line from Southern Alberta to connect Edmonton and Calgary. The railway was expected to pass through the Lamerton trading post. However, due to difficulties in purchasing the land, they constructed their divisional point two miles to the South. This resulted in the Village of Mirror being established. The construction of the railway in Mirror caused Lamerton to be quickly abandoned, with its residents and many of its buildings being moved to Mirror.
The Arrival of the Railway in Mirror, Alberta
In 1912, many buildings were moved into the new town site, which included a post office, hardware store, drug store, lumber yard, restaurant, and the Imperial Hotel. There were two livery stables and two pool halls. The Bank of Commerce from Lamerton and the Bank of Toronto opened in Mirror. Mirror was known as the railway town, and employed a large number of railway employees. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway became a part of the Canadian National Railway in 1920. Since then the line running through Mirror has been operated by CN.
The Decline of Mirror, Alberta
With the introduction and the increasing popularity of diesel powered engines a divisional point in between Edmonton and Calgary was no longer necessary, rendering the facilities at Mirror obsolete. The roundhouse was eventually closed and leveled. All the bustle and activity that marked the village for so many decades slowly died out as the majority of railway personnel were either transferred to other areas or retired. As the railroaders left, the local economy declined, and the village of Mirror dissolved to a hamlet in 2004.
Demographics of Mirror, Alberta
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Mirror had a population of 481 living in 253 of its 270 total private dwellings, a change of -4.2% from its 2016 population of 502. With a land area of 2.3 km2, it had a population density of 209.1/km2 in 2021.
Amenities in Mirror, Alberta
Buffalo Lake is located 22 km east of Mirror. The Narrows Provincial Recreation Area is also a short 10.2 km from Mirror, offering plenty of outdoor activities for residents and visitors alike.
The Origin of the Name 'Mirror, Alberta'
Mirror was named after a British national tabloid newspaper, the Daily Mirror of London, England. This unique naming history adds a touch of international flair to this charming Canadian hamlet.