Author: Stewart Foss

  • The Irrigation Period of Mormon Settlement in Canada – 1898-1901

    This post is part of series on periodizing Mormon settlement in Canada. Between 1898 and 1901, the focus of Mormon migration to Canada was to support the newly agreed upon irrigation project. The purpose of Charles Ora Card’s return to Canada in 1889 was finally becoming clear to leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of […]

  • The Interim Years of Mormon Settlement in Canada – 1890-1898

    This post is part of series on periodizing Mormon settlement in Canada. The second period of settlement occurred between 1890 and 1898. By 1890, the Mormon areas of the western United States had reached a “saturation point,” where the bulk of the usable land was occupied and the population no longer supported subdividing for more farms.1 […]

  • The Polygamy Period of Mormon Settlement in Canada – 1887-1890

    This post is part of series on periodizing Mormon settlement in Canada. The polygamy period of settlement happened between 1887 and 1890. It is marked by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seeking refuge from anti-polygamy prosecution in the United States. By the time that Charles Ora Card arrived in Canada, […]

  • Periodizing Mormon settlement in Canada between 1887 and 1917

    Periodizing or periodization is the act of breaking down the past into distinct named periods of time. It is a tool historians use to simplify describing and to aid in studying history. I have gone through this exercise several times over the years as I have examined the history of Mormon settlement in Canada and […]

  • Mr. Knight is an ardent prohibitionist

    Raymond’s origins as a dry community Knightville (aka Knightsville), Utah; Spring Canyon (aka Storrs), Utah; and Raymond, Alberta, Canada all owe their existence to Jesse Knight. Knight was a wealthy miner/industrialist from Utah and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Though he used different methods to achieve it, all three […]

  • Historic population trends of Canadian Mormon settlements

    Between the 1880s and 1930s, Mormon settlers created approximately 20 communities in Alberta, Canada. Some were founded at the direction of authorities from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (ie. Stirling, Magrath, Cardston) while others were founded by members of the church and established in the pattern typical of Mormon settlement (ie. Raymond, […]

  • The Mormon Landscape in Southern Alberta

    One of the core books on Mormon settlement is The Mormon Landscape by Richard Francaviglia. It examines the distinctive patterns used by Mormons in settling the Western United States. In his research, he examined hundreds of settlements across the intermountain west looking for features that were common to places settled by Latter-day Saints and he […]

  • What motivated Jesse Knight to establish Raymond and build a sugar factory in Canada?

    In early 1901, Jesse Knight, a wealthy Mormon businessman from Utah, travelled by rail across an empty prairie in Canada’s Northwest Territory. As he looked out the window of the train near present-day Raymond, Alberta, Canada, he said could visualize a fine settlement there.1 Over the next twelve years, Knight invested heavily in the region. […]

  • Picturesque Cardston and Environments

    Over the years I have collected a stack of books and a folder of PDFs about the history of the Mormon communities of Southern Alberta. Some I’ve read, others I refer to and the rest are on my “to read” list. As I was looking through some files that I recently received, I came across this […]

  • The History of Mormon Settlements in Canada

    I grew up in Stirling, Alberta, Canada. It is one of many communities in a region now known as Canada’s Mormon Trail. The area was settled in the late 19th and early 20th century by Mormon immigrants coming from the Western United States. It wasn’t until I lived outside of the “Trail” that I started […]