403-752-3322 contact@raymond.ca

History of Raymond

History of

The 1st






History of Raymond

Historic Context Paper
In 2014 a Historic Context Paper was developed by the consulting firm Donald Luxton and Associates and the Historical Resources Committee of the Town to identify locations of both provincial and municipal significance. It provides an in-depth history of the Town and highlights many cultural and societal elements that existed in our community and played an integral role in our development since 1901.
This document was awarded the Municipal Heritage Preservation Award from Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. It was recognized as being one of the most complete and thorough documents produced by a municipality in Alberta and the Committee was recognized for its “exemplary commitment to heritage conservation through the identification, protection and promotion of their historic places.”
The Historical Resource Committee members were Chair Cathy Needham, Jack Stone, Keith Hancock, Ross Jensen, Richard Kiddle and Stewart Foss.

Home of the 1st Stampede

The Town of Raymond is known as being the home of the first stampede in Canada. The 1st rodeo was held on July 1, 1902 and has been held on that date ever since. 
This interview was produced by Kyle Bullock and published on August 3, 2012.  Since that time, Alan Heggie, Bill Nalder and Duke Helgerson have passed away. We are grateful for their willingness to share their memories of our communities history so that they can be remembered for generations to come.

LDS Settlement

The Town of Raymond was settled by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1901.  The Church of Jesus Christ played a pivotal role in Raymond’s early history, influencing aspects such as town planning, immigration, commercial development, religious groups, community associations, health, and education. 

The Church has produced a video on the settlement of the community and can be found by clicking here.

Japanese Settlement

One of the largest and most enduring immigrant groups to settle in Raymond were the Japanese. Young men comprised the first Japanese immigrants to move to the town, drawn by the prospect of jobs associated with the construction and operation of the Knight Sugar Factory. Ichiro Hayakawa was hired by Knight to recruit labour workers to break land for the factory in early 1903, which resulted in an influx of Japanese settlers, mostly of the Judo Shinshu Buddhist faith and they quickly became an integral part of the community. Once the factory was constructed, this work labour force worked in the sugar beet fields as well as the factory. In 1929, they purchased the building previously used by the Church of Jesus Christ for use as a temple, school and a meeting place. In 1932, a co-operative store, called the Kobai Kumiai, was established in the building which provided staple products to generate revenue to support the temple. The co-op operated until the 1990’s. The local Buddhist community grew dramatically after the evacuation of Japanese people from coastal British Columbia during the Second World War. A large ornate Buddhist alter was donated to the Raymond sanctuary by a British Columbia-based temple in 1946.

A documentary on the Japanese Canadians and Alberta Sugar Beets. This documentary stems from a bus tour of Southern Alberta that was organized by the Nikkei National Museum in the fall of 2019, and was created by Kenji Dyck and produced by David Iwaasa and the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) in partnership with the Nikkei National Museum.

Labour shortages associated with the war effort resulted in the establishment of work programs to aid local farmers. This practice occurred with Raymond’s sugar beet farms. Following the war, many previously interned Japanese families chose to permanently remain in Raymond. Early families typical rented property until enough funds could be secured to purchase the property outright. Unlike other towns, Raymond’s Japanese community did not establish and enclave in the community but were present throughout. This noteworthy early Raymond immigrant population shaped the community through the establishment of numerous commercial businesses to serve locals as well as themselves, and through the purchase and renovation of Raymond’s first school to a Buddhist Church. The building hosted numerous internationally respected Buddhist spiritual leaders and members of the Raymond Buddhist community assumed leadership roles within the larger provincial and national Buddhist organizations. In 2006, the Buddhist community relocated their temple to Lethbridge, taking most of the interior decorations and ritual objects with them. The Raymond Buddhist Temple was the first in Alberta and prior to the temple’s relocation, it was the oldest continually used Buddhist sanctuary in Canada.
Information retrieved from the Heritage Resources Management Information System website, part of Canada’s Historic Places Initiative.

Sporting Legacy

The following is a 5 part series written by Laureen Heggie that was featured in the Westwind Weekly Newspaper in late 2011 through early 2012.
It provides an interesting summary of Raymond’s sporting history through the eyes of some of Raymond’s influential past and present coaches and players and helps to explain Raymond’s unique sporting mentality.

Raymond Remembered

Raymond Remembered, was developed by the History 
Book Committee of the Town and was published in 1993 and comprises 14 historical chapters, plus a major family history section and a cross-referenced listing of all individuals and families whose biographical information was submitted for inclusion. (718 pages)
Hardbound copies can be purchased at the Town office for $20/book while supplies last.

Raymond’s Veterans

Our finest daughters and sons served in both World Wars and fought with distinction and humility for our freedom and way of life. Of the 276 who served in the armed forces from our region during those years, 27 did not come home. We will be forever grateful for their service and shall remember with humble pride their lives and their memories. 
This interview was produced by Kyle Bullock and was originally published on October 26, 2012 and shown during our annual Remembrance Day Ceremony. The video was re-edited and published again on February 28, 2017. Music by: Bensound.com.
Since that time, Jack Mcclain has passed away. We are grateful for their willingness to share their memories of our their service and of our communities history so that they can be remembered for generations to come.
We shall never forget!

Contact Us

  Box 629                                                                                    210 N 200 W                                                      Raymond, Alberta T0K 2S0                                        Ph: 403-752-3322                                                        Fax: 403-752-4379


Stay Connected

Register with us to receive updates on local news and events from Town of Raymond, Alberta

Community Calendar

Loading… Loading…

List of Events