Stirling Agricultural Village

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Stirling Agricultural Village
Entrance to Stirling, Alberta - Tourist info. Kiosk.JPG
Replica pioneer home and Bishop's Storehouse to the left
EtymologyJohn A. Stirling
LocationVillage of Stirling, Alberta, Canada
Area2.64 km2 (1.02 sq mi)
Elevation935 m (3,068 ft)
Founder-Theodore Brandley
-LDS Church
ArchitectTheodore Brandley
Architectural style(s)-Plat of Zion
Governing bodyStirling - Village Council
Important eventsStirling Settler Days
WebsiteVillage of Stirling

Stirling Agricultural Village is a National Historic Site of Canada, and was listed as one of only three communities in Canada designated as a National Historic Site[citation needed] because of the community’s well preserved settlement pattern that follows the Plat of Zion model.[1] The Michelsen Farmstead was the focus of the community, and is now a totally restored museum, listed as a Provincial Historic Site in 2001.[2] The Galt Historic Railway Park is another popular museum located in this historic site.


1938 Parade float celebrating Stirling Settler Days, commemorating the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. The 2nd LDS chapel in the background.

Stirling was founded on May 5, 1899 by Theodore Brandley. The village was one of two communities that owed its existence to a partnership between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Charles A. Magrath of the North Western Coal and Navigation Company,[3] and is one of only three communities designated as a National Historic Site of Canada. Stirling was named after John A. Stirling, Managing Director of The Trusts, Executors and Securities Corporation of London, which owned shares in the Alberta Coal and Railway Company.

After arriving at the Stirling siding, Theodore Brandley quickly started planning the lay-out of the village. The townsite was made up of one square mile (640 acres), then divided into lots of 10 acres (40,000 m2); each with a surveyed road around the entire area with a lane running north and south, dividing it into two parcels. The parcels were then again divided, east and west, making four lots, each 2.5 acres (10,000 m2), giving the residents room to build homes, barns and shelters for animals, with large gardens. Theodore planned the townsite after the Plat of Zion,[4] which Stirling still follows today, and is recognized as the most well-preserved, Canadian example of the Plat of Zion. For this reason, Stirling is known as Stirling Agricultural Village[5]

Museums and attractions[edit]

Michelsen Farmstead a Provincial Historic Site of Alberta & museum, located in the village.

On the east entrance of Main Street is a newly built Information Kiosk made to replicate that of an older Victorian style Pioneer home found throughout Stirling and area. In the kiosk are historical markers and a map that shows many sites of interest throughout the National Historic Site of Stirling.[6]


Local attractions[edit]


  • Victoria Day at the Galt Historic Railway Park (May 24), visitors get guided tours of the Galt train station, build kites and participate in other activities.
  • Stirling Community Garage Sale (Saturday of Victoria Day weekend), community garage sale held by the Stirling Historical Society.
  • Lions Community BBQ (June), community BBQ held at the Stirling Lions Hall.
  • Stirling Settler Days (July), After Stirling's founding on May 5, 1899, July 24, previously known as "Pioneer Day" & now called "Stirling Settler Days", was celebrated to mark the Mormon pioneers arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.
  • Stirling Fall Festival (September), held at the grounds of the Michelsen Farmstead each year. Visitors get to make rope, stick dolls, and dipped candles, there are also wagon rides as well as kiddie games.
  • Harvest Dance (October), also held at the Michelsens farmstead, Old-fashioned Barn dance.
  • Stirling Haunted Mansion (October), located in the William Ogden House, also known as the largest haunted house in Southern Alberta.
  • Victorian Prairie Christmas (November), an old-fashion Victorian Christmas party held at the Galt Historic Railway Park Station.
  • Lions Christmas Dinner (November), a community dinner with traditional home cooking.
  • Santa Claus Mansion (December), held at the William Ogden House in conjunction with the village's Christmas lights tour.
  • Christmas Lights tour (December), held in conjunction with the Santa Claus Mansion to view citizen's Christmas light displays.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parks Canada (June 2007). "Village of Stirling National Historic Site". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
  2. ^ Village of Stirling. "Michelsen Farmstead". Retrieved 2007-11-13.
  3. ^ North Western Coal and Navigation Company[dead link] Retrieved on 2007-08-02
  4. ^ Plat Zion of the city of Zion, by Joseph Smith. Retrieved on 2007-08-02
  5. ^ Parks Canada Village of Stirling National Historic Site of Canada Archived 2011-02-13 at WebCite, Parks Canada, accessed 2008-02-26.
  6. ^ Parks Canada-Village of Stirling "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2007-11-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Galt Historic Railway Park
  8. ^ Michelsen Farm "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-03-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ William T. Ogden House Stirling Haunted Mansion. Retrieved on 2007-08-02
  10. ^ William T. Ogden House Lost Frontier Mini-Railway. Archived 2011-05-23 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2007-08-02

External links[edit]