140th anniversary of the North-West Mounted Police

The North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) were established by a act passed by the Dominion of Canada on May 23, 1873 to serve the Northwest Territories. Their formation was prompted by the need to stop liquor trafficking from the United States and the need for the government to establish their presence in the Northwest Territories. The Force came into existence on August 30, 1873, when the the act was brought into effect.

The old St. Albert NWMP barracks in the early 1900s.

St. Albert acquired a detachment of the NWMP in 1888, including the construction of the St. Albert NWMP barracks on St. Anne Street.

The NWMP earned an honourable reputation in the St. Albert area. In 1892, the detachment added to their barracks with the purchase of an adjacent lot from David Chevigny. The recommendation made by the Minister of Public Works to purchase the site from David Chevigny can be seen at: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/orders/001022-119.01-e.php?&sisn_id_nbr=49482&page_sequence_nbr=1&interval=20

The skating rink located on St. Anne Street, ca. 1920-1940.  The former NWMP barracks in the background was used as a place to change skates and to warm up.

The police detachment was closed around 1908 and the barracks became the town office, most likely due to St. Albert’s proximity to the new headquarters in Edmonton, and due to St. Albert becoming a town in 1904 and hiring its own municipal constable.

Alfred Arcand, who came west with the North West Mounted Police and settled in the St. Albert area in 1880. Seen here in a new RCMP uniform for the Father Lacombe statue unveiling, September 1929.