Main content of the website

History & Museum

Incorporated as a village in 1904 and, as a Town in 1981, the Town of Bowden celebrated its Centennial in 2004.

The area near Bowden was originally called Lone Pine for the well-known stopping place on the Calgary to Edmonton Trail. 

There are three possible versions for the origin of the name "Bowden". The first, and most widely accepted version, states that the name derived from a local surveyor who suggested his wife's maiden name for the town.

In 1875, the original C & E Trail was developed, and settlers began arriving to the Town.

The arrival of the Brewster family in 1887 as early homesteaders, led to the construction of Bowden's first hotel, "The Brewster House". This landmark drew others to the town and soon Bowden established itself as a stopover for Alberta travellers. 

The first passenger train service began in 1891, bringing more settlers to the area. 

The White Swan Creamery was constructed in 1895 and was destroyed by an explosion in 1935. 

A new school was completed, along with the first of three grain elevators however today neither of these buildings remain.

Telephones arrived in 1911. 

In 1916, a fire wiped out Railway Avenue from Hammond to Nanton Street (when the streets had names) . Another fire in 1925 destroyed most of the business area including many homes.

The first survey at Bowden's present site was completed in 1900, with a stated population of only 12. 

By 1906 however the population was recorded as 171.

By 2019 the population had grown to approximately 1240 residents..