The History of Granum Alberta

To this date, Granum Alberta has maintained its Town status and is officially the smallest designated Town in the province of Alberta.

From “Leavings by TRAIL, Granum by RAIL.”

Originally, The Leavings was the site on Willow Creek west of Pultney siding where the Bull-team Freighters stopped for water and to unload freight. Bull teams consisted of eight span or 16 oxen yolked together and pulling three freight wagons linked by sturdy chains. The leads wagon carried about three tons. The second carried half as much and the last one was loaded with the camp equipment and some cargo. From The Leavings they left the creek and proceeded north, Fort Calgary bound.

Apparently, this stopping place was abandoned with the coming of the railway. A location between Fort Macleod and Claresholm on the rail was then given the name Leavings.

Our recorded history of the first Leavings begins with an interesting little newspaper. On February 3, 1875 the North West Mounted Police in pursuit of a notorious criminal, J. B. Weatherwax, spent a night at The Leavings.

With the completion of the C.P.R. line from Fort Macleod to Calgary in 1893 an influx of settlers was anticipated. However, we read of a depression in the 1890’s with a severe drought in the early part of the decade. Economic conditions had improved by 1898 and one of the wettest periods in the history of the district was welcomed.

A few settlers had located ranches in the foothills to the west but it was not until the turn of the century that the homesteaders surged into Leavings.

Many came with their family and worldly possessions crowded into a covered wagon. Behind trailed the weary livestock. Those who came by trail knew they had arrived at their destination when they saw the word “Leavings” painted on a plank nailed to a pole. One little boxcar stood beside the track to serve as a station.

By 1905 Leavings had reached the status of requiring a newspaper to keep abreast of the times.’ The Leavings Star’ was born.

By 1906 the homesteaders were breaking sod and producing rewarding crops. Leavings shipped 350,000 bushels of grain that year. In 1907 they shipped 500,000 bushels.

The town was well established by the year of 1907 when it was suggested by Malcolm McKenzie, first M.L.A. to be elected for the area after the province was formed in 1905, that the name be changed from Leavings to Granum. The Latin word “granum” meaning grain was a very appropriate name for this town. On October 1, 1907 the name was officially changed.

It was in 1910 the “Leaders of Leavings” achieved their goal. The Town of Granum was incorporated. It had grown to full maturity- to serve a most flourishing community.