Elnora’s pioneers were humble, hard-working people with a dream of a better life. From dairy, to breaking prairie and farming, cattle to trapping, Elnora grew from harsh, secluded, unbroken wilderness.
In 1906, Dan May homesteaded the present site of Elnora. In 1908, Elnora was named after Nora Edwards and Elinor Hogg, two of the first female pioneers in the area. They travelled together caring for the sick and acting as midwives. Groceries and supplies were shipped from Calgary to Innisfail, then by team and wagon, taking three-days. Houses and small businesses started to spring up in the area and School came to Elnora in 1907. In 1908, Mr. Edwards opened the Post Office and a Community Hall was built. It housed elections, dances, concerts and silent movies. The first telephone line came to town in 1911. In 1913, with two passenger trains a day, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad was built through the existing town site, thus founding Elnora. Elnora continued to grow when, neighbouring community, Lakeview’s store, creamery, boarding house, and rifle range were re-located to Elnora. The Village of Elnora saw its first Church Services in a poolroom and barber shop until a church was resurrected in 1914. The Women’s Institute was formed in 1915, and topics of conversation mirror that of today’s volunteers……How to Make a Better Elnora. 1916 the first grain elevator was constructed and the Elnora Advocate soon went into weekly production.
Elnora has housed fine china shops, printing shops, a saloon, affectionately, referred to as Bucket of Blood, lumber yard, Hospital, confectionary store, bakery, tailor, chop house, meat market, Doctors and more. The past 100-years have seen fire, and floods, freezing and drought, construction, changes and growth, and through it all there are special people and their families still here and have made Elnora what it is today.
If you are interested in the WHOLE story, Buried Treasures, Volume I & II, are available from the Village Office. To order, please call 403-773-3922.