History

Our Heritage

Over one hundred years ago, the first homestead in the Two Hills area was registered by Tom Watt, a veteran of the Canadian Militia. For the next decade other settlers were primarily English speaking, but at the turn of the 20th century, immigrants from central and eastern Europe arrived and changed the cultural heritage of Two Hills forever.

With the coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1927, the Hamlet of Two Hills was established. Two Hills took its name from a nearby post office named after a well known landmark, two prominent hills, on the western outskirts of the community, and soon became the most important trading center on the Canadian Pacific Railway line between Edmonton and Lloydminster.

In 1926, the first business establishment, a restaurant, opened in Two Hills. The restaurant was operated by Adelard Desrosiers and served the busy construction crews who were extending the railway grade in the area. Elevator construction workers also frequented the eatery. Sometimes ninety to a hundred people were served in a single day. Another of the very first business establishments in the new hamlet was the Bank of Commerce, which set up a branch office in 1927. These and other businesses marked the beginning if the rapid expansion of the new hamlet. 1929 saw Two Hills' incorporation as a village, which meant that the residents of Two Hills now ran the administration of the village themselves.

Although Two Hills did experience a lot of growth during its early years, it also experienced many hardships, for example: four fires ravaged the village between 1929 and 1937. The 1930's also brought the Great Depression, which affected many families in the area and slowed down economic growth considerably. However, in 1939, the start of the Second World War caused farm produce prices to skyrocket, improving the economy of Two Hills significantly. In 1955, twenty nine years after the Hamlet of Two Hills was established, Two Hills achieved Town status. The next decades saw the steady growth of the town, which has slowed down somewhat in the past twenty years as the age of the population has increased.

On August 23, 1992, we witnessed a historical event: the unveiling of two lifelike statues in the newly constructed Two Hills Heritage Park. The statues were donated by the Dowhaniuk family, former residents of Two Hills. Hand carved by John Weaver, the statues serve as a tribute to the grandparents and parents of the Dowhaniuk family, but also to all pioneers of the Two Hills area, Alberta and Canada.

More recently, in 2002, the Town celebrated its 75th birthday.

Two Hills Heritage Park (2004)

This history is taken from "Down Memory Trails: A History of Two Hills and Surrounding Area", published by the Two Hills Historical Society in 1986. The book is a complete account of the area's history, and contains many engaging articles for anyone interested in learning more about our history. It is available at the Alice Melnyk Public Library and the Town Office for viewing.