Edmonton

Place name: Edmonton

Name Origins: Commemorative

Feature Type (Year Approved): City (1795)

Definition: Greater London, 1086. "Farmstead of a man called Ēadhelm". Source: A Dictionary of British Place Names, 2011.

"Edmonton was first recorded in Domesday Book, as ‘Adelmetone’, which had been a farmstead belonging to a man named Ēadhelm. At this time it was the smallest of the hundreds (administrative areas) of Middlesex, but nevertheless encompassed Enfield, Tottenham and South Mimms. Woodland covered much of the district and pig-keeping was the main form of agriculture." Source: Hidden London

Cultural Affiliation: British

Gender: Male

Naming Edmonton: From Ada to Zoie

Naming Edmonton, From Ada to Zoie contains a feature story 'Edmonton' on pp. 87. That story is reproduced in full below:

Edmonton is one of the oldest areas of "European" settlement in what is now the province of Alberta. Fort Edmonton was established in 1795 as a fur trade post of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). It was built as part of the HBC's western expansion during its competition for trade and influence with the rival firm, the North West Company (NWC). For Edmonton was named for the English birthplace of Sir James Winter Lake. He was present at the meeting of the governors of the HBC when it was decided to establish a fort on the North Saskatchewan River.

The first Fort Edmonton was built some 32 kilometres further down the North Saskatchewan from the current city, across the river from present-day Fort Saskatchewan [note: according to the Saskatchewan entry in Naming Edmonton (pp. 231) Saskatchewan is derived from a Cree word, kis-is-ska-tche-wan*, meaning 'swift current']. For mutual protection, it was built in close proximity to the NWC's post, Fort Augustus, constructed earlier that same year. For a number of reasons, including the lack of readily available firewood and threats by local Aboriginal groups, both companies abandoned this site in 1801 and moved to what is now Rossdale, in downtown Edmonton. They stayed at this site for nine years and then, in 1810, moved to a spot at the confluence of the North Saskatchewan River and White Earth Creek, about 15 kilometres east of the town of Smokey Lake, northeast of present day Edmonton. A number of forts, including NWC's Fort Augustus and the HBC's Fort Edmonton were relocated to this site. The forts shared the same stockade and were known as the Lower Terre Blanche Houses [French: White Earth House].

Another move occurred in the winter of 1813 - 1814, when this location was abandoned in favour of the site where the Rossdale Power House [Edmonton Maps Heritage notes that the site of Fort Edmonton is an First Nations burial site] now is situated. The third Forts Edmonton and Augustus became Fort Edmonton after 1821, when the two companies merged under the HBC banner. Following the flood in 1825, Chief Factor John Rowland decided to rebuild further above the flats. In 1830, the fortified trading post was located just below the present-day Provence of Alberta's Legislature Buildings in Edmonton. The last buildings of this fort were demolished in 1915.

With the influx of settlers in the late 1800's, and its historical significance as a "gateway to the north", Edmonton prospered. In 1892 it was officially made a town and in October 1904 it was given the status of a city. Because of its geographically central location and its political influence and connections, in 1906 Edmonton became the capital of the newly created province of Alberta.

The name "Edmonton" is derived from the Ango-Saxon Christian name Ēadhelm and "tun" or "ton", which means "field" of "enclosure".

*The Cree Syllabics are ᑭᓯᐢᑳᒋᐊᐧᓂ ᓰᐱ and the transliteration is kisiskâciwani-sîpiy.

Source: On-line Cree Dictionary

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