Caroline

Settlement

Caroline_na_1869_10_thuIn the early days, it was believed that Caroline was the scene of many buffalo hunts. In 1904, settlers began to arrive and settle the land. In 1908, H. A. Langley settled near the South of the Raven River where he opened the first store and post office. The post office was named after his only daughter, Rebecca Caroline Langley. The village later became known as Caroline as people addressed their mail with the name. The store was to become the focal point for the community. In the 1940s, cash was still rare and people traded with the store by bartering fur, eggs, butter and lumber among other things.
 
caroline_env1_16_thuThe government and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) began to advertise the land between Calgary and Edmonton. Many settlers arrived and set up tents, underground dugouts, log houses and shacks. caroline_env1_3_thuThe clearing of land, which was covered with poplar and willow trees, was done by ox and saw. In 1954, electricity came to the village. On January 30, 1952, Caroline became a village.
 
 

BEFORE WWII

Caroline_na_5623_31_thuThe first telephone service was installed in 1909 and consisted of a line on the fence posts. In 1954 running water and electric power came to Caroline.

caroline_env1_12_thuThe settlers had a few forms of recreation which were dances, feasts, bachelor banquets, ball games and the Caroline Literary Society. Caroline had many businesses such as a blacksmith shop, pool hall, bakery, hotel, Imperial Oil dealership, service station and truck service, lumberyard and meat shop. 
 

WWII and After

caroline_env1_21_thuIn 1942, the Alberta Treasury Branch opened the first financial office in Caroline. Many of the young men in the community left to fight in WWII. These men went on to become fighter pilots and navy men. In 1947, the first bar opened. In 1949, the first telephone office was opened. In the 1950s, 17 wells had been drilled in the village.
 
caroline_env1_13_thuIn 1986 the largest sour gas discovery in Alberta was made in the Caroline area. The construction of the Caroline gas plant started in the spring of 1968. The development of ht Caroline Swan Hills Gas Field contributed greatly to growth in the area. Numerous sawmills and logging outfits were located in and around Caroline, with many landowners clearing farmland and operating their own lumber mills.

 

Present-Day Caroline - "A Community of Choices"

The village of Caroline is situated in a rolling farming and ranching area with a population of approximately 556 people. Traditionally, forestry has been the mainstay of the local economy. Recently, oil and gas production has become more important to the area. Mixed farming and ranching remain the most abundant agricultural activities. Today, logging in the area is on a bigger scale with heavy loads being trucked both east and west. Economic activity in the area includes agriculture, mixed farming and ranching to small business, retail stores, oil and gas spin-off services, tourism spin-off services, trucking and freight and forestry.
 
The Wigglesworth Pole Yard operated from 1947-1953 and was a huge operation that included the harvesting of trees as well as peeling and treating the poles for use as telephone and electrical poles. The Pole Yard employed hundreds of local men and supplied all of southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan.
 
Recreation and tourism is increasingly becoming significant to the local economy. Caroline had many amenities for visitors such as accommodations, restaurants, gas and service stations, grocery and baking, camping supplies and sporting goods. Caroline is also home to the Kurt Browning Arena, which houses "Kurt's Korner" - a collection memorabilia from the Browning's ice skating career.