Our 30th Anniversary and Book Launch Gala


Join the Highlands Historical Society on October 11, 2018 for a very special event as we celebrate our 30th Anniversary and launch our latest bookJames Bond Steele Diaries – The Daily Life of a One-Room Schoolteacher in Early Edmonton 1885-1891.”

 The event will be held at the Highlands Golf Course. Doors will open at 6:00 PM, followed by a delicious buffet dinner at 6:30. We have negotiated a special meal price with the Highlands Golf Course of $30 per person. After the meal, James Bond Steele, (who has graciously agreed to return from the Great Beyond for this special occasion) will regale us with his memories of what it was like to be a teacher in 19th century Edmonton.

The book will be available after the performance for $30 (are you seeing a pattern here?) payable by cash or cheque.


We will be drawing door prizes with one special prize going to the person with the best 1920’s costume so come dressed in your finery. Check out the following website to learn how to create easy vintage styles: https://vintagedancer.com/1920s/ . These images are from that site.


Tickets are available online via Eventbrite or by mailing a cheque to the address below. Tickets are limited so reserve your seat soon and join us in celebrating this special event!

Event Details:

When:   Thursday October 11, 2018. Doors open at 6pm, dinner at 6:30 pm.

Where: Highlands Golf Course, 6603 Ada Blvd NW, Edmonton, AB T5W 4N5. This                facility is wheelchair accessible by driving to the lower level beyond the                    parking lot.

Dress:   Business casual or 1920’s costumes.

Tickets: $30. Purchase your tickets online through Eventbrite or by mail. If paying by  mail, please send your cheque, name of guest(s) and contact information to the following address:

Highlands Historical Society Edmonton
PO Box 51066 RPO Highlands Edmonton, Alberta T5W 5G5.

Deadline: Tickets must be purchased by October 7th so don’t delay!

We look forward to seeing you at our celebration!


Speaker Series Worth a Listen



Dr. Rod MacLeod speaker on the History of Aviation in Edmonton

“We had a great turnout at our speaker event on June 5th” enthused Melanie Moore, board member and co-organizer of the Speaker Series, a popular speaking event where the Highlands Historical Society invites experts to speak on various topics. Dr. Rod MacLeod regaled the group with interesting anecdotes and little known facts about aviation in Alberta’s capital city.


For example, did you know that, in 1943, the Edmonton airport was the busiest one in the world? Apparently our early air traffic system was emulated around the world. Who knew?

The next Speaker Series event will be held at 7 pm on September 12th at the Highlands Library Activity Room. Guest speaker Kristine Reid, the Interpretive Center assistant for the Olde Towne Beverly Historical Society, will speak about Coal Mining in Beverly. Rumour has it that there may be other speakers present to add their unique perspective to the presentation.

Cost: $5 per person, but FREE for Highlands Historical Society members. We hope to see you there. The talks are worth a listen…


Walking & Bus Tours & Open Doors Launch a Success


Walking tours of the Highlands, as part of the Open Doors Festival in July, continue to be popular year after year. People are fascinated by the stories and the architecture of one of Edmonton’s premier historical communities.


This year, 20+ people joined Robyn Fowler, a board member of the Highlands Historical Society, as she pointed out special details and told the stories of the people who first settled the Highlands. For the first time we attempted to use a PA system but it failed us. In any case, Robyn’s experience as a teacher came through loud and clear. The weather alternated between sunshine and rain – lots of it – but that didn’t deter the group.

Those who booked the tour on the bus, however, didn’t have to worry about inclement weather. This sold-out tour was presented by Bill Pick and Dustin Jussila, also both Highlands Historical Society board members. We are indeed fortunate to have this bus free of charge thanks to Connelly Mckinley Funeral Homes as part of their community outreach. The HHS is responsible for paying the driver, splitting any money made with him or her. It’s a win-win situation for all.


Highlands Golf Course Personnel in all their Vintage golfwear finery

The Open Doors Festival was launched at our very own Highlands Golf Clubhouse. The event had the highest turnout ever for its official launch program. 154 people attended the celebration and enjoyed the delicious food prepared by Chef Vikram and his staff. Club historian (and long time Highlands resident) Ted Smith and Rob Lake, club president, gave a presentation on the history of the golf course. Everyone was impressed by their 1930’s golf attire, as shown in the photograph above. Johanne Yakula spoke about the HHS, – its beginnings, its mission and upcoming projects.

All in all, a great celebration. Until next year…


Highlands Lawn Bowling Club – 100 Years!



Lawn bowling has a long history in the Highlands. A photo exists from 1918 depicting a happy group of lawn bowlers on William Magrath’s lawn on Ada Boulevard. Magrath was co-owner of the Magrath-Holgate & Co. Ltd., the developer and builder of the Highlands subdivision in the early 20th century. Magrath was an avid sportsman, with particular interest in lawn bowling, curling and baseball.

The club recently celebrated 100 years of lawn bowling in Highlands.


The above photo shows a symbolic moment – the moment just before the celebration was to officially begin. Long time resident and board member of the  Highlands Historical Society, Cathy Chalmers, attended with her mom, a past resident of the Highlands.


Cathy reported that the lawn bowling club had a display of old photographs, trophies and even a plaque that her mom’s family had donated to the clubhouse in the 1930’s! A formal program was held with Kerry Diotte (MP) and Brian Mason (MLA) (seen in above photo) providing congratulations from the city and the province. Wine and cheese followed.


HHS president laurel Erickson with HHS member Helen Gillespie.

The event was well attended and current members encouraged any of those attending to try their hand at throwing a ball or two. They are working hard to get younger players involved in the sport. Hopefully they are successful and that there’s lawn bowling in the Highlands for another 100 years!

Highlands Golf Course Launch Site of 2018 Historic Festival and Open Doors Event


The Clubhouse overlooking the beautiful Highlands Golf Course

Join the Edmonton and District Historical Society on July 2 from 2 to 4 pm for the official launch of the 2018 Historic Edmonton Week. This event will take place at the Highlands Golf Course clubhouse located on 66 Street and Ada Boulevard. (Park in the parking lot then follow the stairs down to the clubhouse or follow the road on the left for wheelchair accessibility.)

Following the official launch proclamation declaring Historic Week to be open, there will be a talk on the colourful history of the golf course. Work started on the construction of the Highlands Golf course on May 7, 1929. A year later, in May 1930 the first 9 holes of the course was opened for play. Remnants of railway tracks and a coal mine are still visible on the course, evidence of the course’s past lives.

The Mayor at the time, Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury, emphasized that the course be available to people of modest means, not just the wealthy. Although today the golf course remains “members only,” the clubhouse and restaurant are open to non-members to enjoy.  Following this talk everyone is welcome to take in a short guided walking tour of the historic Highlands community, courtesy of the Highlands Historical Society.  It’s an event you don’t want to miss but you must preregister. Details are as follows:


This is a Free Event


July 1, 2018


Full Wheelchair Access




All Ages


6603 Ada Blvd.
Edmonton, AB

Pre-register by calling or emailing:

 Phone 780.686.6369
 Email events@historicedmonton.ca
 Website www.highlandsgolfclub.com