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Botha Mercantile


Other Names:
Botha General Store and Cafe

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Heritage Value

Character-Defining Elements


Street Address:
Community: Botha
Boundaries: Plan 8385 T, Block 3, Lots 7 to 10
Contributing Resources:

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
5 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
8385 T
8385 T
8385 T
8385 T

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
52.308015 -112.523171 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Registered Historic Resource Rescinded
Date of Designation: 2002/03/27

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Current Function(s):

The Village of Botha was established by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in 1909 as a station stop on its branch line running from Lacombe through Stettler, Castor and Coronation. According to the Botha assessment rolls, the Botha Mercantile Building was erected in 1909, two years prior to Botha being incorporated as a village. It originally housed a hardware store operated by Lou Bastler, and a general store operated by E.H. Prudden. According to the signage on the front of the store, the Prudden Mercantile Company specialized in dry goods, groceries, crockery, furniture, drugs, boots, shoes and gents furnishings. The hardware store later managed by W.F. Eyestone, also carried such items as buggies harness and fan mills.

E.H. Prudden was one of the first businessmen in Botha and he also operated a store in the nearby community of Red Willow. He operated his businesses in partnership with his sons until 1928 when his eldest son Willis died. Prudden then went into partnership with a Jim Gibson. Subsequent owners of the business included Gibson, Joe Johnson, and the Grove brothers.

The Mercantile Building was the oldest store and is the oldest surviving commercial building in Botha. Constructed during the first flush of optimism concerning Botha's prospects as a rural service centre, it is typical of the early business history of the region. Like most country general stores, it served as a social and community centre as well as a place to purchase necessary goods. The Botha Mercantile Building reflects the early settlement history of east central Alberta, the development of communities by railway companies on their branch lines, and the role of early businessmen in supplying local farm populations with the wide variety of consumer products area residents had come to demand by 1909.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0630
Designation File: DES 1613
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 1613)
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