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Key Number: HS 44393
Site Name: Police Post, Writing on Stone Provincial Park
Other Names:
Site Type: 1311 - Governmental: Police Station or Post


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
1 13 4

Address: N/A
Number: N/A
Street: N/A
Avenue: N/A
Near Town: Coutts


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape: Rectangular
Storeys: Storeys: 1
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Wood
Superstructure: Horizontal Finished Log
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Medium Gable
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes:
Exterior: Porch, front and back.
Interior: N/A
Environment: At mouth of Police Coulee on bank of Milk River and to west of Police Creek at Writing on Stone. Location, at mouth of Police Coulee on Milk River, Writing on Stone Park.
Condition: Restored. Apparently all that remains is the foundations, basements and depressions left by buildings and sheds. Reports indicate that some building materials (nails and poles) and parts of a stove have been recovered or observed at this site. It should be noted that stone building materials are also to be obserec here and the wooden remains of what may have been the casing around a well. Archaeological fieldwork including some excavation was carried out at this site.
Alterations: N/A


Construction: Construction Date:
Usage: Usage Date:
N.W.M.P. Post
Owner: Owner Date:

Architect: N/A
Builder: N.W.M.P.
Craftsman: N/A
History: 1889 - house 24' x 18, lean to kitchen, good cellar, stable 30' x 18', hay corral 55' x 40'. 1890 - blacksmith shop 18' x 24'. addition to house 16' x 20', coal shed 10' x 12', corral 36' x 24' with shelter, storehouse 20' x 16' stone walls. 1893 - blacksmith's shop burns down. 1894 - blacksmith's shop rebuilt from scratch 24' x 22'. 1895 - sod and pole shelter for horses. 1901 - new hay corral built. 1908 - blacksmith shop washed away (in flood). Function, in early years frontier patrols, duties at, and concerning quarantine grounds. In later years border patrols, custom duties, preventive office regarding smuggling. Number of men stationed here ranged between one and ten. Continually manned from 1888 until 1977.
* * *
Burnt down ca 1920 after being in operation approximately thirty years, reconstruction begun by provincial parks for future interpretation purposes, in 1974 and still incomplete. At time of 1950 site inspection, only cellar pits and iron bedsteads still visible on flats. There was a stone salt or water trough in bushes.
* * *
N.W.M.P. from 'D' and 'K' divisions were first present at this site in 1887. Construction of permanent buildings was begun in 1889 when a corral, a stable and a house were erected. This was followed in 1890 by a blacksmith's shop, a leanto, a coal shed and another corral with adjoining shelter. During 1890 a 'stone storehouse' was also begun. During the years 1892-93 the interiors of these structures were improved and in the latter year a small building for the NCO was constructed. In Dec. of 1893 a fire destroyed the Blacksmith shop which was replaced in 1894. In 1895 a shelter for horses, a coal shed, and a root house were completed. 1806 saw a new foundation in the detachment house. Little building took place until repairs were made in 1916. In 1917 the post was abandoned and it burnt shortly thereafter. The post housed police officers concerned with border patrols and policing a quarantine grazing area located nearby. The post accomodated never more than 10 men and their livestock. The names of the men stationed at W.O.S. may be seen scratched into the rock near the site.


Status: Status Date:

Designation Status: Designation Date:
(not assigned)

Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1991/03/13


Alberta Register of Historic Places:
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