The beginning ...
In 1883, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) stopped to build a bridge across the South Saskatchewan River and a tent town was born. With the arrival of the railroad came the Northwest Mounted Police. They maintained law and order among the railway workers and First Nation’s people of the area and made Medicine Hat a law-abiding town.
In the CPR’s search for water, their drills accidentally struck gas west of the town, heralding the exploration that mapped out one of the largest gas fields in North America. In the latter part of 1903, City Council embarked on a program to supply all residents with gas, the beginning of a City-owned utility. In 1906, Medicine Hat was incorporated as a City.
Did you know ... Since the turn of the century, Medicine Hat's own gas fields have supplied the traditional gas lamps that continue to light the historic downtown district.
Other historical highlights
In 1905, Alberta was incorporated as a province and Medicine Hat was the largest community in southeastern Alberta. Its residents were using natural gas as an inexpensive source of energy.
The Medicine Hat Regional Airport’s current configuration was initially established by the Department of National Defence. It was originally set up as a Commonwealth Air Training Base and opened March 14, 1941. The #34 Service Flying Training School trained over 3000 airmen during the three and a half years the school was in operation. In 1947, the Department of National Defence transferred ownership of the airport to the City of Medicine Hat and continues to be owned today.