Collection QTN - Queenstown collection

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Queenstown collection

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on content of collection.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1887 - ? (Collection)
    Milo Library Archives
  • 1887 - ? (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

38 cm of textual records. – ca 100 photographs. – 1 object.

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Custodial history

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Around 1887, an Irish surveyor planned to organize a colonization company in the Snake Valley, and he named his chosen site Queenstown, after his birthplace in Ireland. Of the 3 settlers who came with him in 1889, only Mr William Brown stayed in the area. By 1907, he and his family had been joined by several other homesteaders, including Willard F. Durston, Nels Nelson and Peder Solis, and within a year there was an official Post Office and the area’s first school, Queenstown School District #1798.

When the railway came through the area in 1926, the CPR was unable to make a deal with the landowner of their preferred depot location. The station was instead built a few miles north and west of the existing school, and the community that sprang up beside it became the village of Queenstown. The school building was moved to the south edge of the town site and expanded to two rooms, and by 1931 the population of the ‘unincorporated hamlet’ had grown to 125. The streets were graded and in good condition, and amenities included restaurants, hardware and general stores; a hotel, barber shop, bank, and butcher; garage, lumber yard, and implement dealership. The post-war years saw the addition of several shops and services, including a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and a small community lending library. An important contributor to the town and the surrounding area was the Queenstown Seed Cleaning Plant, which opened in 1960.

When Queenstown School closed in 1952, much of the town’s industry relocated to Milo and other communities. A few businesses struggled on, but within a decade they, too, had closed. While some of the buildings were repurposed, such as the Bank building which was moved to Rocky Buttes to serve as a school room, Queenstown’s main street became a virtual ghost town. The abandoned buildings fell into a state of such disrepair, in 1971 the Women’s Institute petitioned Vulcan County to see to their demolition. A large hole was dug and the smaller buildings were bulldozed into it, and then burned. The larger buildings along Main Street were burned, with their rubble then bulldozed into the hole. The grain elevators remained in use until rail service was discontinued in the late 1990s; the Queenstown Seed Cleaning Plant continued operating in its original facility until it was rebuilt near Milo in 1993.

The collection consists of minute books, correspondence, financial information, photographs, a hand-drawn map, a photocopied 1931 insurance survey map and report regarding the village of Queenstown.

The collection has been divided into the following series: Community Hall, Hotel, School, Seed Cleaning Plant, Women’s Institute, Maps.

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