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Hattonford Church

A New Historic Site For Alberta

1926 to 1965

You may be asking, “Is Hattonford a place?” The answer is yes, it is. Hattonford is small but certainly real. Today’s blog is about an old church in the Hattonford area. The church is called, “All Saints Anglican Church” but if you say that to one of the locals they may respond with, “never heard of it”. So while the more formal name is All Saints Anglican Church, we will just call it what the locals call it which is the Hattonford Church. But before we even get to the church, let’s just make sure that Hattonford is really a place.

This came from an the Edmonton Morning Bulletin published on Tuesday 1918-10-01. It’s a list of those who gave their lives in the Great War. It actually describes how the soldiers died; died of wounds, gassed, killed in action, accidentally killed, or wounded. I’ve highlighted in yellow R.I. Strachan, who died of wounds, because you can see that he was listed as being from Hattonford, Alberta. So yes, it was a place to hail from. A place that some soldiers (oh yes there was more than one) dreamed of returning to but sadly never did except perhaps to be buried. A place to farm and start a family. A part of the fabric of Alberta.

Before we put the identification of Hattonford behind us, I’ll also share what the book, “Place Names Of Alberta”, Volume III, Central Alberta, says. According to the book, “A post office operated here from April 1917 through August 1970, but the precise origin of the name is unknown”. So there you have it. Hattonford is, or at least was, a place. It’s located in west central Alberta, in the general area of Wildwood. In 2022 Sandra Bowie sent the following comment.

This church was built on land donated by Arthur Onslow Ford which is my husband’s grandfather. We last visited the area in 2004 for the Hattonford reunion. The Hatton’s and the Ford’s were some of the first homesteaders in the area. Many of the Ford siblings applied for homestead grants in Hattonford in the 1910s and 1920s. Francis Ford and his mother Mary Ford are buried in the cemetery.

Sandra Bowie

The outside of this church makes me think of an old English cottage. Perhaps that’s why it was being considered for designation as a historic site. Actually, not just considered but accepted.

A regional newspaper article dated 2020-09-07 that discusses the historical designation. This is from page eight of The Weekly Anchor, a newspaper for Yellowhead County. Soon there will be a place at the website for The Alberta Heritage Survey Program as entry number HS 104311. It is already there but when I last checked there were no images. The historians that work for the Province and contribute to that site provide the following description of the old church’s historical significance.

Mr. A. O. Ford donated the plot of land after years of church services being held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. F.J. Cundict, and later at Beaver Meadow School. With a grant of $25 and with funds raised by the Anglican Church Women’s Auxiliary (with Mrs. Cundict as the president), volunteer labourers constructed the church under the supervision of carpenter, Edward Strudwick. Mr. Cundict made the pews, Mr. E. Cox and Mr. A. Williams made the font and hymn board, the Women’s Auxiliary raised funds to purchase the organ and from England, Mr. Cundict’s brother donated the altar linens. The first service was held on June 12, 1926, almost a year after the establishment of the Hattonford Cemetery. In 1928, a Confederation Room was added onto the Church. Many winter services were held in homes, as it was too cold to hold services in the church. It is documented that due to cold and snow and mud, more services were cancelled. By 1965 regular services at the Church ceased. In March 1972, the Hattonford Memorial Service took over the building. The All Saint’s Anglican Church is recognizable with it’s distinctive high pileted [sic] gabled roof and with it’s [sic] projecting bay modestly marked with simple red, yellow, and blue stained-glass windows.

Alberta Register of Historic Places

Now lets step inside and have a look around. No doubt that the first thing you will notice is that stained glass window. It’s interesting how it looks like painted wood on the outside, but definitely stained window from the inside.

Outside and across the road is the cemetery where many of the congregation lay in rest. Some markers are very old; just an old wooden cross, while others are marking more recent burials.

All Saints Anglican Church also known as Hattonford Church


Today’s blog would not be possible without the contributions or assistance of:

  • Donna Powell: A local lady who provided me with links and all sorts of information for this blog and especially the one about Donahoo School.
  • Dale Stewart: A fellow photographer who likes driving almost as much as I like being driven around. He discovered this church and returned to it for more images and to show it to me.
  • The Alberta Register of Historic Places, where I was able to obtain some of the historic details about this church.
  • The University of Calgary – Libraries and Cultural Resources, for making available many on-line old newspapers and books about small Alberta communities.
  • My wife, Evelyn for proof reading my blogs and removing the ever present errors and omissions.

Remember if you have any thoughts on this blog, have information or images that relate to the content, or just want to say that you enjoyed reading it, please comment below.

If you visit the structures shown in this blog, or any other old and potentially abandoned structure, please respect the landowners” rights and obtain their permission to access and photograph their structures. Always exercise caution when visiting abandoned buildings as there are potential dangers such as crumbling structures, deep wells hidden by grass, and even spores of mould in the air.


14 thoughts on “Hattonford Church

  1. It’s a very unusual stained glass window and you’re right in saying that it looks like painted wood from the outside. I particularly like the photo of the light reflected on that wonderful wooden ceiling. This one is a charmer!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting Marmic. I wonder if the reason the stained glass window hasn’t been vandalized is because it doesn’t look like stained glass? Hopefully it will be there and intact for a long time so others can enjoy seeing it and the warm light it casts on to the ceiling.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Constance Lawton January 14, 2021 — 8:56 pm

      The original stained glass window was stolen. This is a plexiglass, as it is too expensive to replace the stained glass to possibly have it stolen again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well it sure looks real from inside. Are you from the area? Do you recall when it was stolen?


  2. It is very disappointing that not only was the window taken but also the lectern, baptismal font, hymn board, wood heater and organ. Whomever was responsible even disassembled the alter and stole the lumber from that as well. One can only hope that there is some truth in the old saying “God will get you”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s terrible to hear. Theft and vandalizm have been a real problem for rural churches for many years. That’s the reason that I try to remain vague about the exact location of places that I write about. I’m aware of some churches that have valuable antiques. In such cases I leave out photos of the valuable items even though they make for fascinating stories. On average one or two rural historic building burn down each year. Not all can be proven as arson but they certainly were not lightening either. It’s a sad situation and one that greater minds than mine struggle to find a solution to.


  3. I thoroughly enjoyed your Blog on this church. Your pictures and write up were very well done. I wonder if the little outhouse is still out back? This church was built on land donated by Arthur Onslow Ford which is my husband’s grandfather. We last visited the area in 2004 for the Hattonford reunion. The Hatton’s and the Ford’s were some of the first homesteaders in the area. Many of the Ford siblings applied for homestead grants in Hattonford in the 1910s and 1920s. Francis Ford and his mother Mary Ford are buried in the cemetery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sandra for commenting. Once of the best rewards of writing these blog posts is when I hear from people with connections to the places and people I wrote about. If it’s okay with you I’d like to quote part of your comment in the blog.


      1. Yes, please do!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am sorry to say that I made a mistake in the naming of Hattonford. After talking with more relatives, the correct story is that a name was required for the new post office once the road was cut thru to Niton. On page 28 of the book “Bridging the Years” (1982), it talks about deciding to name it Strachanford after the Strachans and the Fords but there was a misinterpretation in Edmonton and somehow they came up with the name Hattonford. This would have taken place sometime between 1914 and 1916.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you for the correction Sandra.


  4. What a cute little church Glen. And in such good shape. That stained glass window may be simple but what a bright spot. Not sure if you noticed the spelling of the place name under your last photo differs from the rest. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Allan. I doubt if there is a single blog with no typing errors. I can proof read it a hundred times and still gloss over the error. Missing words are the worst problem. Usually I catch the spelling problems. I’m out of town visiting family but I will fix it soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries. My editor sits at the breakfast table with me, so I know I have to try harder when I proof before post. Enjoy your family time and Easter. 🐰🐣🐥

        Liked by 1 person

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