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The Fort Edmonton Park Project

Fort Edmonton


In March of 2001, our friends at the National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA)referred a request to us. Sharon Abbot from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, had written to them requesting assistance with a unique venture. Sharon is a member of a group that is planning a new area for the Fort Edmonton Park.


Sharon Abbot is currently doing research to create a 1920's era Mirror Maze and House of Horror, as well as painting horses for the carrousel. (Photo �2001 John Chalmers)


The History of Fort Edmonton Park

By: Rick Davis

Back in the 1960's, some area residents thought that a reconstruction of the old fort would be a valuable addition to the city. The first fort had been built in 1795, one of four to protect the area over the next century. City land was chosen in the river valley and construction began to recreate the fort as it appeared in 1846.
As time went by, more historic buildings were added to the park beginning with 1885 Street. The area was first homesteaded around 1870 and several of the surviving original houses are part of the park today. Some other buildings that still existed were brought to the site and others recreated; the bakery, general store, blacksmith, hotel, school, stable are also representative of the mid 1800's.
Later, 1905 Street was added with more period structures, including a trolley and train station. The most recent era recreated is 1929. Blatchford Field (where bush pilots once flew to Canada's northern regions) is represented with a period hanger to which they hope to add vintage airplanes.

Future Plans

The latest venture planned for the park is a 1920's era amusement midway representative of the Edmonton Exhibition. Sharon is part of the group working toward that goal. It consists of several committees including one that is raising money to build a carrousel. They have one carved horse completed, which Sharon painted and will soon have perhaps six horses completed in the fall.
Other committees will include games as well as a Mirror Maze and a House of Horrors. The later is where Sharon's committee comes in.
Fort Edmonton
Sharon requested DAFE's help in researching these two attractions. DAFE has been able to supply her with a few photographs of current mirror mazes as well as a few turn-of- the-century patents showing the layout of early mazes that aided her in creating a scale model mockup to present to her committee, but she still needs help.


Sharon is in need of photos or drawings, interior and exterior, of similar attractions as well as blueprints.
If you have any information that may be helpful in this project, please let us know. They hope to have the project completed in four to five years but they need to finish planning as soon as possible.

Fort Edmonton

Gustav Castan, of Berlin, Germany created this early mirror maze in 1895.

This article ©2001 Rick Davis and used with permission.
Photo ©2001 John Chalmers and used with permission.
©2001 Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts.