“Alberta Temple, Village of Stirling Receive Historic Designation,” Ensign, Dec. 1995, 72
Alberta Temple, Village of Stirling Receive Historic Designation
The Alberta Temple, the first Latter-day Saint temple built outside the United States, has been named a Canadian national historic site. The temple is the first of two LDS sites honored by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. The village of Stirling was also honored.
During the ceremony, Elder Ted E. Brewerton of the Seventy observed that “this sacred edifice was erected [in 1923] with great love, sacrifice, and ingenuity. It was done to glorify God and to permit others to partake of unchanging, sacred ordinances that have eternal significance.”
Elder Brewerton said that the Alberta Temple is one of forty-seven temples now functioning throughout the world; ten more temples are under construction.
Trudy Cowan, vice president of the Canadian Historic Sites board, conducted the ceremony; she was instrumental in getting the Alberta Temple designated as a historic site. While on vacation in 1989, she saw “this magnificent building on a hill.” When she discovered it wasn’t a historic site but that it fit criteria to become one, she began the proceedings.
The designation of the village of Stirling as a place of national historic significance to Canada has also been in the making since 1989. Many areas across the prairies were examined for evidence of distinctive settlement patterns, and three were chosen for the designation—a Ukrainian settlement in Gardenton, Manitoba; a Mennonite settlement in New Bergthal, Manitoba; and a dryland LDS settlement in Stirling.
Many Alberta towns were considered, explained Stirling village administrator Scott Barton, but Stirling was the best preserved of Alberta’s Latter-day Saint agricultural villages. The village is organized closely following the organizational model of LDS villages known as the “Plat of Zion,” which is characterized by wide streets, large lots, and farmhouses and yards facing the street.