A Tale of Two Galts: The Story of Lethbridge

This video highlights the lives of Sir Alexander Galt and his eldest son, Elliott Galt. After years in politics and business and helping to found Canada as a Father of Confederation, rather than looking to retire, Sir Alexander Galt continued in the work that he thought was important in building a country. Believing that westward expansion was vital to stopping the Americans and knowing that a growing country needed coal, Galt worked with investors in England and eastern Canada to develop the North Western Coal and Navigation Company to mine coal in Lethbridge’s river valley. From this one company, a series of other companies would develop which would oversee coal mining, railways, irrigation projects and more that would contribute to the development of southwestern Alberta.

Elliott Galt became the man on the scene overseeing the work of the various companies, which included the mine but also housing for workers, a sawmill in the Porcupine Hills to provide the timber for construction and the mines, the construction of several boats for transporting coal and when that didn’t work building a railway to Medicine Hat which would be joined by other railways and then irrigation.

These two men had a dramatic effect on what is now southern Alberta. The video looks at the two men, their legacy and the world they helped to create.