The Raymond & District Historical Society was formed in 1989 by citizens of the town in order to preserve the history of the area. The Town of Raymond's early history can be traced to Jesse Knight, a wealthy miner from Utah, USA, who purchased over 300,000 acres of prime agricultural lands in Southern Alberta, which he sold to farmers at $10 an acre. He financially supported the building of a sugar factory for employment and presented the land for the town site to the citizens, naming the town "Raymond" after his second child.
Raymond, the son, purchased and developed large ranches, raising prime cattle and sheep. He was particularly interested in thoroughbred horses, which he imported from Britain and Europe. The town bearing his name was formed in 1901 with a population of just over 100. Today, Raymond can count nearly 3700 as citizens of its fast-growing community.
The Raymond Pioneer Museum has nearly 13,000 square feet of display area and is operated by dedicated volunteers. The museum details the life of Raymond's citizens over the years with the growth of the community recorded in photographic images. Upon entering the museum proper, one is greeted by a very large mural showing the land as the first settlers found it. This beautiful mural was conceived and painted by a local artist and has become the focal point of all ceremonial happenings at the museum.
Through photographs and text, one is taken from the days of sod turning to the details of the first business - sugar refining. The farming and ranching room boasts a large display of farm implements dominated by a covered wagon that came up from the U.S. many years ago. Another corner is devoted to the farms and ranchers of the area, highlighting the wheat kings of that time. The Town's history is also represented through large loose-leaf books depicting its schools and the people who live in Raymond, including the couples who have celebrated fifty years or more of married life, the twins and multiple births of children here, and the homes of its citizens. These are always being expanded and are worth visiting again and again.
In another wing, the Town's story is shown through photos and written signage, covering everything from town officials to businesses, medical, military and household exhibits and the early school room. Records of classes are also available for research purposes and come into their own at reunion times.
Come and explore the dynamic history of the Town of Raymond today!