Edson is a town located in west-central Alberta, Canada, about 200 km west of Edmonton, and 165 kilomtres east of Jasper. Edson is home to a diverse range of industries, including forestry, oil and gas, and agriculture. Edson is also a popular destination for outdoor recreation, with numerous parks, trails, and lakes located in the surrounding area.
The area around Edson was originally inhabited by the Cree and Stony Indigenous peoples, who used the land for hunting, fishing, and trapping. By the late 1800s, European settlers began to arrive in the area, drawn by the abundance of natural resources, including timber and coal, though early settlers came by cart and horse from Edmonton.
With the arrival of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1911, Edson was officially founded, The town was named after Edson Joseph Chamberlain, who was vice-president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway at the time. The arrival of the railway brought new economic opportunities including the expansion of the lumber industry and of coal mines in the nearby mountains (closer to Hinton, to Pocahontas, and later Grande Cache) .
During World War II, Edson was an important hub for the Canadian military, as the town was located on the main road and railway between Edmonton and the west coast. The Canadian Army built a large military training camp in the area, which became known as Camp Wainwright. As soldiers passed through Edson on their way to the camp, and the town’s economy benefited.
In the years following the war, Edson continued to grow and develop, with new industries and businesses moving into the area. When the Yellohead Route was established, Edson was a popular stopping off point along the route.