This town, about 175 km south of Calgary, with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, is protected on one side by the Oldman River. Fort Macleod became the first area headquarters for the Northwest Mounted Police (now the “RCMP”) in 1874. The town is named after Colonel James Farquharson Macleod (1836-1894), the commander of the Northwest Mounted Police (the “NWMP”) and later a judge in the supreme court of the North-West Territories.
The “Mounties” were sent to keep American whiskey traders out of Canada, and away from the Indians. While the fort is no longer there, Alberta’s oldest settlement is marked by a cairn on 2nd Ave and 25th St., the center of the town’s historical district.
There are over 30 historical buildings in the downtown core.