Population from Census 2015 - 68,556
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The structure is intimately related to the early development of the city. The original part was built in 1911 as the first hospital in the area. A two storey residence for Reverend and Mrs. Forbes was added a year later.
The house and hospital were fully restored to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Forbes’ and was opened to the public on May 28, 2010.
The Reverend Forbes Homestead is operated by the Grande Prairie Museum and is open during the summer months when guided tours and special events and programs are featured.
10424 96 St., (Located behind the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital)
Grande Prairie AB
Grande Prairie Museum
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1909: Reverend Alexander and Agnes Forbes make their first trip to Grande Prairie to explore the feasibility of sending a Presbyterian missionary into the Peace Country. They recognized the potential of the land and staked a land claim where the first church was built in 1911.
1910: The Forbes’ return to Grande Prairie to establish the Presbyterian Church and purchase the land the homestead now sits upon.
1911: The first log structure is built on the site. It is a hospital and is only 24 by 20 feet in size. Living quarters for nursing staff is in the small attic. Like many early settlers, The Forbes’ continued to live in their caboose which they used to travel here.
1912: A two-storey house for the Forbes’ is added to the hospital. It too is made of logs (later covered) and is named “Montrose House” after Mrs. Forbes’ home town of Montrose Scotland.
1914: The small hospital is replaced by a larger one, the Katherine Prittie Hospital. Mrs. Forbes died in 1917 and Rev. Forbes moved away in 1925.
1925-1936: The homestead is used as a nurse’s residence.
1936-1947: The Nelson family lived and owned the homestead.
1947-1974: Various owners, used as a rental.
1974: The homestead is purchased by the City of Grande Prairie
1976: The Forbes Homestead is registered as a Provincial Historic Resource Site.
Reverend and Mrs. Forbes contributed greatly to the development in religion, education, health and culture of the City of Grande Prairie. Their home and hospital was a recognized community institution. Friends and family of patients were always welcomed to stay the night. Even strangers traveling through the area were treated to the Forbes’ hospitality through a home cooked meal. Mrs. Forbes loved to entertain. She used real china when serving afternoon tea. Not a common practice in those early times. The Forbes Homestead is an elegant reminder of those intrepid pioneers who came before us.
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