Two cyclists make their way past the water treatment plant in Red Deer where a new mural has been installed.

Historic mural aims to bring heritage of community to life

A new historic mural capturing the images of days gone by was recently erected on the north side of the City of Red Deer water treatment plant building.

A new historic mural capturing the images of days gone by was recently erected on the north side of the City of Red Deer water treatment plant building.

Constructed on an 18-metre-by-2.4-metre panel, the mural features a variety of historical images of the area’s development over two centuries.

One image shows a First Nations teepee next to the newly built Calgary and Edmonton (C&E) Railway Co. bridge in 1892.

Another depicts the first power plant built in 1904 in Red Deer, an expanded power plant in the 1940s and various images of the bridge over the years.

“We really are trying to bring the heritage of the community to life,” said Janet Pennington, heritage community development co-ordinator.

“It’s really important we do this. We’re looking at a lot of new heritage signage throughout the downtown.”

The images, mostly from the city archives, were printed directly on a material called Dibond.

The images are expected to last for many years.

Pennington said it is important that residents celebrate the heritage sites and buildings, and in the case of the treatment plant, the things that have taken place at the site and the use of the land.

“We spent a lot of time looking through the images in the archive,” said Pennington.

“There is a really cool image on the right side which shows the CPR bridge and it shows the power plant in 1911 with all the logs piled up in front of it because that is how they were generating the electricity. . . . The biggest image on there is the CPR bridge just after it was built in 1892. It was called the C&E then.”

Pennington said she hopes people will take the time to seek out the mural and think about our history.

Three more murals will go up near the plant in the next two months. Two of the murals,

The River and The Railway, will be placed on fencing near the trail beside the Red Deer River and the third, The New River Crossing, will be placed near the CPR bridge.

Pennington said the murals will be slightly smaller than the water treatment mural with more text explaining the images.

The treatment plant is located on 54th Street and 54th Avenue.

The mural can be viewed by accessing the south bank trail next to the Red Deer River, north of the CPR bridge.

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