Day 77 – John Walter’s Second House   Leave a comment

As I mentioned yesterday, John Walter was a boat builder initially employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Once his five-year contract with HBC was complete (in 1875), he went into business for himself. He continued to build boats on contract for the HBC, but also had other successful business ventures.

In 1882, John started the first cable ferry in Edmonton to bring people and cargo across the North Saskatchewan river. The ferry was called the “Belle of Edmonton”. It seems to have been a very prosperous business as just two years later he was able to build his second home (pictured above).  Following success in business, he found success in love and married Annie Elizabeth Newby with whom he had two children. They lived in this house until 1900.

While beginning a family, he was kept very busy with his growing businesses. He soon established a second ferry a little ways down river to move coal from a coal mine that he c0-owned across from present-day Rossdale. He went on to expand his business ventures in the river valley including a sawmill in 1893 which employed some 200 men cutting trees.

Business was booming for Mr. Walter and he became Edmonton’s first millionaire. Sadly his success was short-lived.


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