Sylvan Lake & District Archives


Preserving the History of Sylvan Lake

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  • annual general meeting April
  • special displays throughout the year

Preserving the past - for future generations


Sylvan Lake, previously known as Methy, Swan, and even Snake Lake, has a unique history.

Early settlers were French speaking, from Quebec and the United States.

Summer visitors arrived almost the same time as these early settlers, and have been an important part of the community ever since. Building and purchasing cabins, visitors would bring their families to the lake in the summer - often commuting to Red Deer for work during the week. Regattas, seasonal businesses, boarding houses, lodges, and most famously, dance halls all sprang up as the visitor population increased.

Those first homesteaders quickly recognized the beauty of the lake, and the surrounding landscapes, and petitioned to have "Snake Lake" renamed to something more appealing - Sylvan, meaning "wooded", was chosen.

In 1913, Sylvan Lake became a village. The village status remained until 1946, when a population of approximately 900, warranted a "town" status.

Sylvan Lake and District Archives Society

A part time office manager and a team of dedicated volunteers collect and preserve the history of Sylvan Lake and area.

Help the Sylvan Lake and District Archives Society

Do you have authentic historical items related to Sylvan Lake? Do you have old school class photos, or pictures of school activities to add to our collection of Sylvan Lake's school-related past? Contact us.

Open to the public
Tuesdays and Thursdays
12:00 PM (noon) to 4:00 PM




5012 - 48 Avenue
Sylvan Lake, Alberta T4S 1G6

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Tues & Thurs from 12 noon to 4pm

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