Famous Last Words:

If I don't record these stories they will be lost.


After the Fur Trade: Living On the Land

Early Edmonton settlement began in the 1870s when the Hudson’s Bay Company employees began moving out of Fort Edmonton as the fur trading days were ending. They claimed river lots along the north and south shores of the North Saskatchewan River. Forty-five lots were self-staked and settled on, the bulk of them by ex-Hudson’s Bay Company employees. These homesteads lands extended to the east of Fort Edmonton, which was located near the Alberta Legislative Buildings, to the vicinity of present-day Rundle Park, and west of the Fort to the vicinity of Groat Road. From the North Saskatchewan River, the river lots on the north side of the river extended to about 118th Avenue.

Here are the stories of four of the River Lot owners and their descendants. Two of these families settled on the land that became the Highlands area of Edmonton. The other two families were west of what became the Highlands. These families made new lives, living on the land.

Available at:

$25 + Shipping

Kick the Can: And other Stories from the Highlands Neighbourhood

Kick the Can is a collection of articles that were previously published in Highlands Historical Society newsletters prior to 2014.  Other memoirs have been provided by early Highlands’ residents and compiled and edited by Carol Snyder.

Available at:

$22.50 + Shipping

Natures Colours: A Guide to Western Canadian Dye Plants

A revival of interest in nature dyeing in recent years has resulted in this updated edition of Nature’s Colours.  The addition of colour photos will help greatly in the correct identification of the plants used.  The photos have been provided by Neil Miller, who has photographed extensively the plant and animal life of Central Alberta.

Available at:

$25 + Shipping

Jasper Avenue
111 Avenue


“I was so impressed. You did so much work. I felt I got to know William like I never knew him before – thank you… a monumental project. You must be so proud. A history, we all can be thankful you have documented.”
Don Jaeger
Great grandson of William Borwick
“Kick the Can, Carol Snyder's latest contribution to our historical legacy, is a lush compilation of memories, photographs, and documents associated with Edmonton's 1912 Highlands neighbourhood.  This book beautifully consolidates stories and recollection of the first residents, many of them now gone.  There are stories originally researched and written by Carol and the work of other authors.  The many and divers collection of photos are worth the price of the book alone.  However, it is the effort to preserve the memory of lives well lived, those who helped to shape the place we live now, that is the real joy of this book.”
David Locky
Past President, Highlands Historical Society


Carol Snyder – Proud to be a Western Canadian, born in Regina, Carol Snyder has lived in Edmonton since 1983. As a textile artist she became interested in nature dyeing to complement the spinning and weaving she was enjoying. A Canada Council Grant in 1981 funded the research for her first book, Nature’s Colours. A Guide to Western Canadian Dye Plants. On moving to Edmonton, Carol owned and operated a yarn shop until retirement in 1995.

Her life changed in 2003 when she was accepted to participate in the 100th anniversary Barr Colony wagon trek from Saskatoon to Lloydminster. Her interest in the Barr Colonists resulted in meeting with some of the many descendants, and writing a book, On Saskatchewan Time, The 100th Anniversary Barr Colony Wagon Trek. Thinking that perhaps her own family history had included a wagon trek, Carol began research into her great grandparents who homesteaded in Manitoba. This also resulted in a book, The Hawthornes of Deloraine.

Having enjoyed interviewing people and writing their stories, Carol volunteered as Oral Historian with the Highlands Historical Foundation for 10 years, 2004 to 2014. Many people were interviewed and their stories published in the Highlands Historical Society newsletters written by Carol Snyder, and other Highlands  residents. Carol was honoured to receive a Historical Recognition Award in 2014 from the Edmonton Historical Board for her work with the Highlands Historical Society.

After “retirement” from the historical society, further items of interest kept arriving on Carol’s desk. An intense interest in the Gullion families who settled on the land that became The Highlands resulted in research into the fur trade and the claiming of river lots along the North Saskatchewan River in the area which became the City of Edmonton. This resulted in her most recent book, After the Fur Trade: Living on the Land.