Nanton breathes history. Many memories of days gone by remain from its original roots as a train stop at the turn of the century. Home to the famous Lancaster Air Museum, the area's theme of "Where History Lives" holds true. Traditions, strong in the pioneer way, are still evident today as the community continues to cater to its Western ranching roots.
Pioneers first settled in the Nanton area in the late 1800's. In 1903, a village was formed and named after Sir Augustus Nanton (1860 - 1926). He was sent to the west to investigate investment in farm mortgages. Renowned for his sound judgement, he became the director for many companies including the Canadian Pacific Railway, Hudson's Bay Company, Great West Life and the Dominion Bank. Nanton became a settlement of comparative wealth from eastern points and the states, lured by the rich promise of land and climate. Nanton was incorporated as a Town in the summer of 1907. Many of the buildings built by our pioneers still stand as a proud testament of our heritage.
Nanton is privileged to be the first Alberta Main Street project of its size. Located on busy highway #2 south, the town of nearly 2,000 has a large inventory of historic buildings, most constructed in the first days of settlement. It is fitting that the local programme started with the successful rehabilitation of the McLaren Bros. & Hammill dry goods store, Nanton's first privately owned building dating back to 1902. One hundred years later, it stands proudly as testament to Nanton's dedication to the historical value of its downtown.
Most downtown heritage buildings house unique shops and eateries. You'll visit many when you take a stroll on the Antique and Art Walk .
Nanton is committed to preserving its history by respecting its past as a foundation for its future. As the programme continues, more of the legends of yesteryear will be discovered and appreciated by locals and visitors alike. Be sure to stroll down memory lane on your next visit to Nanton - Where History Lives!