This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Town of Beverly. Incorporated first as a hamlet in 1906, then a village in 1913, by 1914 Beverly sought incorporation as a town. Using 50th St. as its western boundary with Edmonton, the new Town could boast a population of over 1000 as well as churches, a school and several stores. Beverly had its own Police and Fire Departments, issued building permits, collected taxes, and ensured the provision of infrastructure.
Like many municipalities at the time, money was raised through debentures like this one for specific projects, then paid back by taxes at the end of the year.
The Town was best known for its mining activities, and many mines operated within the town limits. The Beverly Coal Mine was one of the many mines in and around Beverly. It was a partnership between the Town of Beverly and Beverly Limited and was an attempt to generate revenue for the Town and provide employment.
After many difficult financial years in the 1930s and 1940s, in the late 1950s and early 1960s the Town of Beverly embarked on an ambitious building program, constructing many kilometres worth of roads, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, and lighting improvements. On December 30, 1961 the Town of Beverly was amalgamated with the City of Edmonton. The City of Edmonton absorbed the Town’s 30 employees, as well as the Town’s debts.
Once the Town was part of the City of Edmonton the question arose of what to do with the records. The first six boxes of records and several ledgers were transferred to the City of Edmonton Archives in 1964, with the rest of the material being dispersed to different areas of civic administration under whose jurisdiction the records now lay. Over the next few decades more ledgers trickled in until 1992, when nearly 40 boxes of records and over 70 legers from the Town of Beverly were transferred to the Archives’ custody.
The City of Edmonton Archives decided that the Town of Beverly’s records, also know as the Town of Beverly fonds, should be processed and accessible to the public in time for Beverly’s centenary this year. In fall of 2013 the records were arranged and described, and a finding aid has been put online to help researchers navigate the collection.
The records include minutes, correspondence, reports, debentures, contracts, agreements, voters lists, tax assessment rolls, building permits, and petitions, and includes 85 ledgers. The fonds also includes twelve issues of the Beverly Page, one issue of the Beverly Advertiser, a poster and several photographs. The records are divided into five series: Administrative, Financial, Planning, Engineering and Correspondence.
The City of Edmonton Archives is pleased that this valuable historical collection is available to researchers in time for Beverly’s Centennial. If you want to learn more about Beverly’s history check out the finding aid online, or come to the Archives and see the records in person.