The St. Ambrose Anglican Church in Redcliff was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 2008. In order for a site to be designated a Provincial Historic Resource, it must possess province-wide significance for either its history or architecture. To properly assess the historic importance of a resource, a historian crafts a context document that situates a resource within its time and place and compares it to similar resources in other parts of the province. This allows staff to determine the importance of a resource to a particular theme, time, and place. Below is some of the historical information used in the evaluation of the St. Ambrose Anglican Church.
When the Canadian Pacific Railway was extending its survey grade across the southern prairies during 1881-82, a point was made to identify places suitable for the erection of stations and the subdivision of townsites. One such spot was where the railway was earmarked to cross the South Saskatchewan River at present dayMedicine Hat. Among the established industries in the area was that of clay products. Common clay and shale were readily available along the river flats, while ball clay, fire clay, and stonewear clay were to be found in the outlying areas.
In 1906, with the population ofMedicine Hatgrowing, the Stoner Land Company, which owned land along the South Saskatchewan River northwest of town, incorporated the Redcliff Brick Company and began to make bricks for the many buildings going up inMedicine Hatand elsewhere along the CPR line. In 1907, a townsite was subdivided and a water & sewer system was installed near the plant. With people arriving to engage in the brick industry, and its related service industries, Redcliff was soon incorporated as a village. With the demand for brick growing, and the red clay off theSouth Saskatchewanproviding an excellent product, Redcliff also continued to grow. The plentiful supply of natural gas was another inducement for industry as well as people, and Redcliff was referred to as a “Smokeless Pittsburgh.” In 1912, with its population listed at 3,000, Redcliff was incorporated as a town. By this time, three major brick plants were in business, along with an iron works, a truck-manufacturing plant, and the Dominion Glass Company. Read more