Picture Butte

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Town of Picture Butte

Present

Picture Butte has a population of  1,650 (2011 Statistics Canada) and is a thriving community with urban amenities in a rural setting and is a wonderful place to visit and live.

History

With the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District bringing in the endless miles of irrigation systems in 1923 and with the railroad providing access to markets in 1925, settlers from the dryland areas of Southern Alberta came to Picture Butte.

Named by the early settlers because of the excellent view from a knoll southeast of the present town, the community grew rapidly.

In 1947 the historical landmark fill, where prairie Indians once sent smoke signals to other tribes in pioneer days, was flattened to make room for the present businesses of the town.  The dirt from the hill was used to dyke the shoreline of the nearby lake.

The first post office was opened in 1926 and construction of a sugar factory began in 1935.  By 1943, the hamlet was incorporated into a village and in 1960, it was big enough to be incorporated into a town.

By 1996, the population of the town had grown to 1,669 residents and it is still growing.  By this time not only were there sugar beets, potatoes and corn but farmers were now making a living with grain and forage crops, livestock feeding and dairy farms.  Poultry farms and pork producers also added to the economy.  Oil companies also had oil batteries and pipeline spotting the prairie.

This prairie community no longer has a viable sugar factory in operation but sugar beets are trucked to loading stations nearby to be shipped to the factory in Taber.