Fonds MS-601 - Annie Robertson Harrison fonds

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Title proper

Annie Robertson Harrison fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material - photograph

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Reference code


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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • [ca. 1910], [ca. 1962] (Creation)
    Harrison, Annie Laurie Robertson

Physical description area

Physical description

1 cm of textual records. - 1 photograph

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1876 - 1964)

Biographical history

Anna Laura (Annie Laurie) Robertson was born 4 Feb 1876 to Harriet Doty and Walter Scott Robertson in Seaforth, Ontario. In 1883 Annie came west with her mother and siblings, as her father had moved to Edmonton the previous year.

Annie's father, W. Scott Robertson, was Edmonton's first Sheriff. Annie grew up in early Edmonton experiencing the frontier atmosphere. She attended the first school which was later named McKay Avenue School and was captain of the first Edmonton Women's Hockey Team in 1890.

On December 20, 1899, Annie married the widower, Dr. John D. Harrison who had a son, John D. B. Harrison, from a previous marriage. Annie and John Sr. had a son, Robert H. C. Harrison.

Annie was an active member in the Northern Alberta Old Timers' Association from 1924 onwards and was honorary President in 1959.

Annie Robertson Harrison died 16 April 1964 in Edmonton. She is buried in the Edmonton Cemetery.

In 1985 she was posthumously given an Edmonton Historical Board award for her work in the historical community, including the writing of her memoirs.

Custodial history

Evelyn Butler is a niece to Annie Robertson Harrison. It is unclear how M. Dickson acquired the records.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of a manuscript “Memoirs of Anna Laura” written by Annie Robertson Harrison recounting her life in Edmonton at the end of the 19th century and one photograph of Annie.

The memoir mentions Annie’s family – parents (W. Scott and Harriet Robertson), siblings (Harry, Nell, Carrie, Fred, Robert, Grace), husband (Dr. John Darely Harrison), as well as her children and grandchildren. It also covers family activities and buildings including her father’s Cooking Lake residence, Spruce Lodge, and her father’s opera house, Robertson Hall, including the night the hall burned down.

It also includes references to various events and people: the 1885 Rebellion, 1897 Klondike Gold Rush, construction of the CPR and EY&P railroads, Strathcona, Fort Edmonton, Long Lake, St. Albert, Herschel Island, Athabasca Landing, Eggies Halfway House, Louis Daniels, Grasshopper, Mrs. Grey, Mary Bobsleigh, Kenny McLeod, Colonel Jamieson, Dr. and Mrs. McKay, Casey family, and Muchias,

The memoir describes a number of "firsts" in Edmonton, such as the first: public school (McKay Avenue School), sheriff, women's hockey team, theatrical hall, and piano. There are also references to many original settler families, such as, the Olivers, Walters, Macauleys, Griesbachs, Mckays and McDougalls.

There is also a photocopy of a newspaper article about Annie Robertson Harrison and her memoir, "'It Was Wonderful To Be Young In Edmonton'... As Mrs. Harrison Recalls Settlement 72 Years Ago", by Ruth Bowen, Edmonton Journal, September 1, 1955.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

This fonds was donated to the City of Edmonton Archives by Evelyn Butler in 1985 and M. Dickson in 1994.


The material was arranged according to the filing system of the creator.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Location of originals

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    There are no restrictions on access.

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    Copyright may apply.

    Finding aids

    See Scope and content above.

    Associated materials


    Further accruals are not expected.

    General note

    Accession number: A85-88, A94-55

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    Standard number

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    Description record identifier

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    City of Edmonton Archives

    Rules or conventions

    Rules for Archival Description (RAD)
    Archives Society of Alberta Subject Terms



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      Script of description


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