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Local History

Originally Taylor Flats, the District of Taylor has been a part of the Peace Region for over ninety years. In 1896, Donald Herbert Taylor (Herbie), Taylor’s namesake, moved west from Manitoba and took up a homestead at the Peace River Crossing (Peace River, AB) where he married Charlotte. Although Charlotte was educated in a mission school in Alberta, and spoke fluent English and French, she preferred her native Cree. Herbie made a living carving paddles and playing his fiddle for dances.

Then in 1905 they moved to Hudson’s Hope where he had taken a job as a factor for the Hudson’s Bay Co.

It was 1912, Herbie, Charlotte and their children moved back down the river and were the first family to settle in the Flats. Herbie was a ferryman and trapper who maintained a Peace River crossing for fur traders, prospectors and homesteaders heading for the north. For years, he and Bob Barker argued over the name for the Flat. When Herbie left for his traplines, Bob would put up a sign reading “Barker Flats”, and when Bob left, Herbie would put up his sign “Taylor Flats”. Finally, in 1923, a post office was opened at Taylor’s farm and the Flat officially became Taylor.

The early settlers lacked the convenience of a general store. The food supply for Taylor residents consisted of wild game and berries, vegetables from their garden, as well as cows and chickens. Soap was made from tallow and lye, moosehide was tanned for moccasins and all the family (boys included) were taught to sew, knit and cook.

For several years Herbie operated the Government Ferry and held this post until 1935. The first road over the hills was made by Herbie, to haul hay down for his cattle. Herbie and Charlotte had nine children: David, Walter, Sandford, Charles, John, Harriet, Maggie, Mabel and Joan. Charlotte predeceased Herbie in 1930 and is buried in Rolla. Herbie lived on his farm until about a year before his death in 1956. He was a kind and gentle man, remembered with fondness by his grandchildren.

For more information check the District of Taylor’s web site.