VILLAGE OF WANHAM - Alberta, History, Location, Population, Accommodations, Museum, Plowing Match, Northern Alberta.
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Welcome to Wanham Alberta located in Birch Hills County in northern Alberta. Birch Hills includes Eaglesham, Peoria, Tangent, Wanham and Watino with a total population of 1,815 (2015). Covers an area of 2,895 sq km.
Mighty Peace Country MAP

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Wanham Coco Hall. Many functions are held here including weddings, Halloween parties, New Years dance, and meetings. (780) 694-2200.

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Wanham Coco Sports Complex includes an Arena for Rec teams and old-timers hockey. Curling rink has 3 sheets of ice. A fitness room is also part of the Complex. (780) 694-3754.

COCO stands for Community Of Co-operating Organizations. It was formed in 1970.

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One of the newest buildings in Wanham is the Birch Hills County Administration Building, located near the entrance to the community. (780) 694-3793. website


Widesky Inn located along Highway 49. (780) 694-3888.


Dreamers Lake Golf & Camp. 3 km west, 3 km south of Wanham. 15 sites. (780) 694-2484.

A Day-Use Area is located along the Burnt River, a few kilometres west of Wanham.

Schools in Area:

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Many attended the Wanham School over the years. The school closed in 1997. With windows boarded up, it is now occupied by a Honey Farm.

Birch Hills Hutterite School is located near Wanham. (780) 694-2040.

Heart Valley Christian School (780) 694-2609.

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The Wanham area is known for its agriculture industry.


Located 89 km northeast of Grande Prairie, Alberta, on Highway 49 is the Village of Wanham with a population of approximately 167 people. About 20 km east of Rycroft.

MORE Wanham PHOTOS: Click on the mini-pictures above to enlarge photo.
Memorial Park, Seniors Centre, Garden, Residential Area, Antique Machinery, Bethel Chapel, Post Office.

There are 2 versions on how Wanham got its name. Some believe that it came from the aboriginal word meaning "warm winds". Others believe it was named after the Village of Wanham, in Surrey, England.

Wanham was established in 1916 as a station on the Railway line and named by an engineer, J.B. Prest, who worked for the railway. A few years later in 1918, the first post office was started with Peter Tansem the first postmaster. Later his son Wallace took over the post office and was one of the people who published the Wanhamite in 1969, a weekly newsletter.

Featuring the Main Street Wanham
The Dual Cam shows both sides of the street as one travels north along mainstreet to the St Patricks Catholic Church. (For best results increase video to fill screen)

View VIDEO> (3:10min)

The Prestville church was built in 1937 (4 km east of Rycroft. Prestville was another community named by J.B. Prest). The church was moved to Heart Valley and then to Wanham, where it became the Sunday School Department at the back of Knox Presbyterian Church.

The first district nurse of the area was Miss Kate Brighty in the year 1924. It served the area of Wanham and the surrounding area of Peoria, Westvale and Heart Valley.

NEWPRO, Northern Engineered Wood Products, was located a few km west of Wanham employed approximately 50 people from the area as well as Grande Prairie but closed in January of 2006. It had been converted to make particle board which uses sawdust and shavings from sawmills in the Peace Country including Canfor.

The $37 million plant originally opened in the spring of 1999 and used fescue straw to produce particle board. This one-of-a-kind plant was only open for a short time, when it was ordered into receivership in September of 1999.

Events of the Peace Country
Wanham has become known for is Annual Plowing Match in northern Alberta. It first started in 1971 when some of the first matches held were the Queen of the furrow competition and the horseshoe tournament. Today the event is held mid June, and has become known as the Alberta Provincial and Canadian Plowing Match.
Some of the Plowing Match Activities: Draft Horse plowing, pulling, log skidding & tractor plowing. Modified truck & tractor pull. Children's tractor pull. Alpaca show, trade show, gymkhana, horse show, horseshoes, silent auction. Horse Drawn Antique Parade. Fashion Show. Old Time Bands, Northern Lights Equestrian Drill Team Show-karaoke Contest, The Annual Bull Riding Extravaganza also takes place. Wanham Plowing Match

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Knox Presbyterian Church, Wanham Alberta.
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St Patrick's Catholic Church, Wanham Alberta.

A farming community west of Wanham.


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Wanham Grizzly Bear Prairie Museum located at the junction of Highway 49 and 773. Hours of operation June to August.

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The Museum is a 2 story log house built in 1925.

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You can see a collection of machinery and farm tractors from the 1900s at the Museum. A restored farm house built in 1924 furnished with artifacts, also a collection of many other buildings including a restored First Presbyterian Church. The church opened originally in 1934.

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Wanham Public Library located on Main Street.

Wanham Legion unveiled its new Cenotaph in September 2002. It is located along main street Wanham.

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WANHAM - Alberta

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