Wanham, Alberta

Located 89 km northeast of Grande Prairie, Alberta, on Highway 49 is the Hamlet of Wanham with a population of 141 (2021 statistics) with 58 occupied dwellings. In 1016 there were 125 people liiving here so since then the population increase by 13.7%. Wanham is a small community about 20 km east of Rycroft.

Welcome Sign- more info

Wanham Coco Hall - more info

Wanham Coco Complex - more info

Birch Hills County Office - more info
Wanham's economy is mainly Agriculture and Ranching. Oil and Gas and forestry provide the highest employer in the Birch Hills County. Wheat, canola and alfalfa are the most common crops and cattle and horses are the most common livestock in the County.

Memorial Ball Park - more info

Wanham Seniors Centre - Website

Post Office - Website

Gardens in Wanham - Website


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.

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.

(Archived Photo) One of the first things you seen coming to Wanham Alberta was the UFA right along The Spirit River Highway 49 and Highway 733. In 2019 there is no trace of UFA ever existed here as it was torn down and is now an empty field.

Wanham has become known for its 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 WEBSITE

NOW POSTED Events of the Peace Country

Museum Sign - more info

Museum House - more info

Museum Church - more info

Wanham Old School - more info

A farming community west of Wanham has many grain bins. Some of the bigger farm operations are by the Hutterite Colonies. In the Birch Hills County there are 4 Hutterite Communities.

Camping: 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.

NEWPRO, Northern Engineered Wood Products, was located a few km west of Wanham and 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 used 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.

Wanham Library - more info

Highway Sign - more info

Cattle near Wanham - more info

Old Building - more info

Knox Presbyterian Church - more info

St Patrick's Catholic Church - more info

Bethel Chapel - more info

Antique Equipment - more info
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