NA-1167-15 (Glenbow Museum) – Alberta Railway and Coal Company Station on boundary at Coutts. NWMP Barracks in background – No Date

Originally built in 1890 by Sir Alexander Galt and his son Elliott Galt partners in a consortium of investors from Canada, England and the United States. Alexander and his son Elliott Torrance Galt co-founded the Town of Lethbridge, Alberta in 1883, when he established a mine on the banks of the Oldman River in the southwest portion of the District of Alberta, Northwest Territories. The Canadian Post Office refused to accept the name Lethbridge for the community until 1885 because there was another town with the same name in the Dominion of Canada. Sir Alexander Galt laid out the street plan of Lethbridge’s present location in 1885 after his settlement was moved to the prairie level from the river valley. Canada’s Governor General, the Marquis of Landsdowne, demonstrated the Dominion government’s support of the Galt enterprises, by opening the Galts’ railway in September 1885 in Lethbridge.

Galt’s company, the North Western Coal and Navigation Company went through a variety of name changes as it moved into railways, and irrigation enterprises. A public park and a museum (formerly a hospital) in Lethbridge and a train station are named after him. Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier dedicated the Galt Hospital addition, which houses the Galt Museum, in 1910.

Sir Alexander was the founding President of The Guarantee Company of North America in 1872, providing fidelity bonds to guarantee the honesty of employees of railroads and government, which still exists today as the largest provider of surety bonds in all of Canada in public works and government services.

Straddling the Canada – United States border from October 1890 to September 1916, it is the only existing example of this kind of structure left in Western Canada. The International Border ran through the waiting / dining room. The Telegrapher and Station Agent worked in the center section, arranging shipment in Bond to proceed from Coutts, Alberta to Sweetgrass, Montana, and vice-versa. It was one of only two “Lunch Stations” along the railway line which ran from Lethbridge, Alberta to Great Falls, Montana. In September 1916, the northern part of the station was moved across the border into Coutts, where it was used by the Canadian Pacific Railway until the closing in the 1989.

In 2000 the station was bought by the Great Canadian Plains Railway Society and moved to an 35-acre (14 ha) site, 1 km (0.62 mi) north of the Village of Stirling, where it has been completely restored back to its original glory.