Northern Alberta Pioneers & Descendants Association (NAPDA)
We collect and preserve valuable stories and documents of Alberta’s pioneers for current and future generations.
NAPDA is one of Edmonton’s oldest chartered clubs. It was founded on June 22, 1894 as the Edmonton Old Timers Association by a group of 36 pioneers and early prominent businessmen who either trekked across the prairies from the east or worked their way up the Saskatchewan River by boat. These pioneers included names such as James Gibbons (1894 – 1895), Donald Ross Sr. (1896), John McDougall (1897), and Harrison Young (1898).
The association’s name changed to Northern Alberta Pioneers and Old Timers Association in 1925 and to Northern Alberta Pioneers and Descendants Association in 1983.
Since 1959, NAPDA has been located on Scona Hill in the Old Timers Cabin, a beautiful historic events venue with fascinating views of the city and river valley. This rustic log cabin features a huge stone fireplace, planed poplar floor, window frames made of spruce, and cedar shingles on the gable roof. It was built by a 76-year-old log craftsman named Hobart Dowler for NAPDA.
Designed and constructed of spruce logs at Dowler’s property on Pigeon Lake, each log was fitted, then numbered before being dismantled and rebuilt on a field stone foundation in Edmonton. The site had originally been levelled to provide fill for the Low Level Bridge. Dowler used notch and saddle-style connections to form a tight weather proof fit without the need of chinking or plaster.
The cabin is a relatively modern example of log construction. The style was consciously chosen to showcase the cabin as a pioneer icon, reflecting NAPDA’s connection with the past.
night view of Edmonton skyline from the back patio.