Early Edmonton settlement began in the 1870s when the Hudson’s Bay Company employees began moving out of Fort Edmonton as the fur trading days were ending. They claimed river lots along the north and south shores of the North Saskatchewan River. Forty-five lots were self-staked and settled on, the bulk of them by ex-Hudson’s Bay Company employees.
These homestead lands extended to the east of Fort Edmonton, which was located near the Alberta Legislative Buildings, to the vicinity of present day Rundle Park, and west of the Fort to the vicinity of Groat Road. From the North Saskatchewan River, the river lots on the north side of the river extended to about 118th Avenue.
After the Fur Trade: Living on the Land by Carol Snyder includes the stories of four of the River Lot owners and their descendants. Two of these families settled on the land that became the Highlands area of Edmonton. The other two families were west of what became the Highlands. These families made new lives, living on the land.