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Mural unveiling to honour Fort Saskatchewan Constable

A new mural is coming to Fort Saskatchewan to honour a historic Constable.

On November 5 a mural depicting Constable John Rockwell will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the Union Hall Pub and Grill.

Constable Rockwell was born in 1873 in Halifax, and at the age of 18, he joined the Northwest Mounted Police Force and headed out west.

Rockwell arrived at the Fort on the Saskatchewan in what was previously the North-West Territories back in 1891, fifteen years before Alberta was made its own province.

“We always liked the story that he courted a lady who lived across the river in Lamoureux,” said Jackie St. Goddard, Rockwell’s granddaughter. “So to see each other they had to go by boat.”

In 1897 Rockwell married Clara Gauthier in Lamoureux. Clara’s sister, Lenore, married Archie Turner, who is the namesake of Turner Park in Fort Saskatchewan.

“Rockwell was considered the best tracker in the Northwest Mounted Police division, and there are some wonderful stories back then of him tracking prisoners to Stony Mountain on horseback.”

Rockwell served with the NWMP until January 1899 before briefly retiring. He returned to the force in 1901 before his retirement in 1913.

Many of John’s descendants remain in Fort Saskatchewan, including Frances Turner, Vernon Rockwell, Ruby Zdebiak, and Terence Rockwell.

Rockwell passed away in June 1929 in Edmonton.

“We’re very proud that grandpa came here so long ago and stayed around.”

Union Hall Pub & Grill