Site History

The quarter section of which this acreage is part was acquired from the Calgary and Edmonton Railway Company in 1911 by Trochu’s first doctor, Dr. J.B. Milne. Due to the intervention of WW1, in which Dr. Milne served, the property remained undeveloped. In 1918 William H.S. Garrick purchased the property and planted many of the older trees and built the existing house. In 1947 the property was purchased by Dr. A. J. S. Hay. Dr. Hay had a deep respect for both humanity and animals and was a very respected member of the community.

After the purchase of his ’farm’ he kept a cow and poultry, bees and of course the many flowers beds with paths winding through. During the summer prior to his death, Dr. Hay entered one of his prized Dahlias into the Elnora flower show and was pleased to win the grand championship. Sadly, Dr. Hay passed away in 1973.


The property lay vacant until it was purchased by Sandy and Mary Welbourne in 1982. Welbourne’s undertook a 6 year restoration project of the Arboretum in order to preserve the many years of planting and development in the gardens. Landscaping, shale walkways, gazebo and public washrooms were installed on the property making it a potential tourist attraction. The property was then sold to the Town of Trochu in November of 1988.

On July 1, 1989, the Arboretum at Trochu officially opened. MLA Connie Osterman was one of the dignitaries present for the dedication. She declared, “with this shovel of some of the best loam in Alberta, I officially declare the Trochu Arboretum open.”