The Town of Spirit River is a thriving community in northwestern Alberta, Canada. Its local economy is supported by agriculture as well as the oil and gas industry. The official 2011 Census lists the Town of Spirit River’s population at 1,025 with 466 private dwellings. Bordering two large counties, the Town of Spirit River is also the major trading area for a large rural population estimated at 10,000.
Located 80 kms north of Grande Prairie, Spirit River is one of the oldest towns in the Central Peace Region. The Old Spirit River Settlement was located about 3 miles southeast of the old Mission. In 1888, the Hudson Bay Company began a cattle ranch four kilometers to the southeast on the banks of the Spirit River to serve traders at Fort Dunvegan.
In 1891, a trading post became the original settlement along the banks of the Spirit River. Because the railroad missed this location, those early settlers decided to move and it split into two communities, one to the west( Now Spirit River), and one to the east (Now Rycroft).
The present location of Spirit River was surveyed in 1915, and in 1916 it was incorporated as a village, the same year the railroad arrived. Spirit River later became a town in 1951.