In 1899, American Civil War veteran, Major Wm. B. McPherson, filed with his sons on land in Township 40, some 20 kms west of Lacombe, and the present site of the Town of Bentley, just minutes from the south shore of beautiful Gull Lake. The centre point of these original four quarters is at 50th Avenue and 50th Street, and is a continuation of Highway 12 as it passes west through the Town. Major McPherson built the first store in Bentley in the early 1900’s, and with this start, the community began to grow.
Unfortunately, 1916 saw a disastrous fire that destroyed all buildings on the south side of the community. The centre roadway was then made 36 metres wide, with law that new buildings could not be constructed inside that area. In 1930, a centre boulevard was constructed for fire protection, and street lights were installed. This wide main street has been-and continues to be-the pride of Bentley.
A population profile for Bentley can be found by visiting here
For more information on the lively history of the Town of Bentley, we encourage you to visit the Bentley Museum at 4929 – 51 Avenue. The Museum resides in a 1924 farmhouse with an additional agricultural building, and here you will find a complete history of our community, plus a vast array of artifacts from local donors.
The exhibits depict the way of life experienced by the first settlers of Bentley from 1898 and on through the years. The collection is geographically-based and displayed with a “touch and use” philosophy. Walking tours of historical Bentley are also available, and 10 historical plaques have been completed and installed throughout the community.