The area where Gretna now stands was once home to strawberry fields and Buffalo herds. The fertile land, hunting and trapping attracted people as far back as the late 1700's. Originally known as "Smuggler"s Point", it's natural tree cover afforded early settlers and fur trappers a location where undeclared goods were smuggled over the border.
Soon after establishing the 49th parallel as the International border, Gretna became an important customs centre and border town for both the Canadian and American governments.
Gretna’s strategic demographic location raised the interest of the Canadian Pacific Rail Road which encouraged the creation of large grain elevator operations in the area.
The Ogilvie Milling Company was one of the first and most prominent private companies in Gretna around the turn of the century. It is believed company founder William Ogilvie, originally from Scotland, named Gretna after Gretna Green in Scotland, where runaway couples were married by the blacksmith at his anvil.
Gretna soon became a prominent border town. As businesses thrived and expanded, Gretna life in the early 1900’s was filled with promise and opportunity. As progress would have it, changes afforded Gretna no favours and the town began losing the grain milling industry responsible for it’s boom.
through the trials and tests of time with adaptation as the key.
Today, with the ongoing expansion in the Pembina Valley, young families target work/life balances:
grass roots "suburb towns" offering a safe environment to raise and school their children while allowing quick access to nearby amenities.