110 Street & 90 Avenue, Edmonton
Lawrence Garneau, the Métis son of a French fur trader, made his way to the Red River area as a young man where he sided with Louis Riel and the provisional government of 1870. Like many Métis from Red River, he came to Edmonton in 1874 with his wife Eleanor, where they settled on the south side of the river on river lot 7 of the Edmonton settlement. This lot extended to what is now University Avenue. Garneau obtained title to his land in 1888 and built a small chapel on his property for Catholic church services.
After losing a lengthy and ruinous legal conflict with his neighbour, John Walter, over a strip of land in 1901, Garneau moved away from Edmonton with his family to Saint-Paul-des-Métis where he developed a large ranching operation and kept a general goods store and stopping place. He remained active in business and politics, was a staunch Liberal supporter, and ran several times for office without being elected. He was a generous man who donated funds for educational causes and helped many of the local impoverished Métis in St Paul-des-Métis. He played the fiddle at times for dances. The Edmonton Bulletin mentioned him as one of the four musicians for an Old Timers Ball in 1900; the walls were decorated with furs, and the Duck Dance and the Red River Jig were on the program.
The land where Garneau farmed now belongs to the University of Alberta. In 1953, a stone cairn was raised on the pie-shaped corner of 110 Street and 90 Avenue where it joins Saskatchewan Drive in remembrance of Laurent Garneau; the cairn and the brass plaque have been recently replaced. There is also a plaque with a photo of the couple on the west side of 111 Street at 90 Avenue in front of an old Manitoba maple that was planted by Garneau.