Taber is a town in southern Alberta, Canada within the Municipal District of Taber. It is located approximately 51 km (32 mi) east of the City of Lethbridge at the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 36.
Taber is famous for its corn due to the large amounts of sunshine the area receives. It is therefore known as the Corn Capital of Canada and holds an annual “Cornfest” in the last week of August.
Originally, Taber was known as “Tank No. 77,” and was used by the railway to fill up on water. In 1903, it is said that the first Mormon settlers from the U.S. were the ones to establish a hamlet at the Tank. After the town’s post office was built in 1907, the CPR decided to call the town “Tabor,” probably after Mount Tabor in the Holy Land. However, various letters and station heads came out printed “Taber,” so the CPR changed the name to make it match the records.
An alternate version of the towns name origin is that the first part of the word tabernacle was used by Mormon settlers in the vicinity, and the next Canadian Pacific Railway station was named Elcan (nacle spelled backwards).
After time, Taber became a successful coal mining town. Coal mining declined in the late 1920s, but picked up in the 1930s after extensive irrigation in the area.
During the Second World War Japanese Canadians were “evacuated” to Alberta where some were employed in sugar beet cultivation for the duration of the war.
Irrigation helped not only the coal-miners, it also brought with it the production of sugar beets. In 1950, a sugar beet processing plant (Roger’s Sugar) was built, which has become a vital part of the town’s economy.
A number of archaeological discoveries were made in the vicinity of Taber, including that of extinct buffalo, and the so-called “Taber child” in 1961 by the head of a Geological Survey of Canada team Dr. Archie Stalker in the glacial deposits along the east bank of the Oldman River.
On April 28, 1999, Taber gained notoriety due to the W. R. Myers High School shooting in which a 14-year-old entered W. R. Myers High School and shot two students, killing one and wounding another.