History of Vilna
The Vilna District
was opened in 1907 by an influx of mostly Central European homesteaders and squatters. When the Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific Railways began to expand their lines west and north of Edmonton, the local homesteaders and early settlers were promised a railroad that would serve the area north of the North Saskatchewan River. The rails had to run as far north as the present site of Vilna to avoid the difficulties of Indian lands and large bodies of water. As such and as predetermined by an earlier survey, the town site had been set aside at Mile 90 (NW 20-59-13-W4).
The Canadian National Railway had completed laying the rail through the district in 1919. That same year, the post office was moved two miles to the present site of Vilna and a general store was built. Almost at once, a hamlet grew up around it. To capitalize on the social and economic climates, a hardware store, bank, butcher shop, hotel, post office, apartment and rooming house, pool hall and dance hall and four stores and shops were open for business by 1920.