Red Deer was established on the Calgary and Edmonton trail after the Canadian Pacific Railway was built and traffic between the two cities increased, so ever since she was young she has been something of a mediator between both cities. She used to be just a crossing and then a fort on that crossing after the Red River Rebellion in case of war, but she packed up, moved east, and settled permanently in her present location. Buffalo were near extinct by this point, so Red Deer attracted a lot of agriculturalists and has always been close to the farm, as with most Albertan cities. Later on, she also became part of the petroleum industry. As a result, Red Deer has frequent growth spurts and makes a tidy profit from being between Edmonton and Calgary, but unlike them prefers to keep quietly to herself.
Her name came from the Red Deer River, which was originally mistranslated from the original Cree "Elk River". England often mistook the elk for a North American version of a European red deer.