Cochrane Historical & Archival Preservation Society
Visitors to the CHAPS Museum in Cochrane, Alberta are within an hour’s drive of Banff National Park and the mountain playgrounds west of Calgary that offer year round outdoor activities in a beautiful setting.
Located within The Cochrane Ranche
The Dominion Government incorporated a company in 1881 and it was known as the Cochrane Ranche Company. (excerpt from Big Hill Country page 155).
The Museum Building's History
Constructed in 1909 by the Davies family using bricks from the Collin’s Brick Yard. Built to be used as a hospital/nursing home and private residence. Moved to its current site in 2014.
Experience the history of
Through the eyes of its settlers, ranchers and farmers;
the service and supply businesses, the educators and more.
People came by saddlehorse, buggies, cars, train and airplanes, Yes, there would be three or four monoplanes land in the polo field, some said they came up from the States. The CPR advertised and filled a train in Calgary. It would stop next to the track, let everyone off, then back up to Cochrane and the sidetrack and pick up their load again after the day was over, and return to Calgary.
My memory recalls “Happy Davis,” the local policeman for Cochrane and district. He was very much liked and talked about at the time that I arrived. He was shot walking down the village street with his dog. After his funeral, there were many discussions as to who was to look after his dog. Everyone wanted the job, he had been so popular and much liked.
At this time (1949) the Foothills Rural Electrification Association was formed. Bill McNeill was President, Ernie Vickie Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Osler and Tom were directors. After many discussions and decisions, the Calgary Power Company brought power to the district. The farmers dug the holes for the poles to speed up the progress. In September 1950 the “lights came on”. Everything from milking machines to washing machines were some of our new acquisitions.
Richard was a man who liked horses and when the First World War broke out there were about three hundred Clydesdale horses on the ranch. A horse in those days never had a rope on him until he was four years old. A hurry-up call for horses for the cavalry made a considerable lot of work. It was often marvelled at how these wild horses tamed down when taken off their home range and put in a military camp.