Before the railway, supplies came from Fort Benton, Montana. Fort Benton is on the Missouri River allowing steamboats to supply goods needed for the opening of the West.
Several of our articles have mentioned Fort Benton. The Wilson, Sibbald, and Kerfoot family articles all mention this important hub. (follow the link in Deep Dive below) Fort Benton was the source of the “Whoop-Up” Trail into Alberta and the Fort Walsh Trail into Saskatchewan. Click on the following map to expand.
Be sure to watch the Fort “Whoop Up” Orientation video in the link below.
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From Fort Benton, large wagon trains carrying those goods and mail travelled slowly northwards, taking almost 2 months to reach Calgary. Annie, Frank White’s wife, had a younger brother Alexander Victor (Vic) Anderson who operated one of the smaller freight companies. In April 1885 he dumped his load and returned to Calgary to freight for the troops. He later settled in Calgary, owned an agricultural implements store and built the Anderson Apartments on 18th Ave. SW in 1911. At the time it was the tallest concrete and brick building in Calgary and is now registered as a historic building, having been sold by my great aunt Dorothy to a developer who restored it to turn into condos.