Rona B Shot Tower

We’re starting of series of blogs based on the 2005 The Live Stories Programme: 100 Stories for 100 Years produced by Barry Thorson and Lone Wolf Theatre Company. CHAPS has had the source material in our archives for years. There are some really interesting stories of Cochrane that we want to share.

The first video is Ron Baker describing how Cochrane’s Rona B shot tower was built.

Ron was a trap shooter who began experimenting with creating his own shot. He came upon a special lead alloy and local shooters began asking him to supply lead shot.

The shot tower was a former oil derrick.  The buildings and equipment were home made or adapted from oil equipment. Ron felt his product was harder than any other produced in North America.

Lead bars were melted at the top of the tower, poured through a sieve and dropped to the base to be cooled in a vat of water. During its peak, Rona B used 3 to 4 tons of lead daily. The Tower stood 181 feet top to bottom.

The finished lead shot was used in Olympic shotgun shells and by Western Canadian shooters who made their own shells.

Rona B Lead Shot was started by 1959 by Ron Baker and his father C.W. Baker. We believe the tower was completed 1961-2 and was torn down in 2006.

Mark Boothby from files submitted by Garney Baker.

Rona B Shot Tower
Approximately where Bow Ridge Sports stands todaay

A bag of the shot produced at the tower. It  recently sold on the Internet along with 20 of the bags used.

I didn’t know anything about the topic of making shot so I looked a video up. I’d not seen any other shot towers in Canada. According to the video there were only 3 in England at that time.

Motorcycle Hill-Climbing

Did you know Cochrane had Motorcycle Hill-Climbing in the 1930’s. Just like today, people from Calgary liked to visit Cochrane. One of the popular activities was Hill-Climbing. We’re looking for photos on those races.

Thanks to Deeley Exhibition for providing this image. For more on Hill-Climbing visit their site at https://deeleyexhibition.ca/brief-history-hill-clim

Will Pratt supplied these images on our Twitter account. He describes the locations as 8 miles west of Calgary. Obviously, a popular event.

Congratulations to the Glenbow for tracking down some History.

   

This news from the Glenbow inspires me. We have so many photos in our archives with few or no details. I’m sure it’s within the collective memory of our members so we need to record it. This is one of our goals when we open our photo archives; to record peoples memories. Goto to our Activities page for more details on our Photo Archive event.

Here’s is the Glenbow story about recovering the people and circumstances from one of their photos. 

Jingle Dance Detectives

We need your opinion !!!

 CHAPS is planning next years fundraisers. We need your help with that process. Please take 2 minutes and complete this survey.

We are looking at the number and timing of fundraisers, location, meals, content and cost. We are looking for our supporters opinions so please take a couple of minutes and help us out.

Survey

Train Station Miniature

Thanks to our Fund Raiser Sponsors

We’d like to thank the generous local firms that sponsored our silent auction.  This years’ Fall Fund-Raiser was a success.

These individuals and firms contribute to the cultural fabric of our area and keep the history alive.

Sponsors
Arlene Hepburn
Boston Pizza
Canadian Tire
COBS Bread Bakery
Daves Dry Cleaning
Fountain Tire
Gayle Want
Global Pet Foods
Kas Beynon
Original Joe's Restaurant & Bar
Cochrane Panda Flowers
Safeway Cochrane
Save-On-Foods
Schooners on First
Sobeys Liquor Cochrane
Vinestone Wine Co.
Dianne Mclennon
Cathy Elder
Shannon Want

2018 Fall Fundraiser Success

About 90 members and friends of CHAPS attended the Annual Fall Fundraiser at the Royal Canadian Legion #15 for an evening of great food, entertainment, and chance to catchup with local friends and neighbors.  Live entertainment by Charlotte Burrell, 2 short films by Jade Lewis and silent auction were enjoyed by all.

  • by Bernice Klotz

Museum Visitors – 2018

Jade Lewis has been operating the Cochrane Historical Museum for the last several years.  View our hours here. https://chapscochrane.com/about/  Private viewing can also be arranged during off season months. Follow the above link for directions.

The number of visitors this year has remained constant. The number of visitors from outside of Canada was nearly 230 people. Not surprisingly 61 came from the US.  However, CHM had visitors from a total of 25 countries including Central & South America, Europe, and the Far East.

Presidents Message 2018

Looking Back

As we close out our 2017-2018 Year end, I want to take a moment to reflect on and celebrate the achievements CHAPS has made through the course of this past year. In thanking all of CHAPS volunteers and members for your enthusiasm, participation and support throughout this past year. I hope you all take pride in all that we have accomplished together for CHAPS and the Town of Cochrane. The 2017-2018 year end was a hallmark one for CHAPS and it would not have been possible without all of you.

CHAPS continually assists and participates in many local and regional events, such as Downtown Cochrane Walking Tours, the Family Fun Heritage Festival, The Cochrane Art Show and Inter-active meetings with the Bearspaw Historical Society.

Our returning summer student, Jade Lewis, produced another short impressive historical feature film entitled A Rainy Royal Visit”.

Jade exhibited more confidence, passion, enthusiasm and a proactive attitude in making The Cochrane Historical Museum even more successful this year.

An essential and important fun social event for many local residents are our biannual Spring and Fall fundraising dinners. Other successful sources of fundraising during the past year included the Alberta Gaming Casino, The Town of Cochrane, The Canada 150 Grant, The Cochrane Foundation, The Bow Rivers Edge Campground and The Cochrane Legion.

Special thanks to Mark Boothby and David Millican for using their imaginative use of social media, web projects and Facebook to bring CHAPS into the 21st Century. Museum websites provide facilities to global connectivity. Social media is an opportunity to “tell our story”, engage with supporters and get results. This social communication strategy will assist CHAPS in meetings its goals of community engagement and education, recruitment and fundraising.

 

Moving Forward

What kind of museum do we want for our future?

We need to create a museum where people want to come and actually get experience. This means we need to be innovative and imaginative to be different, innovation is the key to attracting new visitors and retaining current ones; the future of our “cultural built environment” – The Cochrane Historical Museum – will be driven by adaptability, flexibility and visitor engagement.

 

New methods of engaging volunteers and visitors mean a new set of skills for all of us involved in CHAPS. We must become skilled in developing a dialogic relationship with our community, our neighbours and a variety of stakeholders.

There is always a certain memorable magic to be found inside our house museum. At the very least the Cochrane Historical Museum tells a local story that might otherwise be forgotten.

Larry Want
President
Cochrane Historical & Archival Preservation Society
September 19th, 2018

School Presentation

This past Wednesday and Thursday 100 students from Grade 2 French immersion classes at Elizabeth Barrett visited the Cochrane Historical Museum. Greeted by Frank Hennessey students learned that the building is over 100 years old, was once the the Davies home and Cochrane’s first hospital.

Gordon Davies continued the presentation in French with Jade Lewis’s excellent history of the Cochrane Ranche Video.

Mike Taylor, Gordon Davies, Frank Hennessey

How do you want to get involved in the Community?

Becoming a member of CHAPS is a great way to get involved in the Community. We are currently looking for members to become involved in:

  • Memberships
  • Fundraising
  • Nominating Committee

No matter the time you have available, we have a role for you. New members please complete this quick application.

We recently sent out membership renewals.  If you’ve not renewed please get in touch with Bernice at chapscochrane@gmail.com. You can also renew at the fall dinner November 17 at the Royal Canadian Legion.

Officer’s elected at our 2018 AGM.

Position                                 Name   


 Past President                     Gordon Davies

President                              Larry Want

Vice President                     Tony Turner

Secretary                              Bernice Klotz

Treasurer                             Donna Morris

Directors at Large:

  • Frank Hennessey
  • Mark Boothby
  • Rod Wallace

Annual General Meeting 2018

We had 18 members attend September 19th. Committees gave an overview of what was accomplished this year. 

  • Museum- About the same numbers through as last year.  Will close September 30. 
  •  Grants – Several applied for,
    • Alberta Culture used for shelving, work tables, supplies for archiving, dividers and storage boxes. 
    • Town of Cochrane used to purchase transmitters and receivers for tours and meetings. 
  • Next Fundraising Dinner at Legion on Nov 17. 

  • New volunteers needed to help on the following committees

    • Grants,
    • Membership,
    • Fundraising

Election of officers 

  • Past President – Gordon Davies,
  • President – Larry Want, 
  • Vice- President – R. Tony Turner,
  • Secretary – Bernice Klotz,
  • Treasurer – Donna Morris, 
  • Directors at large – Rod Wallace, Mark Boothby, Frank Hennessey  

All voted in by acclamation.

This Year:

  • 20th Anniversary of CHAPS, June 2019 
  • 5th Anniversary of the museum, 
  • 110th Anniversary of the house. 
from CHAPS Archives

Looking for ideas to celebrate  ie: 

  • 110 house Birthday Party, 
  • Sell More Big Hill Country for $20.00 at the museum only. 
  • Have table at downtown market on Thursdays in summer. 
  • Enter Labour day parade,
  • Party cake for museum opening in June,  
  • Give More Big Hill Country to Grads with grant money.  

notes by Bernice Klotz

Toy Exhibit

The Vintage Toys have been a fun display at the museum this summer. We’re going to keep the display again next year and try to tweek it a little and maybe add a few items.

As you’ve been a lender, you have agreed to lend your items until this fall. If you want to let us exhibit them again we need you to sign or initial a change on your forms.

If you’re attending the AGM on Wednesday could you please see Shannon Want to do this.

Thanks so much,

Gayle

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