Opening day for Cochrane Historical Museum

Our local Museum opens for the summer with Jade Lewis returning for a third season. Jade with her family and friends have created two fabulous short videos that bring our rich history to life. Watch them here on our Youtube channel.

Timothy Collard joins Jade. In his own words

“Tim Collard holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from St. Mary’s University. He will be pursuing his Master’s in History at the University of Calgary in the fall focusing on historiography and the role of narrative in history. Tim moved to Cochrane with his family in 1984 and grew up in the community. His first job was at MacKay’s Ice Cream and he graduated from Cochrane High in 2001. For the past two years, Tim has been a regular busker at the Cochrane Farmer’s Market and can often be found around town playing guitar with his father. Tim is passionate about the stories that shape a community and he is excited for the opportunity to share some of the stories of Cochrane this summer at the Cochrane Historical Museum.’ photo of Jade and Tim

CHAPS Volunteers

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

~Elizabeth Andrew

Being a CHAPS Volunteer isn't about how long you've lived here. It's about contributing to the community, meeting new people, learning new skills and having fun.

Mark Boothby

Thank you to our volunteers

  1. Lydia Graham                          
  2. Lonnie Basiuk                                       
  3. Mike Taylor
  4. Lynda Alderman                                  
  5. Doris James                                        
  6. Monesa Podmoroff                              
  7. Margaret Hunziker                               
  8. Pauline Murray                                    
  9. Donna & Raymond MacDonald
  10. Vera Elson                                           
  11. George Thompson
  12. Heather Pearce
  13. Arlene & Don Hepburn
  14. Janice & Greg Hawkwood
  15. Barbara Canning
  16. Tony Turner                                          
  17. Frank Hennessey                                 
  18. Bernice Klotz                                        
  19. Donna Morris                                       
  20. Gordon Davies                                     
  21. Rod Wallace                                         
  22. Mark Boothby                                      
  23. Gayle & Larry Want                                 
  24. Shannon & Ed Want
  25. Mary Nicolson Klimek
  26. Dianne Mclennon
  27. June Burgess

Builders. We can’t thank the folks enough that helped to build CHAPS.

  1. Jo Hutchinson
  2. Diane & Larry Mclennon
  3. Ellen Bryant
  4. Ellen Buckler
  5. Margaret Buckley
  6. Gordon Hall
  7. Jean Johnson
  8. Dorothy Shand
  9. Marjorie Spicer
  10. Sonia Turner
  11. Bev Genung
  12. Dorothy Anderson
  13. Ken Thompson
  14. Betty & Ernie Trosch
  15. David Callaway
  16. Shirley & Bob Thomas                                        
  17. Vicki & Turk Deeton                              
  18. Heather & Gary Sutherland    
  19. Dave Beattie                                        
  20. Janette & Dave Whittle                                    
  21. Elizabeth Stone
  22. Mona Sylvestre
  23. Evelyn & Jack Perkins
  24. Jean & Angus MacKenzie
  25. Joyce & Ed Schmidt
  26. Catherine McLay
  27. Festo Gicuhi
  28. Yvonne & Bob Callaway
  29. Jackie Shier
  30. Matthew ? Volunteer that used to lead tours
  31. Shannon Bradley Green
  32. Joan Popowich
  33. Kim Bucker
  34. Melva Blood
  35. Betty & Dennis Goodsall
  36. Katherine Mclean
  37. Kathy Thompson
  38. Anne Richardson
  39. Dorothy & Bill Boothby
  40. Kass Beynon
  41. John Thomson
  42. Cindy Murray
  43. Val & Murray Wilson
  44. Dorothy Andison

“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”

~Winston Churchill

Become a Volunteer.

We can match your skills with our needs.

Fund Raising offer from Winter Photographics

Every Restoration and/or colourization order during the month of April will
have $25 donated to CHAPS. A restoration originates from a damaged print or
from a print where changes are needed. Removing people, combining photos,
fixing damage etc. 

Clients will receive a FREE digital file (via email) of their restored file. This is a savings of $10 per restored image. 

Our vendor for restorations has donated $100 to CHAPS via PayPal. 

People are welcome to bring in multiple restorations. Should CHAPS need any
restorations completed we would be pleased to extend a discount.

Let me know if you need any further information. 

Thank you, 

Jennifer Winter

Winter Photographics foto source
18-312 5th Ave W,
Cochrane, AB. T4C 2E3

Place Names of Big Hill Country – by Sonia Turner

Beaupre – a locality north of the 1A Highway about 10 miles west of Cochrane. Named after Louis Beaupre, an early settler who bought squatter’s rights there.

Beaver Dam Creek – rises in the west side of the Weedon district, flows through Mortimer Coulee, and winds on northeast. So named because of the numerous beavers in it.

Big Hill – the hill below which Cochrane is situated. Early maps show it as Manachaban Hill, which is the Blackfoot name. The apex of the Big Hill is about 3 miles east of the town.

Bow River – so named because the Indians obtained wood for bow making, along its banks.

Cochrane – situated on the southwest slope and at the base of the Big Hill. Named after Senator M.H. Cochrane (1823-1903) who established the Cochrane Ranche in 1881.

Cochrane Lakes – named after W.F. Cochrane, son of Senator M.H. Cochrane of the Cochrane Ranche Company. The lakes are 4 miles north of the 1A Highway, and west of Highway 22.

Dog Pound – a locality which derives its name for a Cree name. but its origin is not clear. Presently, it is a hamlet on the Crossfield – Cremona Highway.

Ghost Lake– the flooded area formed by the Ghost Dam. There is now a village on the north shore of the lake. The Ghost River flows into the Bow just above the Dam.

Grand Valley – named after Donald McEachen, who exclaimed “Aye, It’s a grand valley!”

Horse Creek – supposed to have been so named because of a lost horse which was found drowned in the creek.

Jackass Canyon – located northwest of Beaupre. When the C.P.R. came through in the 1880’s, mules were used for building the roadbed. Those mules were wintered in this canyon, hence the name.

Jacob Creek – named after a Stoney Indian Chief who signed Treaty no. 7 in 1877. It flows through the Ghost Dam Reservoir.

Jumping Pound – a locality south and west of Cochrane. 

Lochend – a locality 14 miles northeast of Cochrane, named by J.K. Laidlaw.

Lochend Lake – named by J.K. Laidlaw , and derived from the Gaelic name meaning “At the end of the lake”. 

Madden – a hamlet named after Bernard Madden, an early settler in the Beaver Dam District.

Manachaban Hill – the Blackfoot name for what is more commonly know as Big Hill.

Mitford -a town between Cochrane and Morley on the banks of the Bow River. Mitford was named by Lady Adela Cochrane after her friend, Mrs. Percy Mitford. The town was abandoned when the C.P.R. established their station at Cochrane, and later a fire burned the buildings that remained; some, such as All Saints Anglican Church, were moved to Cochrane.

Morley – an Indian Reservation. Established as a mission at Morleyville, by the Rev. George McDougall. Named after Rev. Morley Punshon.

Pile of Bones Creek – presumably so named because of the severe cattle losses suffer by the Cochrane Ranche, whose cattle watered nearby on a quarter set aside as a water reserve (SW 1/4, 14-25-5-5)

Radnor – a flag stop station on the C.P.R. just east of the Ghost Dam. Named in 1884 after Wilma, Daughter of the 5th Earl of Radnor.

Sheep Ranch Hill -the hill just west of Cochrane, so named because the sheep corrals were at its base. Presently its known as Cochrane Crescent.

Sibbald Creek – named after the Sibbald family who homesteaded in the area.

Waiporous Creek – is part of the Ghost River system. It is derived from a Stoney Indian name meaning “Crow Indian Scalp.”

Wildcat Hills elevation 5,135 feet; a range of timbered hills northwest of Cochrane.

Thanks to Sonia Turner who originally wrote this article. This article contains a small number of the locations described on page 21 of Big Hill Country.

I’d originally thought about updating the article but that changed the flavour and doesn’t show how much Cochrane has changed since the book was published in 1977.

Hooves of History Sep 27 to Oct 1, 2001

The Hooves of History was a fundraising event for the Western Heritage Centre to celebrate our western culture.

I spoke with Ken Aylesworth, Steering Committee Chair, President and CEO of the Western Heritage Center about his memories.

Click on any image for a larger view.

The goal of the event was as a fund raiser to establish an annuity to support the operation of the Western Heritage Centre.

The original goal was to have 2000 head of cattle driven by 1000 outriders. While that ambitious goal was not reached 1000 cattle and 750 drovers made the 55 km ride from Sibbald Flats near the Trans Canada Highway into Cochrane 4 days later.

The drive stopped for nights at a Campground, Tom Copithorne ranch and the last night at the Wine Glass Ranch. 

Neil Sanger and Maureen Tynan were married that night on the Wine Glass Ranch by Cowboy Poet Doug Richards along with 50 guests.

A team of volunteers was out front of the drive taking down ranchers fences and pounding posts to tie up horses at every nightly stop. The route was selected because land owners allowed the drive to cross private property many times providing the necessary insurance as well.

While in Cochrane, the cattle were auctioned off, a dance was held in the Western Heritage Centre parking lot, outhouse races took place, stage entertainment including a western shootout, and a Cowboy Church.

Ken says it was a big, big job requiring nearly 400 volunteers.

Jim Bates was responsible for feeding nearly 2000 riders, volunteers and media personnel. 30 Volunteers helped serve food along the drive and another 30 prepared daily boxed lunches. Jim says the meals were not exactly gourmet cuisine but there’s nothing quite like a hot meal cooked on the open plains.

By the time the ride is complete, Bates will have served 4,000 lbs of beef, 4,800 lbs of potatoes, 24,000 eggs, 1,500 lbs of bacon, 12,000 buns, 500 lbs of butter, 72,000 creamers in 35,000 cups of coffee and 6,600 boxed lunches.

From a Cochrane Times article September 27, 2000
Crossing the Jumping Pound Creek
Hugh Halladay 75 Rocky Mtn House Takes a lunch Break Cochrane Times Photo

People attended from around the world including the rest of Canada, England, Australia, Norway, Holland and many parts of the U.S. Ken estimates 30% of people attending were not from the area.

10 wagons followed the drive.

Besides saddle sores, there was only one injury. Ken’s dad Bob Aylesworth was thrown from his horse minutes from the start breaking his pelvis.

"The day we came down the hill to ride through Cochrane was very emotional. All this work and we were coming to the end of it all. The streets were lined and people were on the roof of the bar. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun."

Ken Aylesworth
Driving down Main Street, Cochrane Times Photo

Brad Dennis, a friend of Kens and an investment banker participated.  Ken convinced him to come and he had one of the most incredible experiences of his life with riding a horse and sleeping on the ground. When we stopped he said “Kenny, lets do it again.”

Hooves of History created a wonderful event for Cochrane. Media from around the world were here.

Ken Aylesworth

Thanks to Ken Aylesworth, the Cochrane Times and the Cochrane Historical Museum Archive for providing details of Hooves of History 2000.

Ice Cream has always been good business

Phyliss Hart talks about how her father, Hedley Hart brought ice cream to his drug store in 1934 to bring people into the business. The video “The Five Cent Article” is from the series 100 Stories for 100 Years produced by Barry Thorson.

Hedley Hart purchased the drugstore from Dr. Waite who often closed the business when he had calls in the country. While business in Cochrane was better than in Gadsby, AB it wasn’t enough to support a family.

One day, Max Thibodeau, with Union Milk and Crystal Diary in Calgary came in to sell an ice cream machine and everything to go with it. Thibodeau must have been quite the salesman or visionary to sell $1500.00 of equipment when ice cream sold for just .05 cents.

It didn’t take long before the name was established and Hedley was staying up until 2 AM to keep up with the ice cream demand. He purchased a couple of new machines to help out. It wasn’t long before it became a Sunday pastime for Calgarians to drive to Cochrane for a Hart’s ice cream cone or a thick shake.

The store was an agent for Brewster, later Greyhound Bus Lines. Bus drivers would buy ice cream and it wasn’t long before passengers did the same.  At the time, Cochrane was on the Trans Canada and ran right through Cochrane. It wasn’t until years later that the Trans Canada Highway was routed miles south.

In 1956, Hedley Hart sold the drugstore and ice cream business to Bob and Alice Graham.  Hedley Hart, then 70 retired with family to Calgary. A year later, the Trans Canada Highway was developed south of Cochrane and the Grahams decided to sell the ice cream business to Jimmy MacKay. 

from files supplied by Phyllis Hart

Photo accompanying video, presumably of the drug store

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