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

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

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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