We are grateful to so many

I was looking for the next article to re-publish on our blog. I didn’t have to go far. I re-read the acknowledgements of More Big Hill Country.

I was struck by the goals of the organization and the number of people involved. I shouldn’t have been surprised by either as our town was built by people that saw what could be. It also  shows what can be accomplished by community.

So here are the acknowledgements from More Big Hill Country, Cochrane and Area 1945-1980.

In writing this sequel to the Big Hill Country book, we have attempted to record, the future, the continuing advancements and growth that the descendants– of the pioneers in the early 1880’s and those that have come later, carried on their initiatives and built a town and industry to support themselves and the people of Alberta. 

In some cases, the reader may find some repetition to the Big Hill Country stories, but that was done in order to familiarize the relationships going back many years and the generations that have followed. The newcomers who arrived after 1945, also pioneered in their own right, bringing their talents and fortitude to help make a living in this beautiful country a pleasure. 

We would like to acknowledge the Book Committee of CHAPS for their hard work and dedication. Co-Chairs, Marilyn Whittle, Bernice Klotz, Business Manager Gayle Want; Copy Editor, Margaret Buckley; Typist, Lynda Alderman; Proof Readers and Writers, Ellen Buckler, Arlene Hepburn, Shannon Want, Dorothy Anderson, Bev Genung, Dave Whittle, Ken Thompson, Gordon Davies and Ernie Trosch. Our thanks also to Janette Whittle for the cover drawing and to David Callaway, who with his talent in the publishing business, volunteered to get the book “print-ready” for us. Our thanks also to the many phoners and helpers we needed to complete this task. 

Our very sincere appreciation goes to the Cochrane and Area Community Foundation, Cochrane Eagle newspaper, Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation, the Cochrane Advocate newspaper, the Old Timer newspaper, Cochrane Royal Canadian Legion, Town of Cochrane, Bearspaw Historical Society, Cochrane Times newspaper, Calgary Herald newspaper, Glenbow Museum and Archives, Bearspaw Lions, Sure Print Copy and Tremar Computer Solutions. 

We have attempted to get as accurate information as possible and regret any unintentional omissions. Due to the fact that the Big Hill Country book was printed as a limited edition, we would ask you to visit the Nan Boothby Library or the Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation Library to read any of the previous family or area histories and stories. 

We hope that you will enjoy with us the history of the little town by the Bow River that grew and has prospered in the beautiful surrounding farm and ranch country that has, for so many years, been a great supplier of agricultural products for your table and home. 

Museum damaged in Ranche flood | Cochrane Times

Melting and subsequent ice blockage along Bighill Creek has caused extensive flooding in the Cochrane Ranche area, damaging the Cochrane Museum.The Cochrane Historical and Archival Preservation Society were alerted to the flooding late night on March 23.
— Read on www.cochranetimes.com/news/local-news/museum-damaged-in-ranche-flood

Nothing Really Outstanding – Aileen Copithorne

Aileen Copithorne talks about the freedom experienced growing up in Cochrane. CHAPS Cochrane has a YouTube Channel with over 40 interesting stories of Cochrane. 

Aileen Davies grew up in Cochrane in the home that is now the Cochrane Historical Museum.

She has many stories of growing up in a small town.

She tells a story of biking with friend, Dorothy Reed when Mr O’Keefe, the Bank Manager once offered them ride to 12 Mile Coulee to watch the Stampede Fireworks. They left their bikes behind Andisons’ store. Not thinking that fireworks were after dark they didn’t get home until late. Both parents had searched river and creek areas looking for them. “Our parents were so glad to see us we didn’t get in too much trouble.”

“Dorothy and I had stick horses which we rode over the hill to the brickyard. We also had stilts made by uncle Jack. The family across the road had tall stilts and used to sit on roof of house across the street just to watch people.  Their name was  Kinsley.”

Aileen went to school in brick school that used to be where Holy Spirit currently sits. She remembers looking south one day to see the Brushy Ridge fire.  Students were glued to the windows and the smoke was horrendous.

“I was the lone graduate in my class of grade 12. It was very lonely in high school.” She had classmates in earlier grades but they did not stick it out to Grade 12.

“School was  very regimented. Our Principal had a hand bell to call us back to class. If you didn’t behave you got hit with the bell. We used to have to line up girls then boys and march into school.”

“Cochrane used to be divided into east side and west side. You didn’t have friends from the other side of town. You visited the other side if you had relatives but there was little mixing. Many homes in Cochrane had barns behind them for horses and carriages. Homes had large gardens.” Aileen remembers Auntie Annie feeding a lot of men when they got off the train with food from the garden and from local chickens.

She attended a very rigorous 3 year Nursing program at Calgary General. “The first year you felt basically a slave, we were paid $6.00 per month, had no days off, had to attend lectures from Doctors during our off time and had a 10 PM curfew.  Year 3 you were a Senior and had more freedom.” Occasionally she came home on the midnight train.  The uniform was black stockings, striped blue and white dress, with apron and bib with white hat. “The stockings were terrible.” 

Since the train used to stop in Cochrane it was used to get into Calgary.

Thomas Davies Home

Aileen married John Copithorne and moved to their family place that originally sat where Gleneagles Golf Course currently is.

Aileen tells a story about John’s dad when driving their first tractor. He ran it through a fence into McPherson’s. When asked about his accident he said he hollered “Whoa but the damn thing didn’t stop”.

Copithorne family diary
Claude Copithorne 1920 using binder to harvest grain on Cochrane Hill.
John and Aileen Copithorne.

Aileen says they were lucky to grow up in Cochrane in an uncomplicated time. 

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History Column Collaboration

CHAPS is excited to begin a collaboration with the Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation to create twice monthly articles in a local paper.

The Cochrane Times contacted us about the possibility of regular articles on the history of Cochrane and Area. Our first article will appear in the Jan 23rd issue followed in two weeks time by the article from Stockmen’s.

We're excited about this opportunity to educate about the history of Cochrane and area.

We're looking forward to explaining history one brand at a time.

Can anyone suggest a name for our Article?

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