Hollowood Ranch Store


 – by Tootie Poynter 

In the spring of 1938 Jack and I, with the help of my dad and Dave Pow, built a store on our Hollowood Ranch, the W1/2 of 17-26-5-5. The store was named after the ranch, named by me after all the hollow wood in the coulee. 

In October of the same year, the acreage and the store were sold to my dad and mom, Jack and Gudrun Nissen. My dad suffered considerably from cancer caused by an old injury and passed away in June 1941, at the age of 54 years. Mom managed the store alone until November when she married Corporal Angus MacDonald. 

Angus was formerly from Nova Scotia. After serving in the First World War he came West and farmed in the Shepard district till he returned to the service during World War II. He was stationed at the Ozada Internment Camp on the Morley Flats near Seebe, where German and Italian prisoners of war were imprisoned during World War II. Later he was transferred to the internment camp at Lethbridge. In 1953 he was transferred back to Calgary and became a Commissionaire at Lincoln Airport. 

When Mom was at the store the coffee pot was always on and many good visits were held in the store. Later a streetcar was moved to the store property to be used as a restaurant. Many still remember Nini Andersen of Beaupre, who ran the restaurant 1950-51-52. Many will remember the delicious chicken dinners and homemade Danish pastry she served. All the cooking was done on a wood stove. Highway One A was the only highway between Calgary and Banff and tourists and skiers alike stopped on their way home for another delicious bite. 

In 1953 the store and part of the acreage were sold to Harry and Babs Woods. A young Saskatchewan boy, Bobby Gibson, came to work for them. The streetcar was joined onto the store and renovated into a very attractive dining car. The store is now owned by John McGillis. Bobby continued to work for John McGillis for several years before going to work at Bowridge Motors in Cochrane. A new store and restaurant have now been built a little closer to the coulee. 

Angus and Mom moved back to their acreage in 1962. Angus was not well and spent a lot of time in and out of the Belcher Hospital. Mom and Angus both passed away in their sleep, Mom, July 7, 1963, and Angus, August 25, 1963.

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