Nipper and Eleanor Guest Family

– photo courtesy the Memory Project

– Article pg 478 More Big Hill Country

Eleanor hails from the Lake Simcoe area of Ontario. She came West in 1950 at the time of the second oil boom. I’m originally from the Barrhead district where my father, who came West from Ontario as a boy in 1910, acquired a farm as a ‘returned man’ under the Soldier Settlement Grant program after World War 1. However, we moved to Edmonton before I started school and I grew up there. I served overseas in the infantry in World War II and studied engineering at the U of A under the Veterans Affairs program. 

We had three small boys when we moved from Calgary to Bearspaw in 1961. Fred, the oldest, attended the old Bearspaw School for two years before it closed and then attended Cochrane schools, as did the other boys. I was one of three school trustees for the Bearspaw School District but there wasn’t much to do as the school closed in 1964. 

Our place is located in NW Sec 19 Twp 25 Range 2 W54 or South of Hwy 1A and East of Bearspaw Road. The small acreage was purchased from Lauritz Pederson, a dairy farmer who emigrated from Denmark. The small subdivision was identified with the lofty name Bearspaw Heights but none of the residents use the team although it enjoys a splendid view of the river valley, the mountains and Calgary. We were eight miles from the city limits then and are less than a mile away now. 

Our children enjoyed many happy days camping in the coulee below us that stretches from Hawkwood’s farm to the Bearspaw Reservoir. For many years it was my tradition to take a cold beer to share with Tom Hawkwood when he was haying in the field below our house. 

My career was in the field of process control and automation. I was a founding partner of Sparta Controls and worked there until retiring in 1985. I operated Bearspaw Bicycle Company, a small business from home for several years. Bicycle touring was a major pastime that took me to many parts of the world and included a solo ride across Canada at age 70 For many years I cycled every day winter and summer no matter the weather and became a fixture in the neighbourhood. 

The boys all attended the University of Calgary Fred is a consulting reservoir engineer and lives at Ghost Village. Gordon, a geologist, lives in the woods near Bragg Creek and works in the environmental field Bruce after 18 years as an engineer moved near Saskatoon and is enrolled in the veterinary college. 

We feel blessed to have lived with such a fine view and pleasant neighbours. 


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