Monday, September 2, 2013

Beiseker's CPR Station is 100 Years Old!

I invite all of you to Beiseker's CPR Station Building, now housing the Village Offices and Museum, on Sunday, September 29, 2013 to celebrate that building's 100th anniversary. The celebration will go from 2 PM until 4 PM.

We'll have live music, refreshments, and activities for everyone there.

We will also have a very special unveiling during the celebration.  When you think of ranching in Alberta, your mind automatically goes to towns like Cochrane, Stavely,  or Longview.   Your picture in your mind the herds of cattle roaming the hills and valleys to the west of Calgary. You might be surprised to learn that some of Alberta's earliest ranches were located near our village, out here on the prairie. 

In order to recognise the historical significance of these early ranches the Beiseker Museum  Society has commissioned a mural picturing the early ranch days around here.

When the Canadian government opened up this area, then part of the Northwest Territories, they pictured huge ranches with thousands of cattle eating grass and getting fat.  The logic of the day was that since the Buffalo or North American Bison roamed this land for centuries, the cattle would do fine here too.  Nobody figured that  most of the Buffalo migrated south in the winter and came north with the spring.

Some years brought devastating losses to the ranchers as blizzards and bone chilling temperatures destroyed their herds.  In the early part of the last century the Canadian government and the CPR opened up the ranchlands around here to settlement and farmers . So ended the ranching days.

The Elliott Ranch was located  east of  Beiseker and was eventually "closed off" as settlers and homesteaders moved in.  The Beiseker Museum Society has had created a mural to celebrate those early ranching days. 

The mural historically commemorates life on those early ranches over 110 years ago.  It will be unveiled at our CPR station celebrations on 29 September .

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