Friday, September 27, 2013

Heritage Park – Calgary Alberta, Canada (#4)

This is the ‘final’ chapter illustrating and commenting on our all day adventure at Calgary Alberta’s Heritage Park Historical Village.  Note: There will be additional blogs related to this visit… They will include 3 or more blogs about our visit to the adjacent Gasoline Alley Museum and there will be one that focuses on railroad/rail travel as portrayed in the Park.

Now onto our last visit to the historic village itself!

This Case Steam Farm Tractor is parked right next to the 1909 Shonts Grain Elevator on the edge of the 1910 Village.  Note the distinctive eagle emblem on the front of this tractor.  J. I. Case introduced the eagle logo for the first time in 1865.  It was based on ‘Old Abe’, a Wisconsin Civil War Regiment's mascot.
The Case Corporation of Racine Wisconsin was founded in 1843 by Jerome I. Case.  It was originally named the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company.  By 1891 the Case Company produced portable steam engines to power the threshing machines, and later went into the steam traction engine business.  By the start of the 20th century, Case was the most prolific North American builder of engines.  They ranged from a diminutive 9 HP up to a few massive 150 HP units. 
170 years later, Case is still in business…a part of CNH, (Case/New Holland), a world-wide company based in the Netherlands that is majority owned by Fiat Industrial.  The Racine Wisconsin plant is still operating.  To learn more about J.I. Case and his company, you can just go to

Draft horses are in use throughout the village.  Wherever they stop, people flock to them…just to pet and talk to them.  These horses are very patient with their human admirers and they apparently love the attention…

This is one of the streets that intersect with the 1910 Historic Village’s Main Street.  From left to right, we have Gledhill’s 1908 Drugstore, the Botsford 1906 Harness Shop, Black’s ca. 1904 Jewelry Shop, Claresholm’s ca. 1905 General Store and the 1910 Vulcan Ice Cream Parlor and Rotary Historical Hall.
The Jewelry Store is a recreation of the original but the Harness Shop, General Store, Drug Store and the Ice Cream Parlor are all original buildings that have been moved to the Park.
As an example, establishments such as the Botsford Harness Shop were always one of the first businesses to open in the newly settled villages on the Canadian Prairies.  Everybody needed tack for their horses or oxen, and saddles, yokes, horse collars and harnesses were always in high demand.  Botsford also repaired shoes, sold hardware and mended canvas, often before an audience of the town's children. The Municipal District of Rockyview No. 44 sold the building to Heritage Park for the nominal sum of one dollar in 1965.

Here’s another great example of an ‘old’ truck helping to visually set the scenario for the Park’s visitors while actually serving as a working vehicle for the Park’s staff…

As you can see, this is the Conklin Lakeview Amusements Park within the Heritage Park.  This attraction is adjacent to the 1910 Village Center…
Attractions in the 'Amusements Park' include the Baby Eli Wheel, a 12-passenger Ferris wheel specifically built for young children.  It was built by the Eli Bridge Company of Jacksonville, Illinois which began manufacturing Baby Eli wheels in 1923.  Other amusement park attractions include a 1904 Bowness Carousel, a ca. 1920’s Children’s Boat Swing, a 1920 German Dangler Swing and a 1923 Big Eli Ferris wheel.  For more on the Eli Bridge Company and its various products, go to

This is the Eugene Coste Park, which sits adjacent to the 1910 Village and the Conklin Lakeview Amusements Park.  Eugene Coste is known as the man who brought natural gas to Calgary back in 1912.  At the time, it was the longest natural gas pipeline in the world. 
Through the arch you can see the Celebration Tent, (used for weddings and other functions); the Chautauqua Tent, and; a replica of the 1914 Dingman No.1 Discovery Well.  The gasoline from the oil that was pumped from this first Alberta well was so pure that it didn’t require refining.
FYI…The name Chautauqua comes from Lake Chautauqua, New York, where a summer school was originally held for Sunday-school teachers beginning in 1873. After the classes expanded from religious studies to include arts, sciences and the humanities, the Chautauqua name soon came to be known as a travelling road show intended to educate as well as entertain.  ‘Chautauqua’ was extremely popular with the culture-starved prairie dwellers of Western Canada, with shows touring between 1917 and 1933.

This is the Sandstone House.  After the great fire of 1886, which destroyed 14 timber buildings, Calgarians started building in sandstone, which was fireproof, easily workable and readily available in the area.  Many buildings, such as banks, houses, schools and courthouses were made from sandstone, earning Calgary the nickname "Sandstone City" prior to the First World War.

Laurie couldn’t resist taking a picture of this beautiful flowerbed in front of the Sandstone House…

The original Sandstone House, upon which the 2/3-scale Heritage Park replica is based, was probably built in 1887.  The family of Colonel James Macleod, the former commissioner of the North West Mounted Police, who named Fort Calgary, later rented out this bungalow in May 1894.  Macleod died that September of a degenerative kidney disorder, and his body was laid in state in the original sandstone house. After Heritage Park completed its replica building in 1972, the house was decorated with items that would reflect the Macleods' Scottish ancestry.

This magnificent structure is the Prince House.  Peter Anthony Prince was a lumber and hydroelectricity magnate who, as the story goes, obtained an exclusive contract to provide Calgary with electricity after taking a fall on an unlit sidewalk.
Mr. Prince formed the Calgary Water Power Company in 1890, built a dam on the Bow River to harness hydroelectricity, and later became involved in other business ventures in Calgary, including a flour mill, a meat-packing plant, grain elevators and a brewery.  In 1894 he built this house for his family on the west end of town. The Prince House was preserved and relocated to Heritage Park in 1967. (That had to be a major undertaking!)

This is the Montefiore Institute… In the 1880s, a renewed wave of anti-Semitism spread across Eastern and Central Europe, with pogroms, (violent anti-Jewish attacks), in Russia and Romania causing many Jews to flee to North America.  The Montefiore Colony was established in 1910 near Sibbald, Alberta, and its synagogue, known as the Montefiore Institute, served as a place of worship, meeting hall and school for the religious education of the colony’s children.
The synagogue also housed a library with more than a thousand books in Yiddish, Hebrew and English. Drought conditions caused most members of the colony to abandon their farms by 1927 and resettle elsewhere. The building itself was later used for grain storage and a private residence. In 2008, it was purchased by the Little Synagogue on the Prairie Project Society, restored and moved to Heritage Park.

Nice barn isn’t it!  Actually this is the Hull Carriage 1905.  It’s still being used as a horse barn and carriage house by the Park.  The building was designed by William Hull, one of Calgary's early tycoons, to be part of his Langmore estate.  Hull first arrived in Calgary with 1,200 head of horses, which he and a partner sold to the North West Mounted Police and the Northwest Cattle Company.
Hull established a thriving meat business and butcher shop during Calgary's early days.  He then built Calgary's first opera house and 6 office buildings, including the Grain Exchange.  Then he and his partners started Calgary Brewing and Malting.  The carriage house was designed to house two buggies, four horses, two ponies and the grooms in the rooms upstairs, with space left over for a tack room and hayloft.  It was donated to Heritage Park in 1964.

These are two of the horses that reside at the Hull Carriage House… They are Canadian Breeds, and they’re lighter and faster than the other heavy horse breeds.  This horse breed was selected from the stables of King Louis XIV and it was brought to the new world by French settlers sometime between 1647 and 1670.  They adapted well to the harsh climate and were widely used throughout Western Canada and the Northwestern United States.  In danger of disappearing by 1900, breeding programs have been established to ensure their line continues…
Ending this series of 4 blogs on Calgary’s Heritage Park with a couple of beautiful horses is appropriate…given my photographer’s love for these handsome 4-legged critters!  To find out more about this special horse breed, go to
Just click on any of the photographs in order to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for another chapter of our visit to this great park.  For much more information about the Heritage Park Historical Village as well as pictures of the various historical buildings and other attractions, you can go to     
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. We were in Calgary about 40 years ago and missed this. Perhaps it is time for a return visit. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  2. Beautiful pictures and love the horses, but take care David, care your arm please:))