Tag Archives: Bingville

Bow City getting village status historical marker

Good news everyone! From the Brooks Bulletin, intrepid scribe Rob Brown informs the masses that the Province of Alberta has approved Vulcan County’s application for a historical marker at the site of the former Village of Bow City (reproduced below).

A big thank you is owed to Liza Dawber and Vulcan County for their work approving and submitting the Heritage Marker application, and the community partners who supported the application.

Bow City getting village status historical marker

Just in time for next week’s 100th anniversary of becoming a village, Bow City has been awarded a historical marker noting the fact.
On July 13, 1914 Bow City was incorporated as a village.

Last week, Jonathan Koch, an avid historian working on the recognition project, said the province notified him a marker is forthcoming.

He says it is important to recognize the past.

“We certainly do run the risk of losing our history if these aren’t marked and people aren’t doing the work,” he says.

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“Xmas Eve 1934”

Thank you to C. Tom Grusendorf, who passed along the poem below entitled “Xmas Eve 1934”, written by Mrs. Sanford, housekeeper and cook at the Monarch Ranch, situated 13 miles south of Buffalo, Alberta within the boundaries of the British Block.

Owned by the Horne family of Calgary wholesalers, Horne and Pitfield, the Monarch ranch was managed by Harold Moon, who also managed another ranch at Monarch, Alberta.

The poem makes reference to the diverse cast of characters gathered at the ranch on Christmas Eve, 1934; including J. Les Grusendorf (1913-2004), referred to in the poem as “Leslie”.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Forgotten Alberta readers!

 Xmas Eve, 1934

‘Twas Christmas Eve, the snow lay thick,
The air was clear and still.
And Winter spread his icy touch
O’er coulee and o’re hill.
The hoar frost on the fences,
Like strings of diamonds hang.
And all was Peace, Goodwill to men,
Just as the Angels sang.
And it was fit it should be so,
For tomorrow’s Christmas Day.
And so with mirth and all good cheer,
We’ll sing our Christmas lay.

The Monarch Ranch lay gleaming white,
The sheep all in the fold,
Safe from the prowling coyotes,
And sheltered from the cold.
Just lying peacefully at rest,
Their cuds all quietly chewing,
Till sleep fell on them one by one,
Their spirits quietly wooing.
No “Shepherds watch our flocks by night” –
All seated on the ground.
“Nor Angel of the Lord comes down”
To glory shed around.
We have instead a brilliant moon
Which sheds a minor glory.
Making a perfect setting,
For this lovely Christmas story.
And if you would enact the scene
The Wise men saw that night
Just walk around out crowded corral
You’ll get this vision right.

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The Hanna-Hat Line withered on the Peavine

1924 Department of Interior Map showing proposed route of Hanna-Hat Line, south of the Red Deer River.

Picture 1 of 3

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Tucked between the Rainy Hills, southeast of Jenner, is some of the driest country in southeastern Alberta.

At the centre of this deceptively dubbed district is Tide Lake. Named for an intermittent slough, the Tide Lake area is sparsely populated but prosperous, situated at the centre of a great grazing and oil and gas empire.

A century ago, farmers here and in surrounding communities—Bingville, Brutus, New Holland, Peerless, Polonia and Tripola—were confident that the semi-arid pasture straddling present-day C.F.B. Suffield had few rivals as a premier wheat-growing district.

In the absence of water, farmers prayed for a flood of railway traffic along the proposed Hanna-Hat Line.

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History books, websites help uncover the southeast’s forgotten history


Many local histories from Alberta communities can be found online.

I received an early Christmas present this year.

Out of the blue, a reader of this column offered me two local histories from his collection, and I was happy to accept. I’d like to express my sincerest gratitude to Frank Horvath of Barrhead, Alberta for his kind donation.

I developed a love of local histories as I learned about my own family, who homesteaded in southeastern Alberta over a century ago. Local histories— compilations of unvarnished recollections and grainy photos of intrepid homesteaders and their descendents—are often the only record that exists of Alberta pioneer families, and the communities that grew and often withered around them.

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