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Viva the Village

by Christine H - 1 Comment(s)

PC 1690

Looking East from the Grain Exchange Building, 1911

Postcards from the Past, PC 1690

I’ve just had a look at the animation of the master plan for the East Village. You can see it on the CMLC website. It’s a very exciting vision and the I'm excited that the library is going to continue to be an important part of the life down here.

In a way, this is a rebirth for the East Village. It’s hard to believe, looking at it now with its unending vistas of parking lots, but the east end of the city was once the centre of this bustling metropolis. I was reminded of this once more, by a question from a customer about what was on the site of the current Central Library before it was built. And as luck would have it, while I was looking into this question I ran into one of my favourite local historians who was able to tell me alot about what was on the site before the library was built, including a gas station and Nagler's Department Story. I don’t know how I missed this important detail, but it got me thinking about the new library site and what was on it before its redevelopment (read “parking lot-ization”).

I consulted some of my favourite resources, in addition to my local historian, including the fire insurance plans for Calgary (available on the Library and Archives Canada site) and the Henderson's directories (available in the local history room at the Central Library and online at Peel's Prairie Provinces)

The strip along 9th Avenue SE was home to many of our early hotels, of which only the King Edward (until recently) survived. The Imperial, Grand Union, and Oxford, along with the Maple Leaf Boarding House, lined the street, a natural outgrowth of the proximity of the train station. Serving these hotels were livery stables and there were two still active on 9th Avenue E. in 1911, the Atlantic and Brandon and Young. There were two livery stables on or near the site of the present Central Library as well, Elk Livery and Palace Livery. The New Central Library site is just to the west of the Oxford Hotel and Atlantic Livery, sitting on the back part of the Calgary Iron Works site and blacksmith John R. Grayshon’s shop.

On what would have been the Eighth Avenue side of the site (back when Eighth Avenue was continuous) there were several shops, including Chicago Outfitting and McLeod and Co. There were also several grocers, the Sunnyland Café, the Excelsior Block, a furniture store and McLeod’s Men’s Furnishings. The Seventh Avenue end of the site was residential, with homeowners Mrs. Peter Ronn, saddler Frank Carson and plumber Maxime Longuet all living there. On the same street, though not on the site of the New Central Library, there was a cigar factory and a Moravian Church.

The East end of the city was a bustling and vibrant place back in 1911. The plans for its revitalization are exciting and promise to bring back the vitality and vigor that was present before we paved it.

You can find out more information about the New Central Library by following the link on our website

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Moravian Church, 7th Avenue and 3rd Street East, ca 1964

Alison Jackson Photograph Collection, AJ 1294

The Amazon, Again

by Christine H - 0 Comment(s)

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Five People in a Rowboat at Bowness Park

Postcards from the Past, PC 1591

When I wrote about the Amazon statue back in December of last year, we felt we were hot on the trail of finding out what had happened to the statue. We were inspired by the article that Daniel Lindley had written for Stephen, the magazine put out by the Epcor Centre, to comb the City’s annual reports and the reports of the Parks Department to see if we could find any trace of what had happened to her. The statue was moved, as previously mentioned, to the South Mount Royal Park in 1934 but it disappeared some time before 1953. And the reason I know that is that Daniel was contacted by someone who lived in the area and who showed him pictures of the statue and also a picture of her dog on the vacant plinth in 1953. You can read the update in the latest issue of Stephen. So, we’re a little closer to narrowing down a date, but I can find no mention of the fate of the Amazon in any of the reports.

I did find some other interesting stuff, though. The Parks Department reports are fascinating reading. Most include lists of animals at the zoo, locations and sizes of the various parks, what was planted in the parks and on the boulevards, what it cost to do various tasks. I found two separate charges for the moving of the museum specimens from Coste house; one in 1941 “Moving museum to car barns” at $3.23 and again in 1943 : “Coste’s residence, moving museum specimens” at $73.22. This would have been the collection that included our buffalo (see my previous post.)

Something else I found is that there was a street car placed in Roxboro Park to serve as a shelter. In the 1940 report, Mr. Reader, the superintendent stated: “ The old street car that was placed on this park and converted into a shelter is abused to such an extent that it seems practically useless to make any more repairs. “ I think it was dismantled in 1942. I can’t find any other record of it, but I will certainly keep looking. Wink

PC 1138

Calgary Tigers Playing Football in Hillhurst Park

Postcards from the Past, PC 1138

Out With the Old?

by Christine H - 0 Comment(s)

 CPL 103-26-01

Museum at Calgary Public Library, 1912

Calgary Public Library Archives, CPL 103-26-01

This year I thought I would resolve to follow my nose, just like Toucan Sam, and research the things that really caught my eye, no matter how bizarre. Appropriately, as I was reading Harry the Historian’s Twitter feed I saw an article he had posted dating from December 29, 1913 that announced that buffalo meat was available for the first time in many years, from P. Burns and Co. The meat had come from two buffalo culled from the government ranch herd at Wainwright. Even one hundred years ago the buffalo was a novelty on the prairies and animals were protected at the Wainwright ranch. These particular animals were on their way to be mounted and placed in the Calgary Public Library. Hmmm. Weird thing to have at the library, don’t you think? So, to follow through on my resolution, I am going to find out what became of these beasts and why they were headed to the library.

When the Calgary Public Library first opened its doors in 1912, it had extra space that was not being used — probably the first and last time that ever happened at a library — so when Dr. Euston Sisley and the Calgary Natural History Society looked to establish a museum, it was housed on the second floor of the new library. We have a picture of it in our archives (see above). There are no buffalo evident in that photo, but I am guessing that the beasties were actually headed to the museum, not the library. By 1914 the Library needed more space (surprise) so the museum collection was moved to the basement of the courthouse.

 

PC 1259

Courthouse, ca 1906

Postcards from the Past, PC 1259

The collection continued to grow, especially after the museum was given to the City of Calgary. It became the Calgary Public Museum in 1928 and the collections were moved to the North West Travellers building. Long before the Tyrell museum, our own municipal museum housed one of the few specimens of duck billed dinosaurs in the world. The collection grew and became quite impressive. A 1932 article from the Herald lists some of the finest collections including trilobites, an outstanding coin and medal collection and Oliver Cromwell’s spectacles. A slightly later article (December 15, 1934) includes a photo of the natural exhibits including deer and a very large moose. There is a buffalo hiding at the back. By all accounts this was an excellent museum, somewhat lacking in focus, perhaps, but its collection of 8,000 items was a credit to the city. So what happened? Well, the depression happened. As was the case with many of the jewels in this city’s crown, the financial strain became too much and the museum closed its doors in 1935.

From there the story of Calgary’s museum and its specimens, including the buffalo, takes a sorry turn. The collections were put in the basement of the Coste House, which was another victim of the depression. The city had taken ownership of the house due to unpaid taxes. The collections were stowed there with no measures taken to ensure their safety or condition. Over the years some of the items were moved, including one of the buffalo, which was given to the Stampede and used outside the NWMP hut during Stampede week. The other two, likely the ones mentioned in Harry’s clipping, were stored in the street railway barns and finally burned in 1946. Sigh.

Albertan article

"Into the Incinterator"

The Albertan, October 2, 1946

Sorry for the downer New Year’s post but here’s to a happy and heritage 2014. It will only get better!

What did you get from Santa?

by Christine H - 0 Comment(s)

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Parade along 8th Avenue (handwriting indicating "Papa's store" with arrow pointing to Linton Bros.), 1908

Postcards from the Past, PC 868

I no longer have little ones to buy presents for at Christmas, which is a shame because I love toys. I reminisce about my Mrs. Beasley doll and my Easy-Bake oven, or the little French telephone set and my Kenner Knit-O-Matic, all of which I see now advertised as vintage antiques. Sigh.

I know that this year kids will be asking for all kinds of electronics (although I’m heartened to see that one of the hottest toys this year is the Kendama, which doesn’t require batteries, a plug-in or any high-tech savvy.) And, as is my wont, I get to wondering about the history of it all. What kinds of things did kids in Calgary a hundred years ago get from Santa? I went rooting through my resources in the Local History room and found a wonderful resource at the Calgary Public Library for just this kind of browsing: the Eaton’s Catalogues on microfilm (which I am told is kind of an antique in itself). When I was a kid I got all of the items on my Santa list from the Eaton’s wish book. And it appears it was always thus.

Long before there was the internet, there was mail-order. The catalogues would arrive by mail, you would send your orders by mail (or later, you could order by telephone) and your stuff would be sent by mail. That could take some time, but you could also get things that weren’t easily available in your local community. That was especially important in remote areas, which was most of Western Canada back in the late 19th century. In fact, according to Collections Canada, the Eaton’s catalogue was sometimes called the Prairie Bible. You can access a great digitized collection of mail order catalogues at the Collections Canada site.

Train set

A page from the toy section of the 1913 Fall/Winter Eaton's Catalogue

So what did kids get for Christmas? There were some really cool things on offer. In the 1915 winter catalogue there were toy grocery store items, a submarine game, a big-game hunter set with a target bear, dollies, tea sets, cowboy outfits, a clothes washing set, complete with washboard and wringer and even a Ouija board!

What about earlier, though. Kids in 1897 might wish for a tricycle or a toy wheelbarrow. In 1886 the list of toys in the Eaton’s catalogue include dolls and accessories for them, dominoes and other games, a whistling steam engine, magic lanterns, musical instruments and riding, driving and dog whips (really!). Skates seem to have been a very popular item. There were sleighs and wagons and rocking horses to be had closer to home, however, as Linton’s had a Toyland on the second floor. Treats such as oranges, candy, figs, nuts and raisins, were also brought in by retailers for the season.

Whatever the gifts, Christmas has always been a time for family. Have a wonderful time with yours.

How To Set a Christmas Table

by Christine H - 0 Comment(s)

PC 814

Christmas wished from Calgary Milling Co. Limited. 191?

Postcards from the Past, PC 814

(Flour companies often published cookbooks)

I love my old cookbooks. Not that I cook that much, but having a collection of cookbooks from my family members is like having those family members with me. I still use my mom’s Purity cookbook to make the foods I remember from my childhood like banana bread and dream squares (and a horrible concoction of caramel syrup and dough gobs that my sister christened “death balls”). I look upon cookbooks as historical documents that not only tell us what our ancestors were eating, but how they conducted their lives. I mean, do we still have Bridge Teas? Doesn’t the very fact of a bridge tea speak to a different way of life?

The Local History room at the Central Library has an interesting collection of cookbooks, all with a relevance to the history of Calgary. It was in the Royal Purple Lodge No. 7 cookbook that I found the suggested menu for a Bridge Tea, complete with ribbon sandwiches and American Beauty salad. What really caught my eye, though, was the suggested menu for Christmas dinner in the Blue Bird Cook Book by the Domestic Science Department of the American Women’s Club of Calgary. The Christmas menu contains nothing, besides the turkey, that I recognize (or would eat, really). The starter is Oyster Cocktails and Salted Wafers. The soup course is consommé with toasted bread rings (made with day old bread and a doughnut cutter). The turkey was stuffed with a mixture of milk and cracker crumbs and served with cranberry mold, potato baskets and Christmas salad (grapefruit and orange sections laid out in a wreath shape with red pepper and garnished with a pickled cherry). Dessert was a choice of pineapple sherbet or Christmas cake, with a holly garnish made from candied peel and cinnamon candies. Yummy.

This would all be served on a table laid out as below. Note that this was for a family dinner, without the service of a maid. One hopes the maid would be given the day off to be with her family. This suggested setting comes from the Blue Ribbon Cook Book, 17th edition. The book also gives advice about serving protocol and admonishes against the use of intoxicating liquors. (The recipes in the book substitute fruit juice for booze and, in the case of brandy for the fruit cake, two tablespoons of molasses are said to be an excellent substitute).

 

How to set a table

How to set a table, from the Blue Ribbon Cook Book, ca 1930s?

Scary Calgary

by Christine H - 0 Comment(s)

 

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Fire Hall Number 3/Inglewood Community Association, ca 1960s

Alison Jackson Photograph Collection, AJ 1273

Hallowe’en is nearly upon us. I know that because it snowed this weekend and it’s cold outside. What would hallowe’en be without frost on the pumpkins? So with the cold weather, the approach of hallowe’en and the success of our Century Homes ghost tour on Saturday, I thought I’d have a look at some of the favourite ghosts haunts in Calgary.

Even though our city is relatively young, in the scheme of things paranormal we do have our share of strange and inexplicable happenings. Inglewood, as it is one of the oldest communities and still has a fairly good stock of original buildings, seems to be a focus for supernatural activities. One in particular is the old Fire Hall #3. This Fire Hall was built when Captain James “Cappy” Smart saw a need for emergency services in the quickly growing east end of the city. The members of the fire department were very much a part of the community and kept pets, in addition to the horses that pulled the fire wagons. One of these pets was a beloved monkey named Barney. Accounts vary but Barney met a bad end and was buried, on the grounds of the fire hall, in a specially made casket. Could this have been because Captain Smart, in addition to being one of our first fire chiefs was also one of the provinces first undertakers? However it happened, the ghost of Barney is thought to inhabit the old fire hall which is now the Hose and Hound Pub. Strange “monkey-business” takes place in the kitchen, with pots flying and ovens opening on their own. Barney is not alone, as a horse named Lightning, who lost his life in a fire, also makes the pub his home. His hoof beats are sometimes heard in the hallway.

AJ 0308

Gaspe Lodge/Deane House, ca 1965

Alison Jackson Photograph Collection, AJ 0308

Deane House is another reportedly haunted home in the Inglewood area. The house was built for Superintendent Richard Burton Deane at Fort Calgary. It was moved to its present location in 1929. It eventually became a rooming house called the Gaspe Lodge. Rooming houses were notorious dens of iniquity (at least that’s what I was told when I was young) so it isn’t surprising that some unsavoury events took place. Stories abound about murders and suicides that have left the spirits of the dead restless and ripe for a haunt. There have been reports of floating torsos, smoking gentlemen and reappearing blood stains. The ghosts of Deane house, are benign, however, and cause no problems for the staff.

These are just two of a long list of buildings that are home to the ghosts of our city. Even our City Hall is believed to have two supernatural inhabitants. If you’re interested in more of Calgary’s haunted history, visit us in the Local History room at the Central Library. We have lots of stories, and maybe even a ghost or two.

Skull and books from istock

Happy Birthday to an Iconic Building

by Christine H - 0 Comment(s)

 

 

PC 1665

The Hudson's Bay Company's New Departmental Store in Calgary, ca 1913

Postcards from the Past, PC 1665

 

The Hudson’s Bay building downtown has turned 100 years old. It has been a part of the lives of Calgarians for a very long time. It has certainly been an important part of my life, even though I’m slightly younger than 100 (and my Nan worked at Eaton’s so I could get a discount). Still, I used to shop the bargain basement for my stockings when I was a candy bar girl (complete with red mini-dress) at the Palace Theatre across the street. I used to skip school to eat French fries and drink iced tea in the Chinook Room (because I didn’t want to run into my Nan at Eaton’s)

Now, while the building is 100, the company itself is much, much older. The Hudson’s Bay Company was established in the 17th century to take advantage of the fur trading opportunities. The first post was established in Calgary in 1876, hot on the heels of the NWMP establishment of Fort Calgary. It has always been a part of this city. Its growth was an indicator of the health of the city — kind of an indicator species, if you will. When the decision was made to run the transcontinental railway through Calgary, thus shifting the focus of settlement from the confluence of the Bow and Elbow to the west side of the Elbow River, the Bay followed suit, opening a small store at Centre Street and Stephen Avenue. But the city continued to boom and soon this little store became inadequate so a newer, more elegant store was built on the same site.

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8th Avenue looking East, (you can see the old Hudson's Bay Store at the end of the block on the left)

Postcards from the Past, PC 587

You can still see this building at 102 8th Avenue SW. As the city continued to grow, this store was added to and expanded but by the beginning of the 20th century, Calgary was booming again. The Bay needed to evolve to meet the needs of this new, sophisticated (and moneyed) town. The site they chose was on the corner of 1st Street and 8th Avenue, physically not too far from where they were, but the store the company would build was miles beyond the Victorian structure they left behind.

As they described it themselves in the announcement of the opening of the new store, their old place was “work — worn, wearied and the dear, faithful old walls “weren’t up to the challenge of the new century. It sounded more like they were describing someone’s grandma. They would be “winging their way to premises more dignified and capacious — befitting the aspirations of this progressive institution” and the aspirations of the progressive city which it served. The opening of this store, one of the grandest in the country, was a nod to the optimism and potential of Calgary.

The ad announcing the grand opening of the new location waxed eloquent about the sun setting on the old ideals and hopes and rising again on the renewed ambition and the new “life fluid coursing through [the] veins” of the new Hudson’s Bay; this could have been a metaphor for the new life blood that would be gushing through Calgary in the near future (sorry, couldn’t resist). The opening was a gala affair, kicking off on 14th Avenue east, winding its way to the Braemar lodge to pick up the Lieutenant Governor and then on to the store. There were bands and honour guards, a luncheon with speeches and toasts and band concert, held in The Rendezvous.

The Hudson’s Bay would become more than just a store for Calgarians. It was a meeting spot, a cultural centre and it even had a library for its customers. The Elizabethan Room promised an elegant dining experience and the children could be entertained on the rooftop playground. During the war its top floor housed the RCAF No. 4 Training Command, possibly because the store already had a beacon on its roof to guide pilots toward the airport. It was one of the grandest stores the Hudson’s Bay had ever opened and remains, to this day, one of the most beautiful buildings in the core. It is the Bay, what more needs to be said.

For those of you interested in Calgary's commercial heritage, our next Heritage Matters program - the launch for our Heritage Weekend - will be on just that subject. It will feature author Steve Speer speaking about his photographic vision of Calgary's skyline through his book, Building on the Bow. Landmarks of Downtown Calgary. For more information and to register check out our program guide.

PF 786.2078 PIA

Programme for a recital at the Hudson's Bay Green Room by Gordon Bryan, visiting examiner

from the Royal Academy of Music, 1933

Balmoral School Celebrates 100 Years

by Christine H - 4 Comment(s)

AJ 91 02

Balmoral School, 1968

Alison Jackson Photograph Collection, AJ 0571

While chatting with some friends at the Historic Calgary Week volunteer recognition event, I was reminded that Balmoral School was celebrating its 100th anniversary. Actually, the school had planned its celebrations for June 21, but we all know what happened on that day, so it was postponed until the new school year. On Friday September 13 the celebration was held and the new clock faces unveiled. There is a great deal of history in that clock tower.

Built in 1913, Balmoral school was the last and most expensive of the nineteen sandstone schools built by the school board between 1892 and 1914. The sandstone building boom ended with the onset of World War I. After the war many of the artisans who worked the stone had returned to their homes in Scotland. Other materials were available at a reasonable cost, so no more sandstone schools were built.

When it opened, Balmoral was an elementary school, with the Crescent Heights Collegiate sharing the building. William Aberhart was principle of Crescent Heights. The High School moved to its own building in 1929.

The defining characteristic of Balmoral School is its clock tower. It has stood blank-faced since the school was completed. Stories about the clock-that-never-was abound. A favourite is that the works for the clock were shipped to Canada on the Titanic. It’s a good story, except the Titanic was sunk in 1912, a year before the school was built. The true story is that, as war approached and the boom ended, there was no money for a clock for the school. Over the years different groups have tried to remedy the situation, but fundraising is a difficult thing and there was never enough money raised. There was even a song written about it:

Old clock tower overhead,
Still no clock when we go to bed
No clock wakes us in the morn
No clock since our school was born

Finally, a corporate donor, BP Energy, offered money to pay for a clock for the tower. Sadly, the years had taken their toll on the tower and to bring it up to a state where it could hold the clock would cost over 100,000 dollars. As a compromise, clock faces, without working mechanisms, were installed to fill in the painted wood faces. They indicate 4:05, which was the time of the end-of-school bell when the school first opened.

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Balmoral School taken during a snowstorm, 1966

Alison Jackson Photograph Collection AJ 91-02

The Weir

by Christine H - 0 Comment(s)

PC 229

Head Gates and Irrigation Canal, Calgary, ca. 1907

Postcards from the Past, PC 229

I seem to be obsessed with water these days. Or maybe it’s a normal reaction to betrayal by your rivers. Possibly not a healthy obsession, but I am going to write one more water-related post and then I will stop, promise. What caught my attention this week was the closure of the Harvie Passage, the man-made rapids designed to make the area around the weir safer for experienced paddlers (although they still strongly recommend that novices and folks in rubber rafts portage around the rapids) Harvie Passage is closed because the mighty Bow has rearranged the area and repairs need to be made before it is safe for use.

I remember going to a meeting where the plans for Harvie Passage were explained. It seemed like such an innovative way to deal with the “drowning machine” as the weir was known at the time. The building of two channels, designed to enhance the experience of the Bow, opened up that area of the river and allowed for enthusiasts to paddle without portage.

Growing up on the Bow, I knew the weir was there, but it wasn’t until much later in my life that I knew, first what a weir was exactly and second, why it was built. It may not seem like it this year, but the area in which we sit was considered by the early explorer John Palliser to be essentially a desert and not suitable for settlement unless irrigation could be provided. That section, still known as the Palliser Triangle, wasn’t even considered good enough to give away to homesteaders so it was taken out of the homestead scheme.

When the CPR came to claim their alternate sections of arable land as payment for building the railway, they also looked at the Palliser Triangle. They had just built a railway from coast to coast. Irrigating the prairie “desert” (the largest irrigation project in North America) would be a piece of cake by comparison and could increase their profits enormously. It was to this end that the weir was built, starting in 1904. This diversion would send water into a canal to send it on its way to the arid lands to the north and east. The Main Canal carried Bow River water to the Reservoir #1, or, as we call it today, Chestermere Lake (that was news to me too).

The weir was always a dangerous spot. A brief search through the old newspapers turns up many accounts of people drowning at that spot. Warning signs and buoys didn’t stop people from attempting to “shoot the rapids.” The idea of turning such a deadly, but necessary, area of the Bow into an attraction, was an inspired one, and I hope all will be well with Harvie Passage in the future.

We have some fascinating material on the history of the Western Irrigation District including Flow Beyond the Weir , which is the history of the Western Irrigation District, and some of the original reports and conference proceedings of the Western Canada Irrigation Association. Drop in to the Local History room at the Central Library and have a look.

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Canadian Pacific Irrigation Department Building, Calgary, 1907

Postcards from the Past, PC 668

The Old Swimmin' Hole

by Christine H - 3 Comment(s)

 

PC 190

Swimming in Elbow Park, ca 1940s (?)

Postcards from the Past, PC 190

Finally it is summer! Yay, just in time for fall. I was looking for a postcard to illustrate something about Elbow Park and I happened across this one that shows people swimming in the Elbow River. It was also posted as a nice summertime picture for Photo Fridays on our Facebook page. This got me to thinking about one of the best things about living at the confluence of two rivers – we have awesome swimming holes.

If any of you have heard Harry Sander’s list of 100 Awesome Things about Calgary, you will have heard about the rope swing on the Elbow River in what is now Lindsay Park. Well, back in the olden days, when I was a kid, there was no development in Lindsay Park, it was just waste ground owned by the city and the CNR. That made it a great hiding place for us to play hookey on a warm summer day (or a cold winter day, we didn’t need much of an excuse to duck school). We used to swing on the rope swing and drag our feet in the swimmin’ hole, sort of an inlet in the already shallow Elbow River. The more adventurous of us would drop in to the water and spend the rest of the afternoon lying on the bank in the sun trying to dry out our blue jeans. That was a really good excuse not to go back to class.

 

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Kiddies Pool at Bowness Park, ca 1920s

Postcards from the Past, PC 960

One of my other favourite places, and not just to swim, was Bowness Park. The company my dad worked for used to have a family picnic there every year. We got to ride on the rides and boat around the lagoon and swim in the kiddies pool. While not exactly a swimmin’ hole, it was a great place to spend a hot summer day.

The wading pond at Riley Park was a kind of swimming hole as well. Originally it was just a mud-bottomed slough (familiar to those of us who grew up on the prairies as the place where the cows drink and the ducks float). By the time I was old enough to paddle in the pool, it had been cemented and a lovely clump of willows planted in the middle. It is still a favourite with families in Calgary – my son loved to paddle in the pool when he was a baby.

Pool at Riley Park

Pool at Riley Park, prior to 1930

There were other excursions as well. When we were older we would ride our bikes out to Twin Bridges near the YMCA Camp and wander around in the silty river bottom. When we got our drivers’ licenses we’d pack up the car with towels and beer and dogs and spend the day and the evening hanging out and swimming in the river, until the RCMP whooshed us away and sent us all home.

Our junior high school used to hold its summer field day at Glenmore Park, and when we could shake off the chaperones (our moms and teachers) we would sneak a dip in the reservoir. Swimming in the city’s drinking water was not, apparently, limited to sneaky kids. Before the Glenmore Reservoir was built, there was a city reservoir roughly where Richmond Green is now. Militia units trained in the surrounding park and the soldiers were known to cool off after a long day of training in the reservoir, much to the dismay of the medical officers.

With the recent uprising of our peaceful rivers, it would be best to check on conditions before you try to take a dip in any of Calgary’s swimmin’ holes. But while you’re reminiscing, why not post your swimmin’ hole story in the comments section? We’d love to hear it.

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