About Lakeview past and present

About Lakeview today

Lakeview is a vibrant residential community in southwest Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We're nestled between Glenmore Trail in the north, North Glenmore Park in the south, Crowchild Trail in the east and 37th Street in the west.
 

About Lakeview yesterday

Lakeview Area Once Site Of Thriving Ranch



Its address was "Elbow Park, Calgary, N.W. Territory," with an added note that "Elbow Park is four and one half miles from Calgary, on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Trains running daily East and West to all parts of Canada."

The name of the place was The Chipman Ranche Co., and, if you are in Lakeview or Lakeview Village today, you are right there on the Chipman spread.

The ranch was funded by a group of Haligonians who, from their East Coast viewpoint, believed the western part of Canada to be ideal investment territory.

They appointed one of their number, J. E. Chipman, as president, and his brother, B. W. Chipman, as company treasurer. C.E. Harris was named manager.

As initial emissary of the Halifax Ranche Co., Harris signed on for $100 per month plus room and board.

He made the tedious trip west small with a herd of horses to settle on the group's first acquisition, 100,000 acres of wilderness land near Pincher Creek.

Before long, his bosses charged him with the job of setting up a more northerly operation on the north bank of the Elbow River just out of sight of a new settlement called Calgary.

Within the space of two years, the spread had a herd of 1,200 cattle to which were added, within a few months, Percheron stallions and a large herd of brood mares.

From those beginnings, the fame of the ranch spread until, at the time the Maritimers decided to pull out of the acreage, it was in a position to issue a catalogue of its superb Percheron stock.

However, the Chipman seemed more interested in making a success of a hardware* business they had-set up in Calgary.

They found a buyer of the cattle from both spreads in the Military Colonization Company, which was looking for high-quality Herefords.

The horses remained on the Calgary acreage as part of a package bought by two English brothers, Isaac and Richard George Robinson.

Isaac had done extremely well in the diamond fields of South Africa, had become a millionaire, a friend of renowned administrator Cecil Rhodes, and, with the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, came in search of investments.

Calgary impressed him, and the Chipman Ranche was on the market.

One of the experienced Chipman hands was Devonshire-born Charles T. Priddis, who had trail-herded with Jesse Chisholm along the San Antonio-Abilene trail that bore his name.

Charlie, who was a squatter on Fish Creek as far back as 1883, left his own mark here when he homesteaded at Priddis in 1885.

It was young Brumfit who was certain Charles Priddis never took off his chaps, day or night.

One particular bunkhouse occupant with Brumfit, another expert Chipman cowman who left his mark upon this part of the West, was John Ware, affectionately and admiringly known to all as Nigger John, work-ing alongside another skilled black cowboy, Thomas Ringold, Nigger Tom.

The eldest Robinson boy was .Joseph, born in San Francisco, and raised on the Elbow Park Ranch.

Joseph's son, Vincent, himself a lifetime resident of -the Elbow valley, has admirably kept track of the large family's history.

He recounted his father's recollection of watching in awe, as a boy of 11, the Sarcee Sun Dance at Weasel-head before that ritual testing of young braves was banned because of its severity.

The Chipman Ranche holdings, under the Robinsons, expanded to thousands of acres including, in addition to the Home Ranch, a cow camp near Pirmez Creek, horse pasturage south of Bragg Creek, and a north camp in Symons Valley, in all supporting thousands of head of purebred cattle and horses.

The spread was a supply point for prospectors heading for the Klondyke gold rush of 1898.

Ranch hands were busy breaking horses from sunup to nightfall to meet the demand.

A "green broke" horse sold to a would-be prospector was an animal that merely had been handled comparatively quietly about a mile to a pasture gate and back again.

The hands were astonished to see what chances those desperate for-tune- hunters took with horses only a whisker removed from running free.

The Elbow Park ranching story includes a wicked winter in 1906-07 that, in a single May blizzard, cost the ranch 500 head of cattle.

There were droughts, hail storms and terrifying prairie fires.

There were gala gatherings throughout the heydey years of the ranch, for it was the closest show-place to be seen by VIP visitors to Calgary.

Their guests included governor general parties, travelling, royalty, and political and business people of all kinds.

The ranch hands would always stage a small rodeo, to the delight of the visiting, greenhorns out there by the river, well beyond the edge of little Calgary.  
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