The Calgary Stampede is a huge part of Calgary’s history and this year, we were pleased to participate in two events for Historic Calgary Week!

Cassandra Cummings, historical specialist at the Calgary Stampede and OH Ranch tour guide.

During the week which ran from July 31 – August 7, Chinook Country Historical Society (CCHS) presented 70 walks, talks, family events, museum and community visits. The Chinook Country Historical Society is a group of people dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of Canadian and Alberta history in Chinook Country for people of all ages. Organized in 1958 and incorporated in 1993, the CCHS covers the region from Olds to Nanton and from the BC border to the Saskatchewan border.

The tour group learns about the history of OH Ranch!

“We were happy to participate, sharing the Calgary Stampede’s history with a greater audience during a tour of the historic OH Ranch near Longview and at the Family Heritage Festival at the Genesis Centre,” said Cassandra Cummings, historical specialist at the Calgary Stampede.

It was a beautiful day at OH Ranch!

The tour at OH Ranch was led by Cassandra and featured the OH Ranch and its historic buildings, from 1883 to the present day. This was complemented by an overview of the present working ranch by managers Ken and Deb Pigeon. Visitors enjoyed a tour of the historic cookhouse, Ings cabin, new interpretive centre, root cellar, North West Mounted Police cabin, and historic barn, while learning interesting facts and tidbits along the way.

Did you know the OH brand is one of two of the oldest continuously used brands in the area? It was first registered in 1881.

Carvings inside the Historic Barn at OH Ranch. All of the cowboys who have worked at the ranch have carved their names here.

Famous visitors to the ranch have included Cowboy John Ware, and the infamous Sundance Kid, who took a break from his notorious crime spree to work at the Bar U Ranch. In 1890 he saved Fred Ings’ life during a snowstorm.

The ranch also saw famous cowboys, ranchers, and artists, including Bert Sheppard, Jack Dillon, Patrick Burns, and Warren Zimmerman, among many others. Many have left their mark on the walls of the historic barns.

In the late 1980s Doc Seaman purchased the ranch to save it from becoming an artillery range, and in 2008 portions were designated as Heritage Rangeland. After Bill Siebens purchased the ranch, he gifted portions to the Calgary Stampede, which continues to operate the OH as a working ranch, and traditional rangeland.

“The other event we participated in was the Family Heritage Festival on Saturday, August 5 at the Genesis Centre. Two of our wonderful volunteers participated, sharing fun historical facts about the Stampede and helping kids dress up in costumes and have their photo taken,” said Cummings.

Family Heritage Festival on Saturday, August 5 at the Genesis Centre.

“We are always eager to help educate Calgarians about the Stampede’s rich history and western roots.”