Partner City

Fort Macleod

Where the Mounties Began


After a gruelling two-month, 1,300 kilometre trek across the prairie from Dufferin, Manitoba, Colonel James F. Macleod and his contingent of North West Mounted Police arrived here, on the banks of the Oldman River. Despite the lengthy and arduous trek across the plains, their work was far from finished. Macleod and his men raced against the oncoming frost to construct a fort that would house them through the winter, effectively establishing what would one day become a thriving community. The North West Mounted Police were sent to the prairie with the purpose of stomping out the illegal liquor trade, which was wreaking immeasurable harm on the Blackfoot peoples of the area. Eradicating the trade of "firewater" helped the NWMP to forge a respectful, diplomatic relationship with the Blackfoot, one that would pave the way for the eventual signing of Treaty 7. The story of Fort Macleod is the story of the NWMP and the Blackfoot Confederacy, the buffalo and the saskatoon berry, and of the ranchers, bankers, teachers, leaders, men and women who have lived their lives on the plains. Fort Macleod's dynamic and diverse history blooms in the recreations of the historic fort museum, in the living flora and fauna of the Oldman River watershed and the nearby Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, and finally, to the strong and stately stone heritage buildings of the city's downtown core.

These photos and tours are possible through the generous support of our partners.

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Explore Spots in Fort Macleod


Then and Now Photos

Chief Running Wolf


Chief Running Wolf Chief Running Wolf
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 80.202.6 On This Spot Enterprises

1902

This postcard is part of a series of ten postcards taken at the same event. The original title of this collection reads “largest Indian gathering in the Northwest date August 30, 1907, Fort Macleod, Alberta”. This image shows a group of First Nations people standing and sitting in traditional regalia. The top of the postcard reads, “Chief Running Wolf and Party of Blackfoot Braves.”

RCMP Parade


RCMP Parade RCMP Parade
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On This Spot Enterprises

ca. early 1900s

In this photo, four RCMP march in procession down Main Street as part of a parade.

Quarter View of the Mackenzie Bridge


Quarter View of the Mackenzie Bridge Quarter View of the Mackenzie Bridge
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Glenbow Archives PA-249-1 On This Spot Enterprises

1912

A 1912 postcard featuring the Mackenzie Bridge, Published by Rumsey & Company, in Toronto.

Mounties at Attention


Mounties at Attention Mounties at Attention
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 80.171 On This Spot Enterprises

1910

In this photo, a line of mounties in full uniform stand at attention in the fort parade grounds.

A Cold Ride


A Cold Ride A Cold Ride
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 87.25.43 On This Spot Enterprises

1938

This photo shows the RCMP returning from a winter ride to enter the main gate of the barracks. The temperature was -40 degrees Celsuis.

The RNWMP Gate


The RNWMP Gate The RNWMP Gate
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 80.201.6 On This Spot Enterprises

This postcard shows the gate at the entrance to the R.N.W.M.P. barracks at the old fort.

Blackfoot at the N.W.M.P Barracks


Blackfoot at the N.W.M.P Barracks Blackfoot at the N.W.M.P Barracks
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 81.86 On This Spot Enterprises

In this photo, a group of First Nations sit in the grass outside the NWMP fort's barracks.

NWMP Gravestones


NWMP Gravestones NWMP Gravestones
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 81.38 On This Spot Enterprises

The gravestones in this photo are memorials to Frank Baxter and Thos. Wilson in the cemetery. These two were the first N.W.M.P members to lose their lives in the force when they were caught in a blizzard between Fort Macleod and Fort Kipp.

NWMP Cemetery


NWMP Cemetery NWMP Cemetery
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 81.40 On This Spot Enterprises

The markers in the foreground of this photo belong to “Nash, Baxter, Thos. Hill” with many others visible in the background.

Soldier's Funeral


Soldier's Funeral Soldier's Funeral
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 85.21.4 On This Spot Enterprises

This photo captures the somber occasion of the funeral of Harry Watson, the first returned soldier to be buried in Canada.

A Relaxed Mountie


A Relaxed Mountie A Relaxed Mountie
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 87.25.22 On This Spot Enterprises

1906 - 1928

A single mountie leans casually between two horses hooked up to a cart for a photo at the RCMP barracks.

Mounties on Parade


Mounties on Parade Mounties on Parade
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 80.368 On This Spot Enterprises

1920s

This photo shows some Mounties on parade at barracks. Each man is mounted and is holding an unsaddled horse.

A Blackfoot Man on Horseback


A Blackfoot Man on Horseback A Blackfoot Man on Horseback
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 81.144.42 On This Spot Enterprises

1924

A mounted First Nations man proceeds down the street in the 1924 parade, wearing an elaborate bone breast plate and carrying a rifle.

Old Timers at the Cairn


Old Timers at the Cairn Old Timers at the Cairn
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 87.19.1 On This Spot Enterprises

1924

In this photo, a group stands in front of the memorial cairn, with the union jack flying in the background. All of the individuals in this photo were said to be old timers of Fort Macleod in 1924. From left to right: R.J.E. Gardiner, Johnie Ryan, E.F. Brown, W.H. Cox, D.J. Grier, Tom Drinkwater, Cecil Denny, unknown, Michael Gallagher, D.J. Cummings, D.F. Moses, Tom Clarke, Mr. W. Armer, Mrs. J.W. McDonald.

CPR Buildings


CPR Buildings CPR Buildings
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 87.25.119 On This Spot Enterprises

This photo shows a series of CPR buildings, the depot is in the centre, sheds stand on the left and depot rooms on the right.

Moving the Macleod Hotel


Moving the Macleod Hotel Moving the Macleod Hotel
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 80.211 On This Spot Enterprises

The Macleod Hotel is being moved from 24th Street to 21st Street. It burned down years after the move.

Empress Theatre Advertises Shows


Empress Theatre Advertises Shows Empress Theatre Advertises Shows
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On This Spot Enterprises

Late 1920s

This photo shows several boards outside the Empress Theatre, advertising the shows that were running at the time.

Cars at the Canadian Legion


Cars at the Canadian Legion Cars at the Canadian Legion
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Glenbow Archives NA-3251-11 On This Spot Enterprises

1943

In this photo, groups of men sit in automobiles at the Canadian Legion building. From left to right, in the first car, is Ed Whipple, Malcolm McKenzie, W. O. Hoodless, and Doctor Mills, a dentist. In the second car is C. Gammon, Arthur Young, Ernest E. Haug, and E. H. Maunsell. In the third car, a Model T, is A. Fairweather, in white coat, and another unknown man.The fourth car is a 1908 Reo, with Van Somern, Harry Litle, andHarry Gilroy. The men in the fifth car are unknown.

Piikuni at the Empress


Piikuni at the Empress Piikuni at the Empress
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Glenbow Archives NA-659-13 On This Spot Enterprises

1940s

Mounted Piikuni (Peigan) march down the street as part of the Fort Macleod jubilee parade in 1924.

Cowdry Bank


Cowdry Bank Cowdry Bank
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 80.206 On This Spot Enterprises

1940 - 1945

The Cowdry Bank framed by a building on each side.

Happy Airmen


Happy Airmen Happy Airmen
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On This Spot Enterprises

Five young men pose excitedly for a photo in front of an Ansom plane.

Cairn Dedication Ceremony


Cairn Dedication Ceremony Cairn Dedication Ceremony
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Glenbow Archives NA-5413-14 On This Spot Enterprises

1960s

A crowd assembled for the unveiling and dedication ceremony of a cairn memorializing the achievements of the North-West Mounted Police of 1874 on July 1st, 1927.

The Queen's Hotel


The Queen's Hotel The Queen's Hotel
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On This Spot Enterprises

In this photo, several people, a dog, and a horse-drawn carriage are on the street outside the Queen's Hotel. The hotel was built in 1903, and was the first building in Fort Macleod to be constructed from sandstone.

Cars Outside the Empire Hotel


Cars Outside the Empire Hotel Cars Outside the Empire Hotel
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 80.34 On This Spot Enterprises

Six open cars line the street outside the empire hotel, with a water-tower in the background. The back of the photo reads, “Empire Hotel, Fort Macleod late 1920’s looking to the South.”

Queen's Hotel Postcard


Queen's Hotel Postcard Queen's Hotel Postcard
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Glenbow Archives PA-54-4 On This Spot Enterprises

A hand tinted, coloured postcard of the Queen's Hotel in 1914.

A View West Down Main Street


A View West Down Main Street A View West Down Main Street
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Fort Museum Archives FMP 87.44.1 On This Spot Enterprises

ca. 1950s

This Black and white postcard by Rumsey & Co., of Toronto shows 24th street in looking west. The old town hall at the east end of Main Street.


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