The town of Pincher Creek, located on the traditional territory of the Siksikaitsitapi, Stoney-Nakoda and Tsuut'ina First Peoples, was first settled by Europeans in 1878, when it became a North-West Mounted Police post and farm. Settlement increased throughout the 1880s, mainly from retiring police officers who moved to the area to take up ranching and farming. The townsite itself was laid out in 1882, and the first store constructed in 1883, though the community did not officially incorporate until 1906. The town's unusual name came from a pair of pincers, a tool used to trim the hooves of horses, which was found along the creek's banks in the early years of settlement. Today, Pincher Creek is a vibrant community with an economy based around agriculture, natural gas, and the growing presence of wind farms to generate electricity. In fact, this new industry is taking off fast enough to give Pincher Creek the title of "Wind Capital of Canada."
Pincher Creek is located on the traditional territory of the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy), Stoney-Nakoda and Tsuut'ina People, and is on land covered by Treaty 7.
Then and Now Photos
Main Street and the Union Bank
Glenbow Museum & Archives NA-2373-13
This photograph of Pincher Creek's Main Street was taken in 1912 and looks west towards the Union Bank, on the left.
The Macleod Home
Glenbow Museum & Archives NA-280-5
The home and outbuildings in this photo dating from the 1880s belonged to Lieutenant-Colonel James F. Macleod, who was the North-West Mounted Police Commissioner from 1876 to 1880.
A Glover Automobile
Glenbow Museum & Archives NA-138-1
This car is a five-wheeled Glover automobile, with parts obtained from the United States and assembled by William Dobbie. The Lebel Store is in the background of this image.
Firefighters' Novelty Race
Glenbow Museum & Archives NA-1828-6
The people in this photograph from 1910 are taking part in a firefighters' novelty race, in which firefighters compete in various relevant tasks to prove their skills. The building in the background is the Lebel Store.
In Front of the Union Bank
Glenbow Museum & Archives NA-4447-1
The men in this photograph from 1910 are A.B. King, "Bull" Ritchie (standing in the middle), and Tom Moore. They are posing in front of the Union Bank on Main Street.
Glenbow Museum & Archives NA-2817-2
Firefighters compete in novelty sports on Main Street in this photo from 1912. The white building on the center right is the Alberta Hotel, while the log building to the far right is "Auntie's" shack.
Glenbow Museum & Archives PA-1150-13
This photo was taken at some point between 1915 and 1918, during the First World War. It shows soldiers marching through Pincher Creek. The Jackson Brothers Hardware Store is to the right.
The Lebel Mansion
Glenbow Museum & Archives NC-54-2270
The Lebel Mansion, pictured here in 1930, was constructed in 1910 for Timothee Lebel, who was one of Pincher Creek's most successful businessmen. The building served as a hospital between 1924 and 1983 and today houses the Allied Arts Council.