19738083000 | Elliott Galt with one of his sisters and a cousin outside "Coaldale," AB, about 1885

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Elliott Galt with one of his sisters and a cousin outside "Coaldale," AB, about 1885
About 1885, 19th century
Silver salts on paper
20 x 25 cm
This artefact belongs to : © Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives
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Keys to History

Before his death in May 1882, Nicholas Sheran had two visitors who were to shape the destiny of the region, Elliott Torrance Galt and George Mercer Dawson. Elliott T. Galt was the Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs when he visited The Crossing in 1879. Sheran's mine was among the things Elliott wrote about to his father, Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, one of the Fathers of Confederation. In June 1881 Dr. George M. Dawson of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) also visited Sheran. The area's rich coal deposits were included by Dawson in his 1881 survey of the region drained by the Bow and Belly Rivers. As Sir Alexander Galt was a strong supporter of the GSC, it is likely that he obtained the results of that field work in advance of Dawson's formal report. By the end of 1881, the elder Galt had both news and confirmation of the rich coal resources of the southwestern prairies.

  • What

    "Coaldale" was inhabited by the Watson family after Elliott Galt moved, along with the rest of Lethbridge, to prairie level in 1885. The house was extensively damaged by the floods of 1902 and was abandoned when it had to be demolished to make way for the Canadian Pacific Railway's High Level Bridge in 1908.

  • Where

    This photograph shows Elliott Galt with one of his sisters and a cousin outside "Coaldale," his house in the river valley at Lethbridge, about 1885.

  • When

    It was in New York that Elliott Galt hired noted architect Arnold W. Brunner to design the second Galt Hospital building. Opened in 1910, the building is now a registered provincial historical site and home to the Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives.

  • Who

    Elliott Galt was a "hands-on" manager of his business affairs in Lethbridge, living in the community during its early years. In his later years, New York City became his home.