19754207000 | The Bar U Ranch west of Nanton, Alberta, 1915
The Bar U Ranch west of Nanton, Alberta, 1915
1915, 20th century
Silver salts on paper
This artefact belongs to : © Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives
Keys to History
Making this land in the Lethbridge region attractive to potential buyers was a formidable challenge for the Galts. One option open to them was to dispose of the land to ranchers. Ranching had begun west of Lethbridge in the Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek districts. The rainfall in the Dark Brown Soil zone of the foothills was more abundant, and the grass better for raising beef. Whether ranching could have been a sustainable activity in the area south of Lethbridge is a moot point, because another opportunity presented itself.
This photograph shows the Bar U Ranch west of Nanton, Alberta, in 1915.
The federal government encouraged ranching by leasing large tracts of grazing land at one cent per acre, as well as removing the import tariff from American cattle.
The early ranching industry was a mix of individuals, small partnerships and large companies. Ranchers and cowboys developed a sub-culture of their own on the Canadian plains.
The first ranchers in southern Alberta were men discharged from the Mounted Police who took up land in the Fort Macleod district.