VIEW-4742 | C.P.R. Mount Stephen House, Field, BC, 1909

C.P.R. Mount Stephen House, Field, BC, 1909
William McFarlane Notman
1909, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
25 x 20 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Landscape (2230) , mountain (585) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Mount Stephen, 3,199 metres in height, is one of the mountains in the Canadian Rockies named after the Scottish directors of the CPR. It rears up near the town of Field, not far from Kicking Horse Pass. This was the most difficult part of the line to build, for at one place its grade was 4.5%, the steepest in North America. Near here also are the famous "spiral tunnels", opened in 1909, which lowered the grade and halved the number of engines required to pull trains over that section of the line. Mount Stephen House was the first of the CPR's resort hotels in the Rockies.

  • What

    This is one of a series of photographs taken in the Rockies to attract tourists to the region's resort hotels. Tourism formed an important part of the company's revenues.

  • Where

    The Rockies section was one of the most difficult and expensive to build. Some small sections of line cost almost $500,000 a mile (or 1.61 km).

  • When

    The photograph was taken in 1909, in an era when tourism to the Canadian Rockies was a steadily growing business.

  • Who

    Mount Stephen was named after George Stephen, who later took the title Lord Mount Stephen after the mountain.