Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 27, 1909, Lethbridge, Alberta
Section i ill ii lie i n i Lethbndge Herald special Publicity Number 8 Pages LCTHBRIDGE AS AN INDUSTRIAL AND DISTRIBUTING CENTRE By E. A. CUNNINGHAM THE possibilities of Leth- bridge as an industrial centre cannot fail to ap- peal to Eastern manufacturers once they are fairly set before them. There is not in the great "Last West" a spot more favor- ed by nature and circumstance to be the manufacturing and dis- tributing centre of a great and growing population Wn this city of ours, whose proud and appropriate motto is Ad Occa- sionis Januam (at the gateway of In dealing with, the natural resources of Lethbridge and the surrounding district, our im- mense semi-bituminous coal fields are first to be spoken.of. Lethbridge primarily owes, its existence to this great natural source of wealth, and was for many years a mining town pure and simple. The Alberta Rail- and Coal Co. made its first drift on the coal seam in the early 80's, and the development of the coal mining industry has steadily progressed, until at the present time there is a daily out- put of about tons, repre- senting the labor of about men. Every manufacturer will appreciate the advantages of having at hand an inexhaustible supply of cheap but good fuel, which, in our case, represents-a minimum of cost in the produc- tion of power. The coal mined at Lethbridge is a semi-bitumin- ous, and is utilized principally for domestic purposes. There is a waste product in the slack, however, which contains a very high proportion of heat-produc- ing units. This fuel is sold for power purposes at 50 cents per ton, and is used exclusively by the city electric power plant, all our local industries, as. well as tie sugar factory, at Raymond. JThe next point for the manu- facturer to consider is that of market. _ During the last Fed- eral election, campaign our dis- trict _was calculated as contain- ing sixteen million acres of land, the most of which is ly accessible to -the Lethbridge market. This land has been and is being rapidly taken up; and is the same land which is pro- ducing the famous Alberta Red winter wheat in such large yields as from forty to sixty bushels per acre. The vast coal min- ing, Clumber and quartz mining .district to of us, along the line of the Crow's Nest, is it geographically tributary to Leth- bridge. This district, which six years ago was practically unset- tled by any but cattle, ranchers and .a little mining at Fernie, has; developed until it has been said that the Crow's Nest Pass Line is the heaviest tonnage pro- ducer on the entire Canadian Pacific system. Another point to be taken into consideration by the manufac- turer is the possibility of get- ting his products in at the mini- mum of cost, and as Lethbridge has direct connection from all points east and west over both the Great Northern and Cana- dian Pacific Railway, we claim that our freight rates are very reasonable. Up to the present our efforts have been directed towards working up the natural'resources v: of tie country. As :a wheat- growing country all the world knows that Southern Alberta carries the palm, and we make no idle boast when we claim that the tethbridge district of South- ern Alberta grows the very cream of the crop, both as to quantity and quality. This in- .duitry has made enormous strides in the past few-years. In 1900 there was scarcely any} fanning done in the district, whereas authoritative statements support the assertion that two million bushels of wheat -were iprbdnced in our vicinity in 1908, not to speak, of such other pro- dncts as oata, barley, alfalfa. sugar and all, or nearly I something better, and so it hap- all, the vegetables and fruits that can be raised on any soil, and in the cultivation of the lat- ter is where our splendid irriga- tion system finds particular ap- plication. All this means a rapidly increasing population and a steadily rising demand, not only for the necessities of life, by new settlers, but for the comforts and even luxuries which the older timers begin to feel they can afford. In these days of first-class machinery and in a country that does not depend upon regular rain falls for its crops, the progress of the settler towards prosperity is not the long drawn out process which it is in less favored climes and under less favorable condi- tions. The settler'in the Cana- dian West is not content to see his children, or his grandchild- ren, enjoy the refinements and comforts of life. He wants a few of ,th'em himself, and he gets them. Picturesque as the log hut and shriek may be, especial- ly in the pages of fiction, he has a very human hankering after pens that we begin to see the original dwelling, naraely the shack, falling into its proper place as the shed or kitchen of the more commodious, but de- cidedly more comfortable ho.me- stead, and the home made furni- ture gives place to the factory made article. The farmer is very much like the rest of the race, he wants the can afford for himself and his family, and the manufacturer who real- izes this and acts upon it, will reap his harvest. I the manufacturer advisedly, because the dealer in the West, far from the manufacturing centres and with long freight hauls to legis- late for, is obliged to sell his goods at such prices that peo- ple of comfortable means often feel themselves unable to afford maiiy household comforts and luxuries which they would not, hesitate to buy could they but procure them at reasonable prices. As before stated, the effort has been put forth to first utilize the natural resources, consequently we have in Leth- PLANT OF THt UETHBRtDGE BRICK ANO COMPANY THE LETHBRIDGE IRON WORKS STEAM LAUNDRY. LETHBRIDQE WOOLLEN MILLS. bridge two flour mills of 420 barrels capacity, capable of be- ing easily increased to 620, with two tributary mills grinding 300 more barrels per day, so that we are converting our Alberta Red into flour, which is finding a realdy sale from Hong Kong to Norway, by-products being util- ized in the development of mix- ed farming in the district. Lethbridge has been for years one of the largest sheep and cat- tle shipping points in the entire Canadian West. The suggestion was offered that as sheep were raised here and che wool ship- ped East, and then hauled back as blankets, why not convert the wool into blankets? Working on this idea, the Lethbridge Woollen Mills was established, using Ibs. of wool per year, which 'they turn into one product, namely, blankets, for which they already have a de- mand in excess of the supply. The barley raised on our prolific soil has been pronounced of a particularly high grade, and this led to the -establishment of a malting, plant and brewery of very large capacity. Our clay was foxind particularly suited to the manufacture of building brick, and tero plants oper- ating, producing about brick per day. Some American investigators discovered that the percentage of saccharine in the sugar beets raised in this district was exceptionally high; capital was secured, and a sugar factory erected at Raymond, 20 miles south of Lethbridge, which re- presents an investment of half a million dollars, and is producing in the neighborhood of five mil- lion pounds of refined sugar per year. Ihit these are only the be- ginnings, the possibilities are almost endless. Some idea of the-demand for goods by the population tributary to Leth- bridge may be gathered from the statement that the daily av- erage of loaded car arrivals in this city during December was between forty and. fifty cars of raw and finished product. We of course, those industries which .de- mands', for which "the raw pro- duct has to be imported; hence we have a sash and door mill and an iron foundry and ma- chine works. Our favorable freight condition's make these in- dustries particularly successful? At the present moment, there splendid openings for mill to utilize and oat products, a biscuit factory, util- j miig our floxir and sugar, "a can- dy factory for the same purpose, and we have as yet .no packing plant to work up the cattle rais- ed, in the country, which in .the main are shipped to European points on the hoof. We have no -establishment to utilize the large quantity of hides which are col-! lected and shipped from Leth- bridge to the East and South. At the present time Douglas fir is transported in large quan- tities to interior factories, and the finished furniture is returned to the West at high freight rates, making it impossible very often for people of small means to buy more than the bare necessities. This timber earn be brought into Lethbridge at a very IOTV freight rate, and if manufactured on the ground would at once command a large market. At the local Land Office this last season it was no unusual sight to see a crowd of would-be homesteaders waiting patiently from twelve to twenty-four hours to get a chance to file on a homestead, and this continued week after week. "Can any one question the possibili-; tics of a furniture factory in view of these conditions. The city of Lethbridge is equipped with splendid water works and sewage system, as well as municipal electric light- ing and power. The rate of tax- ation during the past three years has been, 14 1-2 and 15 mills. This rate covers all school taxes. The fire insur- ance underwriters have granted the City of Lethbridge insurance rates 'equal to the lowest rates charged in any Western city of much greater magnitude. The city has a by-law on its statutes granting exemption from taxa- tion for a term of years for all industries established within its limits devoted to the working up of the grain products of the district. The City of Lethbridge is opposed to granting cash bon- uses, but will render every as- sistance to all manufacturers who wish to establish within its lim- its. It is no more than right to; add, in closing, that all of thej industries in Lethbridge have! As a wholesale distributing i freight facilities, they will fol- been remarkably successful, so centre Lethbridge has not yet re- ilow as a matter of course. Whole- that m presenting the case as v i sale houses have already been above we do so with the confi- the attention of Eastern j established, and more are bound dence that we are not overstat-j wholesale distributors, but given; to follow, ing our possibilities. the population and favorable; E. A. CUNNINGHAM. SASH AND DOOR FACTORY OF THE OLIVER MANUFACTURING CO. PLANT OF THE LETHBRIDGE BREWING AND MALTING CO, ONE OF THE WAREHOUSE SECTIONS OF THE CITY, FLOUR MILLS OF THE ELLISON MILLING CO, AND THE TAYLOR MILL INC OO.