Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 30, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
20 THE LETHBRIDGE HCRALO Thimday, March 30, 1972 >irorE pioneer wlw coined phrase 'footliiles of the Rockies' must have been looking for his rai wets t of Pinclier Creek. The Indians called the place Little Spitzee, which meant a stream with trees on its hanks. It was Little SpUzee because further north there was an- other stream, Big SpKzce, near High River. It wrfs a bigger stream and had more trees. But, tho term 'foothills of the conjures thoughts of gently rolling hills, grasslands and the scenic grandeur of the Canadian Rockies. in the southwestern comer of Alberta, 'foothills of the Rockies' also implies growth and development of the Canadian West fo the wester- ner; the cultivation of land and the growing of grain; discov- ery tif a dark oily substance dating back to the arri- val of North West Mounted Police and the growth of the livestock industry. The settlers and the pioneers came fo Pi-nchcr Creek am! dis- trict f com north; they came fmm the south, branch- ing off from the Oregon Trail and the big influx of French and English descent came from eastern Canada, NO FAILURE They all carne to Pinchor Creek a land of clear run- ning water; of virgin lands; of tall grass a land that never know the moaning of crop fail- ure. Ficturesfnsc beyond descrip- tion, Pincher Creek servos today as UK: centre in the development of UK fabu- lous, multi million Pincher wet gas field; production centre for of com- mercial beef cattle; head of dairy cows and home for 600 farmers and ranchers arid their families. OU seed is the fastest grow- ing crop in the district with acres devoted to its pro- duction during the past year. district has also become one of tho fastest growing on the continent for absentee land- lords or hobby farmers and ranchers. And, tliis relatively neiv breed of man on the land is having a marked impact on land values throughout the reg- tion. Hilly, rocky land thai would hardly bring 575 an acre when sold in units com- plete with cultivated acreages, La today bringing three and four times that for the high land only. "This has had a significant impact on the says Bob Lyon, tlie district agricul- turist at Pincher Creek. "The future of the land use Is in the direction of recreation. even [hough the economy oE the district will continue to make substantial contributions annually to the new wealth in- come of southern Albcrla.1' There's an old story, still Use most accepted one, us to liww t'incher Creek actually its iiLine. The town sadd'os boLh sides of 11 ic creek which, ac- cording U> history, was being crossed by two prospec tors during the time before re- corded history. One dropped a pair of p inchers into the creek. From this relatively unim- portant incident Pincher Creek was founded and the town re- ceived its name. To the two prospectors, the loss of a pair of pincers was a near calamity. Equipment and hardware was lianl to come by in those days and it was the scarcity and not the cost which determined tlw soiling price. Whatever the ori- gin the place name is unique, particularly now thai the stream also carries the same name. In the development of the Canadian west, the establish- ment of (owns followed the ribbons of steel the building of the railroads. Here, again, Pincher Creek, is unique. The establishment of the pre- ceded the railway by many years. The rail line is located two miles to (ho north- -at Pi tidier Station. It's main CPU lino be- tween the southern prairies, HKJ Crowsnest Pass and the coast. While are vccollcctfons of eailier settlings in the dis- trict, recorded histoi-y shows tho first white settlers in the dislrict as Jack Collins and his partner Allen. They came in 1378 seme four years after tlie mo unfed police brought law ami order to the territory. Many of the men were receiv- ing their d isch arges and set- ting up livestock operations of their own. Tlu's included some of the big horse ranches which supplied the forces with new mounts. This was in addition to the horse ranch tin? North- West Mounted Police were op- crating on their own at Piu- cher Creek, Inspector A. Shurtcliffe, S'gt. William, F. Parker and con- stables William Reid, Charles Kettles, James Bruneau, 0avid Grier, John Hohnson, Peter McKwan and A. H. Lynch- Staunton, started the firs t farming operations jitst east of the present town in 1880. They brought 20 wild cows and broke them to milking, made butter, planted potatoes and hauled their produce to the central police post at Fort Maclcod. John 1 lerron came to For t Maclcod in 187-1 with the moun- ties. In 1881 he left the force moved to Pincher Creek and established the Stowart Konch. He was alsb in charge of the police farm. Hcrron was elected member of Parliament to represent the Maclcod Hid- ing in 1901 and again in 1900, Tho eariy saw os- blishment of ma ny large rantft spreads in the d ustrict and the district was settled with scores of cx-mounlies and other pioneers wlw saw not only Uic essentials of water, land and grass for (ho estab- lishment of thriving operations, but also the va 1 lies in the worm, westerly chinook winds that blew over the land dtiring UK winter months. It was during the latest Iwom hit Pincher Creek. It was the discovery of and the start of development of the Pincher CYcck wet gas fields to sonth and west of town. Today pipelines from the adjoining foothills and Rockies are inler- woven to a laccwork of lines spread across tho North America n con tinen t, But, despite this Industrial development of the gas and oil industry; the growing commer- cialism in the dislrict and the ever-increasing s ize of farm and ranchlands, m any resi- dcnts of the Pincher district still regard the reg'urm as a distillation of the Canadian Rockies: the wator U sp.ork- ling clear, the Etoil has an abun- dance of nutrients and tho vegetation relatively im- marrai. In earlier days millions of board feet of lumber poured out of the mbun tain conn try through Pinclier. Throughout, million1, of dolars worth of live- stock have been shipped from the dislrict. The development of tho multi million dollar wot gas field has had a rounding out effect on (he economy. It's tho aesthetics of the foot- hills that helped greatly in tho building of Pinclier, Tliat samo image continues to stand today as the Uademaik to future suc- cess.