Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 5, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
jJO 16 THE LETHMIDOE HERAU) S, The North West Mounted Police established Fort Macleod in 1874 and today the commun- ity of is an integral part of the agricultural and indus- trial life of Alberta. On the junction of Highways 2 and 3, and the CP RaH freightUne, the town is ideally located for the movement of goods, both grown and manu- factured. It depends heavily on the tourist trade for a surplus balance of trade. An altitude of feet puts the town's residents in view of Big Chief Mountain just insido the Montana border and Turtle Mountain in the Crowsnest Pass. An average yearly temp- erature of 42 degrees Fahren- heit, supported by an average yearly precipitation Of 15 inch- es, lends itself to short grass prairie vegetation and makes for good crops in tho dark brown soil region of southern Alberta. Only the better soil types can be considered arable with tho rest generally termed good pas- ture land. Wheat is grown al- most to the exclusion of all otlier crops. Some of the best wheat is produced in the region. As tiie oldest town In south- ern Alberta, citizens can boast all main arteries have a paved surface. Ample water supplies are pumped from the Oldman River. The town this year has a tax mill rate of 75. Roy White, newly appointed town secre- tary, said the relatively-low mil] rale in relation to other towns, is partly due to the electricJ.y program used in only 30 or 40 other centres in Alberta. Fort Macleod buys power from Cal- gary Power under a franchise and then sells it to the citizens for a profit. Since Calgary Power sells it at bulk rales and the town re- sells at higher prices, Fort Mac- leod gets a bargain. Twenty-one town employees keep the centre operating smoothly and efficiently. With the construction of 7> new court house, the town offices were moved from Main Street to the former court facilities. M-iclcod Municipal Hospital, with an adjoining block-sized park, is on the north side of the town. Financial support from the town comes only when the budget exceeds the grant pro- vided by the provincial gov- ernment. Pioneer Lodge and Blunts Nursing Home provide service for senior citizens. With a large rural trading area, the town boasts three schools, all named to honor long-time pioneers of the re- gion. W. A. Day School, for Grades 1 to 3, honors a man who taught school in the area prior to 1910 and is now involved in a thriv- ing grocery business today. He was long a sheep and cattle rancher near the town. G. Rider Davis School, for Grades 4 to 6, is named after one of the first men in Alberta to be admitted to the Alberta Bar. He served many years as mayor of the town. And Mr. Davis is fondly remembered, too, by just about every child that's ever lived in Fort Mac- leod his sweet crab apples. F. P. Wplsh School, the new- est addition to educational fa- cilities in the town, is a junior- senior high school complex. Mr. Walsh served many years on the school board and was one of Fort Ma deed's most ac- tive citizens. The administration of civic government is the responsibility of Mr. White, Mayor Georgo Buzunis and town council. Mr. Buzunis was elected mayor by council after tho resignation of former mayor Ken Hurlburt. There Is one vacancy on the six-man council. It will be fill- ed in the 1074 civic election. Councillors are Grant Day, Ron Tilbe, Charlie Edgar, Jolia Davis and Phil Hodnut. Mr. White says Indication of the town's growth are building ixumiLo, to date this year already total An addi- tional in commercial building permits have been let for additions to businesses in the town. Fort Macleod features an In- dustrial airport facility with five hangars, which are occu- pied by the following: Crest- brook Forest Industries makes plywood, Astro Glass makes fibreglass products, Mod U Fab builds mobile home additions, Northwest Design and Fabri- cation builds mobile homes and Consolidated Mining and Smelt- ing Co. Ltd. uses one as a fer- tilizer storage shed. MC Con- struct ion, located in a former armories building, builds spe- cial goose-neck trailers. "These industries have meant jobs for quite a number of says Mr. White. "Peo- ple have moved ir.to the town and houses have gone up." Because of the influx of peo- ple, the town has set up a trail- er court en 10th St. between 1st and 2nd Ave. and is complet- ing another between 4th and 5th Ave. on the same street. They are fully serviced and will be landscaped. Mr. White said two more are contemplated in order to tako care of the increased demand for trailer parking spaces. Recreation facilities in the town are as good or better as any in other communities of comparable size. A program is now tmdenvay to lay under- ground water lines and plant grass grt ens for the Fort Mac- leod Golf Course. Wnter will ba pumped from the river. A raw curling rink with four sheets of ice is tho newest win- ter facility. A new front on the ice arena that incorporates a meeting room adds to the ap- pearance of the complex. Crews are now completing an addition that will serve as dressing rooms for hockey play- era and swimming pool enthusl- lo the ice skating rink will eventually bo enlarged to join to dressing room building. Plans are now being complet- ed which will see the ice sur- face in the skating rink en- larged to regulation size. The swimming pool features heated water with a new filtra- tion system. Minor league baseball has a home park and Softball leagues play in another ball diamond near southern Alberta's most efficient and modern rodeo fa- cility Midnight Stadium. Tennis courts provide space for organized tennis and the town has organized trap shootiag club with facilities just south of tne centre. The Macleod Gazette, which Is' the oldest continuing weekly 1 n Alberta and the second old- est paper in the province, pub- lishes each Thursday. Church goers have a wide range of denomination and faiths to chose from with Angli- can, Mormon, Jehovah Witness- es, Lutheran, Netherlands Re- formed, Prebytcrian, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, Uni- ted and Seventh Day Adven- tlsts all being represented. The Masons, Elks, Royal Purple. Eastern Star, IOOF, Relihaks, and Knights of Col- umbus lodges are active in Fort Macleod with the chamber of commerce, women's auxiliary to the Royal Canadian Legion, Rotary, lloyal Canadian Le- gion, Lions and Lloneltcs all contributing to the well-being and activities of the commun- ity. Southern Alberta's most ac- tive auction market is located near the junction of Uie two highways. Other businesses in the town are a bakery, dry cleaners, egg grading station, feed mill, real estate office, plumber, printer, shoe repair, theatre, and wood carving business. There are also two auto body repair shops, three banking facilities, three barbers, seven drug stores, three stores and four doctors. Two jewellery shops, four livestock buyers, two lumber yards, nine garages and ser- vice stations, five grain eleva- tors, twr- welding shops, two painters, two electronic repair businesses, five bulk oil distri- butors, seven motels and a tiro shop, round out most of the business sector of the town. asU. A tunnel will dug from beouty parlors, six building The town is now beginning to catch "centennial and is preparing for 1974 when ev- ery citizen is expected to par- ticipate in a year-long celebra- tion honoring tho town's lOOtli anniversary. The present-day RCMP musi- cal ride is expected and otlier activities range from historic plays to sports events for towns- people and tourist alike. The Fort Macleod Historical Association, which operates the Fort Museum, is in charce of centennial plans. Tho museum, managed by Larry King, is located on the west-bound street of the couplet which traverse the town. Dur- ing the past year, a survey showed only 55 of each himdred cars which slopped at the mu- seum were west-bound, indica- ting the east-bound street which bypasses tho structure didn't hamper tho visitor count. Annually, more than visitors from every province in Canada and malt states in tho U.S. slop to get a glimpse of Alberta and Fort Macleod his- tory. Most observers feel that the imposing replica of the ori- ginal fort Is one of the town's and Indeed southern Alberta's top tourist attraction. Fort Maeleod Is an Interest- ing town, a town with a true historic tradition. And, when one of tho town's oldtimer speaks of days gone by, listen because either he or his fam- ily likely were when things were happening.