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January 3, 2017

24 Rare Photos Show Canadian Cowboys From the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Southern Alberta was, and still is, ranching country, with millions of acres of grasslands providing pasture for hungry cattle. Many ranches were established in the province beginning in the 1880s, and cowboys were hired to help take care of the cattle, horses, and other livestock.

They worked for large outfits such as the Bar U Ranch, the CC Ranch at Mosquito Creek, and the Bow River Horse Ranch. They branded animals in the spring and took part in huge fall round-ups. They lived in bunk-houses and tents, ate chuckwagon grub, were expert horsemen (some joined the rodeo circuit), and spent much of their lives in the saddle.

Enjoy this selection of cowboy photographs, dating from 1883 to 1926.

Calgary Cowboys, Alberta, 1883

Group at Medicine Hat, Alberta, 1885

 Boy in his cowboy outfit, 1888

 Branding at the OH Ranch corrals, near High River, Alberta, 1892

 'Bachelor's Hall', interior view of a bunkhouse on a Southern Alberta ranch, 1894

Roping a heifer for spaying on ranch, Maple Creek area, Saskatchewan, 1897

 Bruce and Jim Hunter in homestead shack, Dog Pound area, Alberta, 1897

 Cowboys stretching a steer at round-up, Maple Creek area, Saskatchewan, 1897

 Bar U Ranch cowboys, general round-up, southern Alberta, May 31, 1901.

 Bar U Ranch cowboys, general round-up, southern Alberta, May 31, 1901

 Cowboy riding a bucking bronco on Billy Cochrane's CC Ranch, Mosquito Creek, Alberta, 1901

 Riders of southern Alberta round-up, 1901

 Branding at Brown Ranch, Queenstown, Alberta, 1900-03

 Bar U Ranch group on round-up, Pekisko, Alberta, 1900-05

 Last Bow River Ranche cattle round-up, near Cochrane, Alberta, 1905-06

 Cowboy Clem Gardner wearing chaps, Pirmez Creek, Alberta, 1906

 Man doing laundry outside cabin, Longview, Alberta, 1907

 Sarcee boys in hats, Calgary, Alberta, 1912

 Tom Three Persons, blood cowboy, September 1912

Cowboy with horse and dog on top of Burgess Pass, British Columbia, 1914

 Cowboys on Fred Andrews bunk, bunkhouse, Bar U ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, 1917

 Wild horse round-up, Hussar, Alberta, 1919

 Group on street at Gleichen, Alberta, 1920-21

Cowboy having meal during cattle round-up drive, 1926

(Photos from Glenbow Museum)


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