The Bar U and Canadian Ranching History

Ebook

The Bar U and Canadian Ranching History

For much of its 130-year history, the Bar U Ranch can claim to have been one of the most famous ranches in Canada. Its reputation is firmly based on the historical role that the ranch has played, its size and longevity, and its association with some of the remarkable people who have helped develop the cattle business and build the Canadian West. The long history of the ranch allows the evolution of the cattle business to be traced and can be seen in three distinct historical periods based on the eras of the individuals who owned and managed the ranch. These colourful figures, beginning with Fred Stimson, then George Lane, and finally Pat Burns, have left an indelible mark on the Bar U as well as Canadian ranching history. The Bar U and Canadian Ranching History is a fascinating story that integrates the history of ranching in Alberta with larger issues of ranch historiography in the American and Canadian West and contributes greatly to the overall understanding of ranching history.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
The Bar U and Canadian Ranching History 1
CONTENTS 8
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 12
PREFACE 14
1 A WESTERN JOURNEY: CHECKING OUT THE PROSPECTS 22
2 FRED STIMSON AND THE NORTH WEST CATTLE COMPANY, 1882–1902 36
A Herd for the Bar U 41
Stocking the Canadian Range 46
"Natural Increase" at the Bar U 51
"Give Me Land, Lots of Land ..." 55
"Accustomed Range" versus "Grazing Leases" 56
Rules for the Canadian Range 58
Taking the Bait 62
Acquiring the Bar U Range 64
Buying the "Home Place" 71
Dollars and Cents 76
Beef for Victorian Britain 80
3 BUILDING THE HOME PLACE: THE COMMUNITY AND THE WORK THEY DID 88
The Bar U Community in 1891 92
"Mail Call and Roll Call" 98
The Maturing "Village" 101
A Word about the "Open Range" 107
The Seasonal Round 112
4 GEORGE LANE BUYS A RANCH 130
Who Was This Man Lane? 135
George Lane and the Young Napoleon 140
"She Stock" and Steers 147
The Killing Winter of 1906–7 155
Lane Takes a Hit 162
5 BUILDING AN INTERNATIONALLY FAMOUS PERCHERON STUD 170
Horse Power for the Developing West 171
Introducing the Percheron 174
Early Percheron Purchases 180
Methods and Techniques 183
Rewards and Returns 185
Making Room for Horses on the Cattle Ranch 189
6 GEORGE LANE: AT FULL GALLOP! 214
Namaka Farms 214
The Public Life of a Private Man 216
Lane's "Boys" and Happy Families 219
A Royal Visit 226
Post-War Dilemmas 234
7 PAT BURNS TAKES OVER, 1927—37 240
The Irish Drover 241
New Ways of Rearing Stock 245
Buying the Bar U Ranch 250
Wondering Why 254
8 THE BAR U DURING THE 1930S 258
Riders, Cooks, and Choreboys 262
Instilling New Attitudes 272
Surviving the Great Depression 274
9 P. BURNS RANCHES LIMITED, 1937—50 286
Integration, Rationalization, and Modernization 287
Wartime Opportunities and Frustrations 290
Labour Costs Go through the Roof 293
Help from the Stoneys 296
Hay, Crops, and Horse Power 304
A Last Look Around 314
The Sale of the Bar U Ranch 324
10 POSTSCRIPT AND RETROSPECT 332
Mavericks and Risk Takers 334
"To Commemorate and Celebrate ..." 335
Reviewing Origins 337
Nature versus Nurture on the Range? 339
An Honourable Legacy 340
APPENDIX 342
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS 356
NOTES 360
INDEX 394
A 394
B 394
C 396
D 399
E 400
F 400
G 401
H 402
L 403
K 403
J 403
I 403
M 404
N 406
P 407
O 407
Q 408
R 409
S 410
T 411
W 412
V 412
U 412
Y 413
Z 413