Vintage: Canadian Cowboys (late 19th to early 20th Centuries)

Vintage: Canadian Cowboys (late 19th to 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.

 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

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

Riders of southern Alberta round-up, 1901

Riders of southern Alberta round-up, 1901

Calgary Cowboys, Alberta, 1883

Calgary Cowboys, Alberta, 1883

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group at Medicine Hat, Alberta, 1885

Group at Medicine Hat, Alberta, 1885

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

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

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

‘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

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

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

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.

via Glenbow Museum


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