- Horses are reintroduced into Alberta. It's believed
that the Kutenai were the first to acquire them,
from the Shoshoni.
- Smallpox is reported for the first time in the
province, among the Kutenai.
- The Blackfoot acquire rifles from the east, from
the Cree and Assiniboine.
- A terrible plague (smallpox and other European
diseases) strikes the Blackfoot killing nearly
half their population.
- LeBlanc and LeGasse, of David Thompson's party,
reportedly visit the area with Kootenai Indian
- Merriwether Lewis approaches the Montana Rockies on
the westward leg of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
(1803 - 1806). Exploring the Marias River, naming
it after his cousin Maria Wood, he comes very
close to the east side of today's Glacier National
Park. The Lewis Range and Clark Range are named
for this expedition.
- Britain and USA agree on the 49th parallel as
boundary from Lake of the Woods to the Rockies
(see Waterton Lakes National Park-Glacier National
Park International Peace Park and its Border).
- Dispute over Oregon Territory is resolved with the
signing of the Oregon Treaty (see Waterton Lakes
National Park-Glacier National Park International
Peace Park and its Border).
- The Kutenai and other mountain tribes appeal for
help, over disputes with the Blackfoot, from the
Washington Territory governor. In follow-up
negotiations, the Kutenai finally agree to give up
all claim to mountain passes and prairie.
- The Palliser Expedition (1857-1860). Captain John
Palliser, Lieutenant Thomas Blakiston, Dr. James
Hector, Eugene Bourgeau and John W. Sullivan set
out to explore western British North America to
see if the area can be settled and to discover
possible railway routes through the mountains.
Many features in the west bear these men's' names.
- Sept. 6th, Lt. Thomas Blakiston travels through
South Kootenay Pass and names the main lakes after
Sir Charles Waterton, an English naturalist.
- British and American survey parties arrive at Upper
Waterton Lake; completing the western survey of
the international boundary (49th parallel) from
the Pacific Coast east to Waterton (1857-1862).
- John George "Kootenai" Brown first visits
Waterton with some companions and vows to return
one day, declaring, "this is what I have seen
in my dreams, this is the country for me."
- A major smallpox epidemic again devastates the
- First cattle are introduced to southwestern
- Fort Whoop-Up, the first and most notorious whiskey
post is established among the Blackfoot. Buffalo
hides are traded for a near-lethal concoction
called whiskey (watery alcohol mixed with chewing
tobacco, molasses, ink, painkillers and anything
else on hand). This illegal trade prompted the
formation of the North West Mounted Police in
- The first national park in the world is established
-Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A.
- A joint British and American party completes the
second survey of the international boundary along
the 49th parallel from Lake of the Woods west to
Waterton (1872 - 1874).
- The Blackfoot sign Treaty Number 7 and are settled
on reservations in Alberta and Montana.
- Kootenai Brown returns to Waterton with his family
and settles in the area.
- Canada's first national park is established at
siding 29 on the Canadian Pacific Railway - Banff
National Park (third in the world).
- Bison are gone from southern Alberta.
- F.W. Godsal, a Pincher Creek rancher, pushes for
the Waterton area to be declared a park.
- The Northwest Irrigation Act is passed, including
plans for the Waterton lakes chain to be part of
an irrigation scheme.
- By Order in Council, on May 30, an 87 sq. km/54 sq.
mile area around the Waterton Lakes is named
"Kootenay Lakes Forest Park", the fourth
National Park in Canada.
- H. Hansen establishes the Waterton logging mill at
the mouth of Maskinonge Marsh.
- Kootenai Brown is appointed fishery officer for the
- Rocky Mountain Development Co. Ltd. (Calgary-based
firm founded by John Lineham, A.P. Patrick and
G.K. Leeson) starts drilling for oil up Cameron
Valley at the Discovery well site.
- First oil strike occurs, producing a flow of 300
barrels/day of high grade oil at "Original
Discovery No.1" well site in Cameron Valley.
- Another well, owned by Western Coal and Oil
Company, on Seepage Creek blows out and runs wild
for two days; pouring oil into Cameron Creek.
Numerous fish and ducks die in Waterton Lakes and
river system. Weeks later the oil film is still
seen in Lethbridge, 97km./60 miles down stream.
- Western Coal and Oil Company from Vancouver drills
for oil near Cameron Falls, striking a flow of one
barrel/day. They were responsible for the first
settlement in the present Waterton townsite,
constructing a cookhouse, bunkhouse, blacksmith
shop, office, stable and engine room.
- The present townsite area is leased to Western Coal
and Oil Co. Ltd.
- Nels Eklund (Bertha Eklund/Marshall's dad)
discovers evidence of copper in the Red Rock
Valley where he works a claim. Coppermine Creek is
named after this site.
- Hansen's sawmill at the Maskinonge is closed after
a heavy flood causes damage and bankruptcy.
- Canon Samuel H. Middleton and F.W.Godsal continue
to push for further protection of the Waterton
area (Kootenay Lakes Forest Park).
- May 11, Glacier National Park is established.
- The first lots in Waterton townsite surveyed; 150
lots offered for leaseholds at $15/annum rental
for waterfront lots, $10/annum for back lots.
- Approximately 2,000 people visit Waterton.
- Kootenay Lakes Forest Reserve is officially renamed
Waterton Lakes National Park and receives more
protection but its size is reduced to 35 sq. km.
- Visitation for Waterton is only 64 people.
- Jack Hazzard builds the first hotel in the
- A dance hall is built (by E. Haug, Sr.)
- The first passenger (4 hp) launch operates on Upper
- An estimated fifteen thousand (15000) head of
livestock are grazing on park lands.
- A timber bridge is built over Pass (Blakiston)
Creek at a cost of over $1,000.00!
- U.S. Ranger Albert, "Death-on-the-Trail"
Reynolds, a friend of Kootenai Brown's and
National Parks dies in Pincher Creek due to
complications related to frost bite.
- Due to old age and failing health Kootenai Brown is
retired from the rank of Superintendent to that of
- The Cameron Lake area is included into Waterton
Lakes National Park as part of a boundary
- A pile-and-trestle bridge is built over Waterton
- A biweekly mail service is established to Pincher
- A passenger launch called the "Linnae"
(capacity 75 passengers) launched on Upper
- Kootenai Brown dies and is buried with his first
wife on the shores of lower Waterton Lake.
- A campground is cleared near Cameron Falls.
- Major fires occur around Oil City and east of the
- 9,000 people visit Waterton.
- Fish stocking begins.
- Bull Trout (known then as Dolly Varden) is chosen
as the logo for park auto stickers.
- Mrs. Hunter catches record lake trout out of Upper
Waterton Lake weighing in at 23.4 kg. (51 lbs.
- Elk, which had been absent (extirpated) from the
area since the late 1800's, are seen again.
- Telephone service is extended from Cardston to
- A summer RCMP detachment from Fort Macleod is
established in the park.
- Cameron Lake is open for fishing and a campground
is built on its north shore.
- Construction begins on the Akamina Highway.
- Plans for a 40 to 60-foot high irrigation dam
across the Bosporus narrows are finally dropped,
largely due to American opposition.
- The park now has - a stable, bunkhouse, a garage, a
warehouse, a granary, an incinerator, a blacksmith
shop, hay barns, government buildings, post
office, telephone building, a hotel, cottages for
rent, rooming house, restaurant, dance hall, 2
general stores, RCMP station, playgrounds, tennis
courts, golf course, rowboats, gas motor launches,
saddle and packhorse outfits and many summer
- The Prince of Wales Hotel opens on July 25th.
- A 250-passenger launch, the "M.V.
International", is built and a year later
begins operating on the upper lake.
- Bus service to Glacier National Park in Montana
- Akamina Highway to Cameron Lake opens.
- Joe Cosley, a legendary mountain man and former US
ranger, is charged with poaching in the Belly
River and fined $100.
- Summer tent camp, restaurant and row boat rental
operation is opened by Mr. and Mrs. Cal Hunter at
- Conflicting use of park resources, along with
preservation concerns, prompts a shift in
direction for National Parks. Under the direction
of James Bernard Harkin, the National Parks Act is
"National parks are hereby dedicated to
the people of Canada for their benefit, education
and enjoyment, and such parks shall be maintained
so as to leave them unimpaired for the use of
future generations" (Section 4, National
Parks Act, 1930)
- The resident townsite population increases to about
300; facilities include - 2 main hotels (Prince of
Wales: $8/single room; and the Waterton Lake Hotel
and Chalets: $2/single room), 4 rooming houses,
125 cottages (80 of them for rent), a drugstore, 2
butcher shops, 5 restaurants, 2 churches, a dance
hall, police barracks, swimming pool, school house
and 14 government buildings.
- Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
established, due to efforts of the Alberta and
Montana Rotary Clubs.
- The Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park
- The Prince of Wales Hotel closes for the next three
years, due to the depression.
- An 18-hole golf course is completed in Waterton.
- A serious forest fire, caused by lightning, starts
up Boundary Creek valley in Glacier and spreads as
far as Bertha Creek before rain and a north wind
puts it out.
- Mrs. Isabell Brown (Kootenai's second wife) dies
and is buried beside her husband.
- The Chief Mountain Highway officially opens.
- During Peace Park celebrations, a cairn is erected
on Waterton Avenue to commemorate Kootenai Brown.
- Jammer Buses begin operating in Glacier and
Waterton. The name "jammer" derives from
the drivers being called jammer drivers. The buses
had non-synchronised transmissions so the drivers
had to jam the gears. In 1996, there were 34
jammers operating in the park.
- A final, and very dry, oil well drilled at Oil
- Mr. George Baker starts an operation at Cameron
Lake that would eventually include - rustic
cabins, rowboats, store, restaurant, service
station, diesel power plant.
- Wartime restrictions force closure of the Prince of
Wales Hotel for three years.
- The Chief Mountain Port of Entry closes due to
- Calgary Power extends electricity to Waterton.
- Twin cairns erected by Alberta and Montana
Rotarians at Chief Mountain Port of Entry to
commemorate the Waterton-Glacier International
- Cattle grazing is discontinued in the park due to
competition with elk herds in winter range and
degradation of natural grassland habitats.
- Six prairie bison shipped from Elk Island National
Park to Waterton (put in a paddock area completed
the previous year).
- The Bakers purchase the Lady Cameron Launch and
begin summer tours on Cameron lake.
- The Visitor Reception Centre is built.
- An outdoor theatre is opened in the townsite
- On June 7-9, the park experiences a bad flood.
- Crandell Mountain campground opens.
- The Bakers' operation is bought out by the Parks
Department and over time it is slowly dismantled.
- Oil City is designated as a National Historic Site.
- New Falls Theatre built.
- The park experiences another bad spring flood.
- A new tertiary treatment sewage system is
installed, eliminating dumping of sewage into the
- Cameron Lake campground is closed and buildings
- Gerry and Leslie Muza arrive to work in visitor
- First and only bear-caused mortality in the park's
- Ospreys' nest material shorts out power to Waterton
and a nest platform is eventually built.
- Public use of snowmobiles ceases in the park.
- Waterton Lakes National Park is declared an
International Biosphere Reserve, the second in
- To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the creation
of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the
International Peace Park pavilion officially opens
on the lakeshore of Upper Waterton Lake
- The Waterton Natural History Association is formed
by a group of volunteers to help promote the goals
and ideals of the park.
- The 100th anniversary of national parks is
celebrated in parks across the country.
- Fish stocking discontinued.
- Section 5.1.2. of the National Parks Act revision
clarifies Parks Canada's number one priority:
"Maintenance of ecological integrity
through the protection of natural resources shall
be the first priority when considering park zoning
and visitor use ...
- Prince of Wales Hotel is designated a National
- The use of personal water craft (jet skis)
disallowed in the park.
- Waterton and area experiences another flood on June
- Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is
designated as a World Heritage Site on December
- Waterton Lakes National Park's centennial year.
If you would like more information please mail to:
Waterton Park, Alberta,
Canada. TOK 2MO