April
15
Posted on 15-04-1953
Filed Under (Calgary 1950s, CPR, Flour Mills) by Broken Rail

My father took this picture in 1953 at the railway crossing at grade in front of the Robin Hood flour mills. I am standing in the middle with my two older sisters Helen and Betty,. Behind me there is a lot going on the CPR’s West End coach engine is switching out some passenger cars. This picture was taken before the city of Calgary built the 4th St. subway to alleviate this downtown traffic bottleneck. The Robin Hood mills are now long gone along with the CPR’s passenger trains. CPRs new corporate headquarters are now located in Gulf Canada Square that is located on the left-hand side of this picture. Little did I know at the time the significance of this picture would have on my future when I grew older.

On December 13th, 1878 in the parish of Fraserburgh, in the County of Aberdeen Scotland, my grandmother Hermine Keller who was of German descent, and was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1876, her father Charles had moved the family to Belgium as he didn’t want his sons conscripted in any wars. There he prospered owning a large hotel and dining room. My grandmother was working as a nanny in Scotland where she met my grandfather. They were married in Scotland on April 18, 1905. Frederick worked as a City Hall clerk in Elgin, where there was not much of a chance to prosper. My grandmother Hermine asked her parents that in lieu of her inheritance, would they pay for steamship passage, and train tickets across Canada in order to start a new life in a new world. They agreed and my grandfather left Elgin in the spring of 1911, my grandmother Hermine, my uncle Fred, and my father were to follow after visiting her family in Brussels. My grandfather Frederick rode the CPR across Canada and planed to go to Vancouver, he stopped overnight in Calgary and its new sandstone City Hall had just opened, and they needed clerks, so the family settled in Calgary. My grandfather Frederick started as an accountant, and was appointed as the Assistant City Treasurer in 1915, and when the City Treasurer passed away in 1925 he was appointed to that office. He remained in that position until 1940 when he passed away at age 62.

My mother Vivian Eve Brabant was born in Lebret, Saskatchewan in October 1912 my Grandfather Alexandre was born on February 1, 1870 in Saskatchewan although at that time it was just part of the Northwest Territories not becoming a province until 1905 like Alberta. My grandmother Philomene Alice Fisher was born on July 5, 1878 in Manitoba she married my grandfather in Lebret on February 5, 1898. Her father George Fisher was a fur trapper from Prairie du Chien Wisconsin at the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers born July 25, 1830. As settlers came west my great-grandfather moved to Canada and settled in Manitoba at the Red River Settlement at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers in the Red River Valley after the War of 1812 the Hudson’s Bay Company gave Lord Selkirk a grant of 116,000 acres to bring Scottish settlers to. The Métis opposed the settlers because they feared losing their lands, since they were squatters and held no legal title. Many Métis were working as fur traders, this included my Great-grandfather George Fisher, with both the North West Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company. Métis the word stems from the French moite or “half” describe a people who stem from the French and Scottish fur traders and voyageurs of the fur trade days that married Indian women. The Canadian Government gave the Métis script to every father, wife, and children the choice of 220 acres of land away from the Red River Settlement, or $220. My great-grandfather moved the family to wear Saskatchewan is, he founded the community of Willow Bunch, and opened for trading outposts at Fort Qu Applle and Batoche. I have my Métis card.

Update CPR’s headquarters are now located in Ogden on the site
of the closed railway repair shops.

My name is Larry Buchan, I was born in Calgary at the Holy Cross Hospital in April 1949, I have two older sisters Helen and Betty born in 1941, and in 1942, and one younger sister Kathy born in 1956. My father Herman Noble Buchan was born in Nairn, Scotland in November 1908, he had an older brother Frederick born in 1907. My grandfather Frederick Stewart Buchan was born in

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