Fort Calgary

In the summer of 1875, North West Mounted Police Inspector Ephram Brisebois was sent out in charge of the NWMP's F Troop (yes) to found a fort somewhere in the lawless country between Fort Saskatchewan and Fort MacLeod. Brisebois arrived at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers in September of that year and chose the west bank of the Elbow for his fort. Naturally, following the practice of his superior office, Assistant Commissioner MacLeod, he named the fort after himself.

That lasted about six months. Dissent among his own men and outright hostility from the local Indian bands forced MacLeod to visit Fort Brisebois and to suggest to the arrogant Inspector that a career change might be in order. His next task was to change the name of the fort from that of the hated Brisebois to Calgary, the name of one of MacLeod's family's ancestral homes.

As the settlement became a city, the original Fort Calgary was neglected and finally forgotten. For over 50 years the land was in the hands of the CPR. Finally, with the city's centennial quickly approaching, officials were able to negotiate the purchase of the original land from the railroad. Little or nothing was left of the original fort after all those years, but a replica and an adjoining interpretive centre were built.

The Fort Calgary Interpretive Centre is now a popular tourist attraction, an important historical site, and home to more gophers than some US states.
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