The Heritage Resources Committee has completed a multi-year project to survey and inventory historical resources in the MD of Bighorn. The oral history project is a natural extension of this work and is one of the goals of the Heritage Resources Management Plan. Having people share their stories about the past and talk about the buildings and sites in the Heritage Inventory or in the Heritage Survey will add to a fuller understanding and appreciation of these places.
Financial support from the Alberta Lottery Fund and the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation
Margaret Gmoser was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1945. Her adventures in the mountains began at a young age when she moved out west with her family to Calgary, Alberta. In 1966, she married Hans Gmoser, founder of CMH that introduced heli-skiing and heli-hiking to Canada. They both moved to the Hamlet of Harvie Heights and lived there for the next 42 years; this is where they raised both of their children Robson and Conrad. This series of interviews will go into depth about Margarets family and work, her adventures mountaineering and providing support for the CMH Company, and her experiences over the years living in the Harvie Heights community.
MD of Bighorn Interview highlights of Margaret Gmoser – November 3, 2016
For full interview click here to watch the complete Oral History Project Playlist for Margaret Gmoser.
Donna Butters (Johnson)
Donna Butters was raised on one of Alberta’s oldest working Ranches, the Lazy JL Ranch. She shared her experiences of this lifestyle as an Avid horse rider working the Trail rides, as a Calgary Horse Show rider, and used to guide ranch guests throughout the terrain by horseback.
Staying out late into the evenings and getting home near dark, she would be out alone scouting new trails and routes to give the best guided experience she could.
Along with her wealth of knowledge and stories of the MD of Bighorn & Cochrane area she has collected over the years a vast amount of art, photographs, and antiquities throughout her life that hold great sentimental value. Ms. Butters tells stories about her immediate & extended family, as a mother and raising children on the ranch, the Stoney First Nation and community.
MD of Bighorn Interview highlights of Donna Butters- November 18, 2011
- Stories about picking up mail at Mr. Jamieson’s
- The Military, House Guests and her Friend Tilda
- Trail Rides and Showing horses
For full interview click here to watch the complete Oral History Project playlist for Donna Butters.
Robert and Mary Smith
This interview with Robert Smith (Bob) and Mary Smith provides primary source information about Bob growing up immersed in nature at Lake Minnewanka; how Bob and Mary met in Banff and what it was like raising their family at Seebe, a town with lots of community events, activities for adults and children and what it was like to have prisoner of war camps in the area. The interview provides the viewer with a glimpse into life at two Calgary Power company towns Minnewanka; now under water behind a dam and Seebe, a town dismantled in 2005.
MD of Bighorn Interview highlights of Robert & Mary Smith – April 4, 2012
- Robert and Mary Smith Part 1
- Robert and Mary Smith Part 2
- Robert Smith growing up at Lake Minnewanka
- Seebe Camera Club
- Seebe Grave
For full interview click here to watch the complete Oral History Project playlist for Robert & Mary Smith.
Bert Dyck was the municipal manager of Improvement District No. 8 during the late 1980’s. At that time there was a move to change from being an improvement district to a municipal district. Mr. Dyck talks about this and how the municipality got its name.
MD of Bighorn Interview highlights of Bert Dyck – April 11, 2012
For full interview click here to watch the complete Oral History Project playlist for Bert Dyck.
This interview with Mr. Richards provides primary source information about his grandfather moving to the area near Richards Road in the early 1900s to operate a sawmill, raising seven young children as a widower, the difficult times during the depression, his uncle bringing home a war bride, homesteading in the 1930s and his father meeting his mother. Mr. Richards talks about his parents working for horse outfitters in the Canadian Rockies and life on Richards Road during the 30s.
Mr. Richards describes life growing up on the land and how he and his sister were educated and how they kept busy with the 4 H Club and helping out with the milk cows. As a teenager Mr. Richards was paid to ride bucking horses no one else would ride; the beginning of a lifetime of rodeo business. Mr. Richards describes celebrations, social life in the country and their friendship with their Stoney neighbours. Mr. Richards talks about meeting his wife Jill and raising their two boys, building their log home and their challenges of raising cattle. The interview is a window into the past 100 years of the Richards family being in the rodeo business and ranching at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
MD of Bighorn Interview highlights of Doug Richards – December 17, 2012
- Doug Richards Part 1
- Doug Richards Part 2
- Young Buck Horse Ride
- Homesteading Early Years on Richards Road
For full interview click here to watch the complete Oral History Project playlist for Doug Richards.
Peter Fuhrmann, long-time resident of the Hamlet of Harvie Heights, tells stories about his experiences as a Parks Canada mountain rescue specialist for 25 years, former chairman of the Alpine Club of Canada, founding member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, and developer of an avalanche control system and a helicopter sling rescue method. Nowadays Mr. Fuhrmann spends his time creating sculptures and mountain-inspired stained glass pieces.
MD of Bighorn Interview highlights of Peter Fuhrmann – December 17, 2012
For full interview click here to watch the complete Oral History Project playlist for Peter Fuhrmann.