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Municipal District of

Pincher Creek

No.9

Lowland Heights

Historically, Lowland Heights has served as a point along a valuable transportation link between Pincher Creek & its neighbor to the east, Fort Macleod.

Situated along the banks of the Pincher Creek immediately east of this famed Northwest Mounted Police Horse Ranch, Lowland Heights is located along the old Macleod Road.  This was the route established by the Mounties as early as the late 1870s to help secure law enforcement duties in this part of the Canadian Prairies.  Part of the route travelled northeasterly to cross the Pincher Creek at Goforth’s Crossing, named after one of Pincher Creek’s early medical doctors.  It then headed to a point on the Oldman River near its confluence with the Pincher Creek.  Teams of horses & their supplies of passengers & goods then crossed at LeGrandeur’s Crossing, named after the famed ranching & rodeo pioneers who once owned property & a stopping point there.

The Macleod Trail headed northward to what is now the Spring Point area, where Beaver Creek is nestled in the Porcupine Hills.  There, the trail connected with the route heading northwesterly up to the Porcupine Hills Outpost established by the Force.  A trip heading southeasterly into lower elevations eventually connected with Fort Macleod.

This trail was utilized not only by the Mounties but by ranchers & early travelers.  It is said that stagecoach operator Max Brouielle used parts of this route back as early as the mid 1880s.  During the pre-railway era, he offered tri-weekly passenger, goods, & postal delivery service between Pincher Creek & Fort Macleod.  It was a rough & dangerous journey when lives were occasionally lost at such crossings as LeGrandeur’s.  Only the luxurious looks of Brouielle’s stage coach disguised the true nature of early prairie travel.

The construction of the Crowsnest Branch of the CPR in 1897-98 put an end to the stage coaches & the extensive use of the old Macleod Road.  But several early pioneers already had settled along the Pincher Creek end of the Macleod Road & constituted some of the settlers in Lowland Heights.  One was Dr. Frank Goforth after whom the Crossing was named.  The property initially had been owned by Sergeant Major Bray of the NWMP & Goforth purchased it in 1892.  One of his daughter married George Walters, an early employee of the Rocky Mountain Echo when it was owned by journalist E. T. Saunders.

Further west, along the right (south) bank of the Pincher Creek, was property owned by Colonel James F. Macleod, also of the NWMP.  The ranch, which was where the Macleod Family resided from 1880 to 1886, received the colourful Scottish name of Kyleakin in honour of the family’s heritage overseas.

Source: Researched & Written by Farley Wuth, Curator, Pincher Creek & District Historical Society.