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Municipal District of

Pincher Creek

No.9

Twin Butte

The hamlet of Twin Butte received its name back in the early 1900s through the efforts of area pioneer Tillie Mitchell.  Two small hills, similar in size & shape, were local landmarks overlooking Yarrow Creek just north of Mitchell’s residence.  They served as visible icons to local residents & most travelers coming through the area.

Throughout Twin Butte’s history, its economic base has been the ranching industry.  There were more than 43 extended ranching families who settled in the area between 1885 & the eve of the First World War.  One of the best remembered pioneer ranchers was that of Herbert Maynard Hatfield (1855 – 1945) whose spread, adjacent the Kootenai River as it was then known locally, dated back to 1889.

The Twin Butte School District was established in 1904 with classes starting on September 1st.  It was the 988th school district to be formed in the old Northwest Territories.  The school was built on a corner of the SW Quarter of S3, T4, R29, W4, which was just one mile east of the settlement of Twin Butte itself.  The school property was donated by Ernest Hillier who had established a homestead on the quarter the previous year.  Most of the teachers were boarded at the Hillier place although there was a teacherage in use for a few years.  A small lake to the south of the school provided skating & hockey opportunities for the students during the winter, but pupils were warned to stay away from a large coulee located just to the west.  The Twin Butte School was closed for the final time in June 1958 due to consolidation.  Earlier research has shown that 254 students attended this school in over half a century, taught by forty dedicated teachers.

Being on a well used trail & subsequent highway between Pincher Creek & Waterton Lakes, Twin Butte became a stopping point for travelers.  This was in spite of Twin Butte being one of the few local hamlets without an outside rail connection.  Various garages, service stations & general stores have operated here under local owners since the 1930s.  The first area Post Office dated back to April 1st 1895 under the name of Yarrow.  Early settler Bob Christie was the first Postmaster.  It operated until 1911.  The Twin Butte Post Office was established on June 1st 1905 with Ed Mitchell Sr. serving as the original Post Master.  It now has been in operation for over a century.

The Twin Butte Community Hall was constructed in 1936 with a grand opening featuring a dance on October 30th of that year.  Some seventy-two years later, it continues to serve the Twin Butte community.  It is one of the few surviving rural halls that did not also serve as a country school.

Previously, Twin Butte was under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Robert Kerr which was in existence from 1919 to 1943.

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