Jay Does Fort Macleod And Fort Walsh.


Looking For Jerry Potts - From September 9 - 14, 2021.


Day Two Of Ride For Jay Is Cranbrook To Medicine Hat With A Stop At Fort Mcleod.





Date: Friday Sept. 10th

Looking for Jerry Potts  -  Part 0ne Continued.

The “Crow’s Nest Pass” was very scenic with great weather, (“Ken Weather”). It is a highway that I have not before traveled. The novelty was genuine. The Frank Slide was something I learn about in primary school but had never seen. It is an impressive amount of material that came down upon that unsuspecting town. No mercy was metered.

Frank Slide – Turtle Mountain (mysteriesofcanada.com)

On my way to Medicine Hat, I pass through Macleod Alberta. I had planned to stop there to see the “Fort” find “Jerry Potts” and have an all-round geeky history buff afternoon.

I was in the process of reading a book called “The Banker and the Blackfoot”. It tells about John Cowdry who starts a Bank in Macleod Alberta to service Southern Alberta and beyond in the mid 1880’s. I was carrying this book with me on my motorcycle. As I pull into the town of Macleod I look up at the street sign... John Cowdry Street...  I had arrived.

Canada's History Books - Canada's History (canadashistory.ca)

I started my Macleod visit by spending some time at the original RCMP Barracks. The Barrack site was closed off, but I got the feel of the place. It is still wide open farms with grassy prairie around the Barracks, it’s easy to linger in the summer heat and imagine the scene. Nearby is a gas station with cool drinks and snacks in which I indulged. Step back in time… no gas station with cool drinks… not a luxury had for the heat baked Mounties residing in the un-air-conditioned Barracks. As I sit, I see a river not far off. The Oldman River. I am guessing that the troopers would go down to the river for a dip to cool off. If they were kind, would also bring their sweltering horses.

Macleod is a sweet prairie town. You can feel that it oozes history. It is surrounded by flat prairie that surrenders to the foothills with the Rockies further out to the west. The brown stone brick buildings are still in place. With taste and attention the downtown core has been well cared for. “The Fort” is located in downtown Macleod and has been reconstructed. The fort was built in October 1874 and my guess is they wanted it completed quickly to keep out the cold winter which in October was already upon them. Check out this link below it will give you a good overall understanding of Macleod Alberta.

History/Heritage | Town of Fort Macleod

As I walked through the Fort Macleod Museum, I already had a list of questions orbiting inside my head. For years I have been reading Canadian history and more pointedly “Southern Alberta History”. I have done my homework, now here I am right in the middle of it.

I met Sandi Davis who is the Executive Director of “The Fort” and we got to talking. I started asking my swirling questions and she was responding with enthusiasm and insight. At one point… she stopped me to say “You really care”. Sandi made the comment that it’s not too common, but it does happen that people such as myself show up at the fort to get the full value of what is being offered. We had a good chin wag. I could tell she enjoyed the discussion plus her job.

Now this is the main focus of my excursion “Looking for Jerry Potts”. I went over to the town cemetery to find Jerry's grave. Mr. Potts has been deceased for 125 years. I did find him and it seems he’s not going anywhere.

The Adventures of Jerry Potts (mysteriesofcanada.com)

Back onto the bike, I’m off to Medicine Hat. It was a great day of riding and history.

I was comfortably camped in Medicine Hat, attached to the hotel was an excellent “East Indian Restaurant”. I ordered a plate of nourishing mild curry with rice, the dinner was outstanding. Early to bed… early to rise. I knew there was going to be a weather change the next day and I’m not talking (“Ken Weather”) here. I would need all my resources on full charge.


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