Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village
Grasslands to Ranchlands
This collection of rescued pioneer homes, churches and commercial buildings preserves a glimpse of the brief period when Canadian government policy transformed native grasslands populated by Blackfoot and buffalo into corporate cattle ranches. Each structure provides its own perspective on pioneer society and industry circa 1890.
The log barn is a relic of the large breeding ranch established in 1878 to provide horses for the North West Mounted Police. The Hermitage is a rustic church was constructed in 1885 by Father Albert Lacombe, famous for propagating Roman Catholicism among Alberta's native peoples. The Fishburn School educated generations of ranch children from 1894 until 1948.
The large Waldron Ranch House testifies to the Canadian government's policy of transferring vast tracts of formerly native lands to ranching companies. (Sir John Waldron was a wealthy British politician whose 1883 land concession spanned the Oldman River. In 1962, the 51,000-acre ranch was sold to a cooperative of neighbouring ranchers and remains in operation.)
The village's namesake Kootenai Brown Cabin was the home of an Irish-born adventurer who became the first superintendant of Waterton Lakes National Park.
Gallery and Gift Shop
The museum's more precious artifacts are exhibited inside Pioneer Place, a modern log-built visitor centre and gift shop which is open year-round.
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village is located in downtown Pincher Creek, just north of Main Street at 1037 Bev McLachlin Drive.