Bowness History

Our Village in the Valley

Bowness Valley - Early 1900sThe Bow River and topography of the land defined the first use of the locality now known as Bowness.

The valley's first visitors found rich resources and sheltered wintering grounds for cattle. Because of this, the area was inhabited as a ranch in the mid 1890s. Only the railroad track and twin bridges intruded upon the pastoral landscape until the real estate boom of 1911.

John Hextall

John Hextall 1861-1914In 1911, John Hextall, entrepreneur and visionary, registered subdivision plans that became the framework for the village and town of Bowness. John Hextall’s story is told in the Society’s book, "Bowness:  Our Village in the Valley.”

Hextall's ambitious plans faded with the beginning of World War One. The land sat primarily vacant until after the Second World War when a settlement for veterans was established, along with the arrival of many Dutch and German immigrants.

The Bowness community quickly grew into a village in 1948, then as a town in 1952 and finally into part of the City of Calgary in 1964.

Bowness Landmarks

Baker Sanatorium - Circa 1950Bowness Park, the Bowness Golf and Country Club, the Alberta Ice Company and the Baker Sanatorium added identity and character to Bowness.

The histories of these facilities are documented in the Society’s two books.

Historic Bowness 2015 Calendar

Historic Bowness 2015 Calendar $15.00

Featuring Wood's Christian Home at Bowness

Learn more about our calendar.

Memberships

Become a Member

  • Annual membership will support the activities of the Society
  • Receive our quarterly newsletter, the Bowness Beacon, and other notices.
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