The Elbow

Experience Calgary's history through the story of its "other" river. In this revised and updated edition, John Gilpin delivers the definitive history of the Elbow River and the vital role it has always played in the lives of Calgarians. Drawing upon a rich archive of historical documents, photos, and maps, Gilpin takes readers on a sweeping journey through Calgary's past, from the founding of Fort Calgary to the creation of the Glenmore Reservoir, which unlocked the city's potential for growth.

Along the way, you'll meet many of the mavericks who shaped the Calgary we know today, and you'll discover the Elbow's outsized role in the city's growth. The Elbow River was the axis of Calgary's early development, and the battleground for its early feuds. Gilpin concludes by bringing the floods of 2013 into historical context, reminding us that Calgary has always had a complicated relationship with the Elbow as both a benefactor and a threat.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
The Elbow 1
Introduction 12
1. Calgary on the Elbow, 1875-1884 16
2. The Elbow and the New Town of Calgary, 1885-1905 56
3. Greater Calgary and the Elbow River, 1906-1914 91
4. War, Recession, and the Prosperity Mirage, 1914-1929 110
5. The Waterworks Question and the Great Depression, 1929-1933 123
6. Community Use and Exclusion on the Elbow, 1930-1946 182
7. Post-War Calgary and the Elbow River, 1947-2017 195