Curated Collection of Vintage Photographs from Fort Calgary

Calgary can trace its roots back to the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, known as Moh’Kinsstis to the people of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The junction of these two rivers lies at the heart of traditional Blackfoot territory and was a place of gathering for thousands of years. In 1875 members of the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP), on their westward journey, chose the confluence for the site of a fortified structure. At the time is was known as the Bow Fort, but the name was quickly changed to Fort Calgary. The men who built the fort in as little as two weeks, unknowingly laid the groundwork for the modern city we known and love today.

John Brazeau, Metis, North-west Mounted Police, interpreter, Calgary, Alberta, 1876

If you’re interested in the history of Fort Calgary please see my previous story called, From Police Outpost To Modern City, for all the details. This post is a collection of vintage photographs from a time when the fort was most active. All of the photos on this page are published with permission from the Glenbow Archives. If you’d like more information about each photograph, or to purchase a high resolution copy, just search the identification number (printed on each photo) on the Glenbow website. We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below.

Fort Calgary
Group of Bloods at Fort Calgary, Alberta, 1878
Fort Calgary
North-west Mounted Police at Fort Calgary, Alberta, 1878
Fort Calgary
Fort Calgary, Alberta, 1880-1883
View of Fort Calgary, Alberta, looking north from Scotchman’s Hill (also known as Scotsman’s Hill), 1881
North-West Mounted Police, blacksmith shop, 1883
I. G. Baker Company store and buildings, Fort Calgary, Alberta, 1883
View from Scotchman’s Hill (also known as Scotsman’s Hill), Calgary, Alberta, 1886
First Nations camp near first Hudson’s Bay Company store at Fort Calgary, Alberta, 1886
Taken from north-east bank of Bow River looking south-west towards North-West Mounted Police barracks (Fort Calgary), 1886-1893
North-West Mounted Police barracks, Calgary, Alberta, 1888
Sergeants dining in North-West Mounted Police mess, Calgary, Alberta, 1889
North-West Mounted Police, Fort Calgary, Alberta, 1895
North-West Mounted Police football team, Fort Calgary, Alberta, 1900
North West Mounted Police barracks, Calgary, Alberta, 1900
Royal North-West Mounted Police Barracks, Calgary, Alberta, 1904-1914
Sergeant Major J. W. Spalding, Royal North-West Mounted Police officer, mounted on horse, at barracks, Calgary, Alberta, 1907-1912
Polo team, Calgary, Alberta, 1908
“F” Troop, North-West Mounted Police, at Fort Calgary, Alberta, 1876
North-West Mounted Police post (looking northwest), Calgary, Alberta, 1885


About Tyler Dixon 221 Articles
Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, and yes he cheers for the Roughriders, but don’t hold that against him as Calgary has been his home for the past eight years. He is a teacher working at a wilderness- based treatment program for youth working to overcome addiction. Tyler is also a volunteer with the GOT Parks initiative, which aims at reconnecting Canada’s youth with our national, provincial, and territorial parks. During his time away from work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife and German Shepherd, Rome.