Vintage Photos of a Horse Drawn Sleigh

Over the river and through the wood,
To grandfather’s house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh,
Through the white and drifted snow.

       ~Lydia M. Child

The image of a horse pulling a sleigh over crisp white snow evokes that festive spirit in many of us. What was once a common mode of transportation during the winter months has now become a family friendly event for those looking to rekindle days gone by or experience a new winter activity. Either way, we hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.

From all of us at the Calgary Guardian, we want to wish you the safest and happiest of holidays at this festive time of year.

George Constantine, Innisfail, Alberta, 1900

For additional collections of historical photos featuring fun winter activities, please see these previous posts about tobogganing, skating, snowshoeing, dogsledding, and skiing.

Pearce family at “Bow Bend Shack”, Calgary, Alberta, 1900
North-West Mounted Police barracks, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, 1890
Group in horse-drawn cutter sleigh, Peace River, Alberta, 1906
Horse-drawn sleigh outside Perrenoud house, Cochrane, Alberta, 1890s
Horses pulling man on loaded sleigh, Springfield Ranch, Beynon, Alberta, 1900
Michichi Creek, Drumheller, Alberta, 1900
Thomas Gibson family leaving to get mail at Lawson ranch, Blue Springs Ranch, Wintering Hills, Alberta, 1907
Edna Nielsen Kitchen and child, Calgary, Alberta, 1890s
Simon John Clarke on sleigh in front of Queen’s Hotel, Calgary, Alberta, 1900
Men with horses pulling load of fish, Lake Athabasca, 1940. Object #A14475
Men transporting fish, Buffalo Lake, Alberta, 1936-1937. Object #A14369
Heated, enclosed horse drawn sleigh, Smoky Lake, Alberta, 1939. Object #G445
Winter scene, E. Reese’s farmhouse, Dorenlee, Alberta, 1927. Object #B646
Children on a Christmas sleigh ride in Fort McMurray, 1926. Object #A11935
Men, women and children on back of horsedrawn sleigh at Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement. Wooden buildings in background, 1950. Object #A15898
Horses and loaded sleigh of survey crew in Peace River area, 1912-1916. Object #A20656
Woman petting a horse, 1900. Object #A21386
Unidentified men beside a horse-drawn sleigh ready to begin journey, n.d. Object #A3392
Two unidentified people seated in horse drawn sleigh, Sedgewick, Alberta, 1916-1918. Object #A9135

The photos above were collected from the Glenbow Archives and the Provincial Archives of Alberta. If you’re interested, additional information can be found for each photograph on the Glenbow website by searching the identification number that is printed on the photo. There is also the option to purchase a high resolution copy. If you search the object number that can be found in the photo captions, you will find additional information about the photographs on the Provincial Archives website. Stay tuned for additional posts featuring historical photos from across Alberta. We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below.

About Tyler Dixon 179 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.