High River's Brand Story
The graphics you see of cattle brands found on our website belonged to the many enterprising and colourful people who contributed to the growth of High River area.
What's behind a brand?
Cattle brands are part of the rich history and legacy of the west. Not only do they identify livestock; they also represent the ranch owner whose name and reputation stands behind that brand.
Many of cattle brands of this area represent enterprising and dynamic people who contributed to the growth of High River, Calgary and southern Alberta - people like Guy Weadick and George Lane, founders of the Calgary Stampede who both owned property and lived in High River. Their brands were a trademark that came to be associated with all they represented to the community and to their peers. Today, when we see the "golden arches" or the Nike "swoosh" we know immediately what those modern brands stand for and the image those companies wish to portray to the public.
The Town of High River chose to have these brands on our new website, as they represent our town's proud heritage, strong values, sense of adventure and how we care for our community and each other.
These brands evoke the excitement of rodeos, parades and other local events, remind us to cherish our natural setting on the Highwood River and inspire us to look into the skies, towards the majestic Rocky Mountains on the horizon, thinking of all those who have travelled and settled in this area.
We are proud to share the legacy of those who have contributed to High River's character and growth - from the original Stoney and Blackfoot people who found shelter on the banks of the Highwood River, to today's diverse and inclusive community; from our community elders - the seniors who have contributed to our community, to the youth who are our future.
When you visit High River in person or online, we are sure you'll experience our authentic western hospitality. We hope you enjoy the information on our new website and feel the enthusiasm with which we share this information with you.
It's true - you are never a stranger in High River. This Town was built on a crossroads where the Macleod Trail led from the south to Calgary.
High River has always been a resting place, a shelter, a calm place to refresh and enjoy the beautiful surroundings for a bit, before moving on, back to busy city life. We continue to welcome everyone coming to find their own adventure, purpose or desire to connect with nature in a caring community. In fact, in today's remote working world - what better place to set up your home office!
The influence of the native people has had a great impact on the area. Not only did the name come from First Nations origins, but the use and the very feeling of the land has the mark of the native tribes. The name Highwood derives from the Blackfoot name for the area, “Ispitsi” meaning high and “Ispitso”, which refers to the large cottonwood trees growing along the bank of the river. Together the name means the place of high trees along running water. High River Historical Context Paper, March 2016
High River's 'Medicine Tree' represents both the history and of the Stoney and Blackfoot people, the present value we place on our natural surroundings and our future as we work diligently to protect the things we value - the things that make High River special.
Thanks for stopping by!
Read more about the history of cattle brands in this 1950 article written by Guy Weadick (reprinted in the Canadian Cattleman in 2017)