120-year-old ranch table found, returned to Fish Creek
A spinning wagon wheel at the centre of the table was used to help serve family-style meals.
Published Thursday, May 23, 2019 2:26PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 23, 2019 9:00PM MDT
The Friends of Fish Creek Society has the original cookhouse table back in its rightful place on the old Burns Ranch site.
“I was keen to find it and bring it home," said Nick Blanchet, the executive director of the society.
The large, round wooden table was built on the ranch out of old floor boards and sits on a rough-hewn base.
To make it easier for cowboys to reach their family-style meals, a spinning wagon wheel was covered and used in the centre of the table, much like you see in Chinese restaurants.
It’s an example of ingenuity found on the prairie in early Alberta.
Blanchet says it’s hard to pin down the exact date the table was built but says it was likely right around 1900.
“I think it’s important to have these things to connect the generations, and something like this table is what people remember and will tell stories about, this needs to stay here,” said Blanchet.
The Friends of Fish Creek Society says there is next to no written history or photos of the former Burns Ranch infrastructure. It relies on stories told to staff by people who grew up on it.
The table is in the cookhouse that serves as the society’s office. The old Burns Ranch is in Fish Creek Provincial Park off Bow Bottom Trail.
Here’s previous coverage on another project in the old ranch section of the park.