Fort Calgary

Preserving the Past: The Patton Windmill

The windmill is recognized as a symbol of the challenges faced by newcomers with great expectations of developing an agricultural economy on the prairies.  Pumping from a well 100 feet deep, this 40 foot tall windmill consistently produced cold, hard water for the Patton family and the surrounding community for 78 years.  Thomas  Patton purchased the windmill from Nebraska and had it shipped to his farm circa 1910.  This tall steel structure, a Dempster Annuoil #12 model, was a landmark and historical symbol for the Calgary community of Pump Hill for almost a century.  The windmill provided neighbouring homesteaders with water in times of drought and acted as a beacon for pilots during World War II.

Thanks to a kind donation by the Clarence Patton family, the windmill was moved from its original location in Pump Hill to Fort Calgary in the summer of 2002. Fort Calgary is proud to preserve this significant historical icon that belonged to these spirited homesteaders.

Building The Ideal City … From Police outpost …. To Modern City.

Calgary’s progress from police out post to modern city has required difficult choices about our vision of success as a community.  The development of our city can be traced through what we did with Fort Calgary and our river valleys.

The railway embankment in front of you represents a time when Calgarians thought trade was more important than history or the environment.  As you move along this pathway, you travel a road Calgarians have gone down many times.  At one end are industry, transportation and economic growth; at the other, open space, natural environment and recreation.

Fort Calgary’s industrial era lasted from 1914 to 1975.  Since then, other opportunities have allowed us to build to different ideals.  What will we do in the future?