As the old grain elevators have disappeared, so are many of the barns in our Chestermere farming community. It was sad last week to see the red barn at the corner of Highway #1A (Chestermere Blvd) and 116 Street become a pile of wood rubble as Dawson Landing takes form and a new Chestermere community rises from the furrows and fields that once were the Hodgson Farm.
The first Hodgson, Andrew Ritchie Hodgson, came to the Chestermere area in 1901 from Dunbar, Ontario. He stayed at the ranch of a former Ontario neighbour, George McElroy, and the following year brought out his wife and five children. They acquired a farm from Jerry Sullivan.
To quote Saddles Sleighs and Sadirons (1971 local history book), “Their dairy business flourished and after a move or two they proceeded to permanently establish the Hodgson name in the dairy business.” Years pass as the family grows and in 1970, Andrew’s grandson Everett, and wife Joyce (nee Gowdy) build on the family property, raise four children, and are active in many aspects of the local Chestermere community.
Son Randy, following his studies in meat cutting, opens Smokey Farm Meats on the family homestead. This was a thriving local business which he managed for 17 years. In 2007 the family decided that this land would be sold.
And this week the last vestiges of the farm have disappeared, in particular the iconic red barn and stand of trees that marked this corner. Please read more about this farm and one of our local pioneer families, the Hodgsons, under “Stories” at www.chestermerehistoricalfoundation.org.
Continuing with CHF’s objectives to bring local history to everyone, don’t miss hearing Cory Gross, geologist and U of C graduate in Museum and Heritage Studies bring prehistoric Chestermere alive, 1pm Saturday November 24th 2018. This is a FREE program for all ages, especially children. Cory is an educator at Glenbow Museum and his talks on prehistoric Alberta are always sold out during Historic Calgary Week. For more information call 403 200 8046.