Fowers Family

Charles and Catherine Fowers came to Canmore from Nottingham, England, in 1906, with two sons, Cyril, then seven-years-old, and Eric, then three-months-old. A third son, Fred, was born in Canmore in 1907. Mr. Fowers worked first for the J.B. Neil & Co. Mine, and then for Canmore Mines until his retirement. Cyril, Eric and Fred all attended school in Canmore. Cyril and Eric each went to work in their mid-teens, driving the delivery wagon for the Rundle Mountain Trading Co. Each of them eventually became the manager of the “Company Store”. Fred worked in the Canmore Mines. Mrs. Fowers was a member of the local chapter of the IODE. During the spring and summer, Mr. Fowers tended his large vegetable and flower gardens. Mr. and Mrs. Fowers lived on School Street where Mr. Fowers resided until his death in 1957. Mrs. Fowers lived her final years in a nursing home in Calgary and died in 1961. Both are buried in the Canmore cemetery.

Cyril married Ethel Hale in 1921. They had two daughters, both of whom died as infants. Cyril and Ethel moved to Victoria upon his retirement from the Company Store. He returned to Canmore after the death of his wife, and died in Canmore in 1987. Both are buried in the Canmore cemetery. Eric married Martha Wardrop in 1929. They had two children, Louise (Lou) and John, Jr. (Jack). Eric served on the Canmore School Board and was active in the Canmore United Church. When the Company Store was sold, Eric and Martha moved to Victoria where they resided for eight years, returning to Calgary after retirement. They remained in Calgary, except for a short time in Clearbook, B.C., until their deaths – Eric in 1992 and Martha in 1996.

Fred married Ivy Reeves of Banff in 1935. They had three children; Bill (who married Leona Shandruk), Frank and Elaine. Fred died in 1974 and Ivy was later killed while crossing a street in Canmore. Bill passed away in Calgary in 1975.

During most of the years that the Fowers family lived in Canmore, it was a time of homes heated by kitchen stoves and living room heaters fueled by Canmore briquettes and / or Canmore coal, no paved roads, and wooden sidewalks where there were sidewalks. Winters were cold, the Bow River occasionally flooded, the air was clean and clear, picture shows cost fifteen cents, the milkman delivered your milk to your door, the Company Store delivered your groceries to your door, you ran a bill at the Company Store, there were dances in the Union Hall, Christmas turkeys were delivered to the homes before Christmas, Christmas Eve concerts were held in the Union Hall and when Santa arrived, there was a gift and candy for each child. July 1 was Sports Day with free ice cream and candy. In other words, it was a much gentler time.

In Canmore Seniors at the Summit, ed. Canmore Seniors Association, 2000, p. 89

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1 Comment

  • Martha (Mac) was my great grandmother. It is so heartwarming to read this story of our family history. I wish i had some old pictures to share with the museum.

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