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Trip PlannerCanada  /  Alberta  /  Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek

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History Museums · Ski Areas · Parks
Pincher Creek is a town in the southwest of Alberta, Canada. It is located immediately east of the Canadian Rockies, 101km west of Lethbridge and 210km south of Calgary.HistoryFor centuries before this area was settled, the Blackfoot, Peigan and Kootenai Nations lived in or frequented the region.The town received its name in 1868 when a group of prospectors lost a pincer in the small creek at this location. These pincers would have been used as a mechanism for trimming the feet of the horses and thus had some value to the group. In 1874, the North-West Mounted Police came to southern Alberta. One of them discovered the rusting tools in the creek, and they named the area Pincher Creek.In 1876, the NWMP established a horse farm in the area. It closed in 1881, but many of the troops stayed to help the town. James Schofield opened Pincher Creek's first store in 1884. By 1885 Pincher Creek had a store known as Schofield & Hyde General Store. Harry Hyde succeeded Schofield as Pincher Creek's first postmaster.In 1898, Pincher Creek was incorporated a village. In 1906, the community was officially incorporated as a town and named Pincher Creek. Many residents are descendants of the pioneer families who settled there over 100 years ago.GeographyClimateStrong Chinook winds often blow off the mountains and Pincher Creek can be very windy. The Oldman River and Castle River valleys seem to act as a kind of funnel for air masses, arguably making the area around Pincher Creek the windiest in Alberta. Any typical day may see wind speeds of 50-90km/h, the most violent recorded wind being 177km/h. The strong winds have given rise to a significant amount of wind farm development in the area, with the towers and blades of wind turbines being a characteristic of the scenery. Another consequence of the breezy conditions is that the weather is mostly sunny and very dry as the wind tends to dissipate cloud cover.
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