Where it all Started
Henry Minesinger was the first recorded owner of the ranch known today as Stampede Ranch. Henry was the first of his family to head north to Canada from Montana. In 1875, he went on a trail ride to the Red River settlement (Winnipeg) where he remained, marrying a Red River Metis woman, Marie Borsow (or Bourassa) in 1878. Henry remained in Manitoba for ten years and arrived in southern Alberta in 1885, finding work at the famous Bar U Ranch as a cowhand and expert calf roper. His sister Mary and her husband Alfred Miles moved to High River to ranch and soon their parents James and Nellie joined them. The Minesingers’ and Miles established the Minesinger-Miles Ranch sometime in the late 1880’s. Around 1891 the Minesinger and Miles family moved out of the district, returning to Montana.
The ranch passed through several hands until 1920 when it was purchased by Guy Weadick. Guy, born in 1885 in Rochester New York was drawn to cowboy figures as a young boy. He was a visionary who became deeply invested in the creation of the western cowboy image and spent a lifetime promoting his vision of the cowboy lifestyle. In 1906 he married Flore La Due, whom he met at a Wild West Show. For the next 20 years, the couple traveled all over North America and Europe with their trick roping and riding act. Guy and his wife returned to Calgary in 1912 to create a show unique to Canada that commemorated ranchers and cowboys showcasing their disappearing way of life and cowboy skills. In 1923 the Calgary Stampede became an annual event that Guy managed until 1932. He encouraged the entire city to sport western clothes and a western atmosphere for the duration of the Stampede, a tradition still observed today.
Under the ownership of Guy the Stampede Ranch evolved from a cattle ranch to a dude ranch hosting tourists. With his numerous connections in Eastern North America and Europe and his promotional visions he attracted guests to his ranch. The appropriate Cowboy atmosphere was created with a large main lodge and cabins to house his guests. Decorations included a letters and signed photographs from Charles Russel (cowboy artist), Buffalo Bill, Prince of Wales, Lord Lonsdale, Mae West and Will Rogers. The ranch provided horses, guided-pack trail rides, hunting and fishing trips. Entertainment included small rodeos for guests to watch or participate in. Guy sold the ranch in 1947 and moved his family to Phoenix were he retired.
Mervyn and Bernice Edey bought the Stampede Ranch in 1965 and continued to run it as both a cattle and guest ranch until 1975. Mervyn too was a visionary with compassion for the blight of young troubled boys. He saw the ranch as an alternative to detention and foster homes, a place where young boys could experience freedom, a working ranch life, and a big family atmosphere. The Stampede Boys’ Ranch began in 1975 with 3 boys and over the years grew to house as many as 25. The boys’ ranch operated for 38 years, helping over 1000 youth over four decades. Mervyn passed away in 1987 and his family continued to run the Stampede Boys’ Ranch until 2013.
Today’s New Owners
Today’s new owners are currently operating The Stampede Ranch as a private cattle ranch shared with family and friends.
With 135 years of history The Stampede Ranch has seen many changes but has always stayed true to the cowboy way of life, who knows what the next chapter of vision for its future will bring.