If Ephrem had his way, we’d all be living in Brisebois, Alberta, not Calgary, Alberta…

Dr R.B. Nevitt, North West Mounted Police surgeon, painted this watercolour of Fort Calgary only a few months after the Fort had been built in the fall of 1875.

Ephrem A. Brisebois, Inspector of the “F” Division who build the Fort, had originally decided the Fort should be called “Fort Brisebois”. Colonel James Macleod and Colonel A.G. Irvine, the Commander of the N.W.M.P. disagreed, and insisted on changing the name. “Fort Calgary” was suggested—taken from James Macleod’s family estate in Scotland. Irvine wrote to his superiors in Ottawa, requesting the change, which became official in June 1876.

Shortly after, Inspector Brisebois resigned from the Force and left Fort Calgary. Brisebois had repeatedly clashed with his superiors who criticized his management of the division. The name change may have been the last straw.

Want to learn more?

Check out Fort Calgary: Sharing Our History, Building Our Community, by Trudy Soby.

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