Peyto Lake Books

Banff Town Warden - Journal Excerpts


June 24, 1919 — west at night to fire 2 miles east of Lake Louise, took up fire pump, started fighting fire at 10:30 pm.

June 25, 1919 — still fighting fire for 19 hours, fire burned about 85 acres.

September 29, 1922 — went to Squirrel Street to investigate fire, found kids playing with bonfire on road, made them get water and put out same.


May 14, 1919 — west on auto road to sucker spring, heard 2 shots on hillside, caught Malcolm Amoss with Luger, confiscated same and brought Amoss to town, he was tried by Collison and fined $25 and costs, also Joe Blair who was driving Amossís car was fined as an accomplice $5 and costs.

October 19, 1919 — west on auto road to Sawback hill with Warden Wood looking for car reported by McAulay, there from 7:30 to 9:30 pm, out again at 10 pm, on auto road till 7:30 am, watching for Amoss and Blair, suspected of killing game, met Amoss at 2 am walking towards town, he immediately jumped for bush when he saw us, went through his car earlier in the evening (nothing doing).

Predator control

February 5, 1915 — saw guests of Hot Springs Hotel trying to outrun a coyote in the bush — I having come to Hot Springs to try and get same coyote but had ride for nothing.

February 7, 1915 — nothing in traps but lots of tracks around all traps, going to quit night hunting till coyotes get bolder and new moon comes.

April 8, 1922 — phoned J. Warren that Bill Peyto's dog had treed a mountain lion.

Banff Zoo

May 29, 1920 — to sucker spring catching fish for polar bear.

February 2, 1921 — to Healy Lodge with Bill Peyto's outfit to catch porcupine and lynx for zoo.

April 21, 1921 — at zoo with Warren to move coyotes, got bitten on side of head by small one, went to hospital and got wound cauterized, then moved coyotes.

May 4, 1921 — at zoo helping catch grizzly bear to get tooth out.

Buffalo Park

September 9, 1915 — out to buffalo park in afternoon, in charge as Woodworth got attacked by old bull elk

June 2, 1916 — travelled through yak pasture looking for coyote, found old cow yak stuck in mud in creek with calf, got Melville to help me pull cow out of water, after which I got the calf from cow and gave cow a drink of hot water and ginger, saw cow in afternoon and she seemed lots better.

Shipping of animals

August 27, 1926 — at wardens' stores and finished boxes to ship animals to Toronto Zoo, caught marmot and put in cage, only one living, two were to be shipped, Warden E.W. Peyto had a young one at his house that he had been raising by hand so sent it and one from zoo on train no. 4.


July 1, 1914 — rode to good fishing points and watched fishing parties did not exceed limit, water too high for really good fishing.

July 1, 1915 — watching streams around Banff for fishermen with small fish, boys most trouble — wanting to keep undersized fish.

Dogs and cats

December 7, 1916 — about town with Fyfe in afternoon getting count on dogs at large — to summons owners

October 30, 1925 — to police court at night on Welby dog case, lost case as J. Doe witness who beat dog off deer in his yard and saw it was Welby's dog could not recognize dog which was brought into court, case dismissed, saw JW and Mr. Welby talking to N.K. Luxton at bank corner immediately after court.


June 26, 1915 — to crossing of Forty Mile Creek via Mt. Edith Pass accompanied by Warren and Tex Wood to try and get pack horses out that were drowned, creek running wild, could not get anything out.

June 4, 1919 — to buffalo park in afternoon and caught up colt, pulled out porcupine quills from his nose.

October 7, 1922 — got call at 6:30 pm, re: horses in slough, went up with McAulay, McTrowe and Spencer and found two pack horses in centre of bog, almost covered , put in plank to get to same and pulled them out with team.

The Hermit of Anthracite

March 25, 1916 — went up to Johnson Lake or Blue Lake with Vick and Rodd, came onto a man living in shack in thick pines, told me he had been there eight years, no one has seen him at any time, he talked good English, intend to investigate him again.

March 28, 1916 — went to shack at Anthracite with Morrison, PC Walker and Deputy Warden Wright, did not find man at home, Wright and PC searched but found nothing suspicious, Mr. Morrison and I saw four deer near shack and noticed they were not at all scared.


March 11, 1915 — saw no less than 11 persons between Hot Springs and golf links, must be sign of spring as 5 were ladies.

May 13, 1916 — putting coal oil on stagnant water to kill mosquitoes.

December 11, 1916 — nearly shot myself in back of head while taking rifle through window of stable at mill.

September 18, 1921 — patrolling Johnston Canyon and Hillsdale, took family for a ride.

Rescues, searches and tragedies

June 10, 1918 — up Spray Valley to Eau Claire camp looking for 4 men's bodies that were drowned this morning, located boat bottom up ¼ mile below camp, helped turn it over.

July 15, 1925 — called at 12 pm to look for man on Rundle Mountain, left campground with chief warden at 12:45 am.

July 16, 1925 — on Rundle Mountain, located man in ravine at 2:45 am, found also that he was unhurt, waited for daylight, went above him and directed him as he climbed upwards several hundred feet, arrived at CP Hotel at 6 am, home till noon.

October 17, 1925 — called out after supper to take search party to Squaw Mountain to look for three girls, found same on northern slope in thick timber, back to auto road at 1:20 am, girls a little scared and cold, 2 Swanson girls and Winnie Harris.


June 14, 1921 — to Lady MacDonald Cottage after bear in afternoon and back at night, bear came out and was shot by Bill Peyto with a 303 pointed bullet. As this bear did not fall at once Mrs. West-Jones and her husband declared it was not touched and that we had gone there with orders not to shoot this bear but only to scare it, said she would write to Ottawa and get us discharged and in fact spoke in a very insulting manner for one that was supposed to be a lady, just because we would not go and sit in the house or on the verandah, we took the only position from which it was possible to do any shooting as there were so many people walking through the woods, B. Peyto stayed near the house all night as they would not be told the bear would not come back.

June 15, 1921 — went to camp at golf links with Bill Peyto and shot bear that had been molesting camp, Mr. Wood came along and evidently to show his authority said 'is this the right bear?' We told him that we did not ask the bear as he had already been in one tent. He said he was not going to have them shot, Chief Warden Sibbald came along and was satisfied so we shouldn't worry.

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