It’s the end of an era as the historic Rafter Six Ranch west of Calgary is demolished.
Stan and Gloria Cowley, the former owners of the ranch are heartbroken, watching the buildings they put up be taken down by the new owner of the property.
They only learned about the demolition last week when the MD of Bighorn confirmed a permit had been issued to bring many of the buildings down, including the main lodge.
Gloria Cowley took to Facebook to let past visitors in on what’s happening and tells News Talk 770 the support has been overwhelming.
“People from around the world that have been here, that have pictures of it, that have memories of it, that are sharing. Some that are angry, some that are just in disbelief.”
The Cowley’s lost the ranch after partnering in 2008 with a Calgary resort development company that went into receivership.
The family hung on to the Rafter Six name and continues its horseback riding and camping business adjacent to the ranch.
Cowley says it’s hard to see everything they worked so hard to build, come down.
“My husband and I built it. We put our hands into it, put the logs up, and did the work, and greeted the guests. So to see this part of history, to see this lost and to see it destroyed is heartbreaking. It was a very active, happening place, lots of weddings, meetings, family events. People just came from around the world to see a part of Alberta’s heritage and the culture.”
The MD of Bighorn says some of the older, more historic buildings on the property will not be torn down. There no word on what the property will be used for. The municipality has not received a building permit.