We have moved our trailer to an RV park at Cochrane. This is a bit of a walk down memory lane for us – we lived in Cochrane for about 8 month in 2000 when John was pipelining. Not surprising – it isn’t the same place I remember.
Cochrane is one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. Being 18 km west of Calgary – it is considered a bedroom community – all the necessary services and housing costs that are lower than in the city.
Cochrane was established as the Cochrane Ranche in 1881 by a rancher named Matthew Henry Cochrane. It was incorporated as a town in 1971. The population at the last census was just under 18,000 people, but that is still growing. Major industries are agriculture (ranching), lumber and retail.
Anyone who has visited Cochrane will know about MacKays Ice Cream. This is a local business that starting making ice cream right on site in 1948. They still use that original recipe which calls for 100% high butterfat cream. Flavors have been added over the years, as have take-out products. The business is now being run by the third generation of the MacKay Family.
When we lived here, I worked as the Education Co-ordinator at the Western Heritage Center. This was a beautiful facility set up 1996 to teach preserve and celebrate the many facets of ranch life. Unfortunately the Center wasn’t financially sustainable, and the Town of Cochrane purchased the facility, and renamed it the Cochrane Ranchehouse. It has been renovated to house the town’s administrative offices, but the Stockman’s Library and Hall of Vision are still in place. It was a brief moment of nostalgia for me.