Livingston(e), Sam (Log Cabin)
• Currently at Heritage Park
Sam Livingstone was a prospector, trader and the first dairy farmer in the Calgary area. He had the first herd of cattle and was the first to sell milk in the dirt streets of the frontier settlement. He was also the first to use mechanized equipment for farming (threshing machine, mower and a rake) and to plant fruit trees that survived the harsh prairie winter.
Born in Ireland in 1828, Livingstone followed the hoards of prospectors who had gold fever from New York to California. In 1874, he settled close to the Catholic Mission by the banks of Calgary’s Elbow River. He ran a trading post for a time before turning his full attention to farming. Just before the arrival of the Northwest Mounted Police in 1875, Glenn gave up his trading post and moved about four miles upstream from the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers where he built a log cabin for his wife and five children.
Livingstone found a ready market with the North West Mounted Police who contracted him to supply buffalo meat, fresh vegetables and haul freight.
Sam Livingstone married Jane Howse in 1865 and together they had 14 children, six girls and eight boys. A school was built primarily for the Livingstone children and Sam became one of the Glenmore School’s first trustees. He also served on the board of directors for the Calgary Stampede and was active in the community. In 1890 Livingstone accompanied the "Alberta Exhibit" to the Toronto Exhibition via the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was his first train trip. The Calgary Tribune wrote about the success of the exhibit designed to promote immigration to the new west and described Livingstone. "His long hair and bear are almost white, while his tall and slight body is as straight as a willow wand. With his wide hat, blouse and long boots, into which his trousers are stowed, he is a picturesque figure." A Calgary official who also went on the trip wrote a letter home. He said, " Sam Livingstone just captures the crowd, particularly the farmers. They look and keep looking at him as though they had paid a dollar for the privilege, and just swallow open mouthed every blessed word he says…I tell you it was no mistake sending Uncle Sam along."
Sam Livingstone, the "warm-hearted pioneer, whose latch-string always hangs out for the virtuous wayfarer "died in 1897. Jane Mary Livingstone continued farming until her death in 1919.
Part of Livingstone’s original farm was flooded for the 1929 construction of the Glenmore Dam and Reservoir. The second Livingstone house built around 1883 now sits at Heritage Park. A provincial fish hatchery, a school and a government building bear his name.