The division came with motorized vehicles in the 1930’s. Jim developed the Transport Company, Bill managed transportation for 30 years & quit. Bill remained in outfitting, but also built Brewster Industries in Banff in 1947 to house a Ford dealership. His building remains part of Brewster’s Mountain Lodge, which opened in 1996.
Claude with his mother, Missy, developed the original homestead into the Kananaskis Guest Ranch in 1923. With his wife Ruth, Claude continued guest ranching raising two sons, Bud & Jack, at the Ranch. Today, Janet – Bud’s eldest daughter, operates the Guest Ranch, 81 years after its opening. The Ranch has been operated by the women of the family – Missy, Ruth, Annette & now Janet, indicating strong female influences within the family.
Claude, 3rd generation Canadian, is probably the least known because he was quiet, unassuming, but a giant in his humanitarianism. At his own expense, he would care for his staff through food chits, waived rents & gave his own shirt; Claude was also an active politician in the Liberal Party, a personal friend of Louise St. Laurent, Prime Minster of Canada in the 1950’s. He was active in the Chamber of Commerce & many local organizations. Because Claude had grown up with the Stoney Indians at Seebe, AB, he was able to promote the Trans Canada Highway through the reserve. He was prominent in bringing Sulphur Mountain Gondola, (now Banff Gondola), into the Park, through his political connections. He worked for years to promote Indian Days, a native festive affair held during the summer & now, about to be reintroduced.
When Banff decided to put in a bid for the winter Olympics for 1968, Claude was part of the team. Unfortunately, Claude passed away in 1968, and no Olympics. My father–in–law, Claude, led me into future ventures. He’d done some special events for VIP clients & convinced me that there was a future in a BBQ specialty business. I promised & today our youngest daughter Alison & her husband Bryan Niehuas have developed an incredible business, Mount View BBQ – the dream came true.
Bud, 4th generation & youngest son of Claude & Ruth, slowly took on the task of his family’s enterprises. When we married in 1959, moving to live in Banff, Bud had taken over the operation of Brewster’s Mountain Pack Trains, outfitting the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies, & Skyline Hikers, back country camping groups during the summer months as well as the trail riding concession the had with CP Hotels in Banff & Lake Louise. By 1962, he purchased the company from this father. Since Bud considers himself a carpenter the first building was a new stable in Banff. In the early 1970’s, he would sell the Banff portion of the company to Warner & Mackenzie, two cowboys who worked with Bud. My job in all of this is what, you might ask? I became the chief cook & bottle washer – plus the bookkeeper, food organiser, & anything that needed doing, all the while caring for our three young daughters – Janet, Corinne & Alison.
Today this company is in the capable hands of our son-in-law, Kevin Stanton & Janet. He has built the Brewster’s Cowboy Dance Barn in Lake Louise & a thriving sleigh ride operation around the lake in the winter time, all successful. Bud’s next undertaking was the family home – The Kananaskis Guest Ranch near Seebe, Alberta. Since his parents wanted to retire, Bud purchased the Ranch & for eight years it was a holding area for all the Park operations, at one point there were nearly 400 head of horses in all. That was part of his decision to sell. Horses are live stock that need feed and care all year-round, and were becoming too costly so he scaled back. Since the Ranch was becoming in need of revitalization, he went in, building again, probably nearly 30 buildings including the Main Ranch House. Thus began a new venture.