The Lister-Kaye Enterprises

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The Lister-Kaye Enterprises

In 1884, Sir John Pepys Lister-Kaye, a Yorkshire baronet, arrived in the northwest from California, bought 7,000 acres of land near Balgonie and started a farm.

In 1886, Lister-Kaye became interested in the Swift Current area. He bought ten blocks of land of 10,000 acres each., between Swift Current and Calgary. Each block was one farm; together, they made up the "76" Ranch.

In 1888, he formed the Canadian Agriculture, Coal and Colonization Company and received financial backing in England. Under Lister-Kaye's management, the company became one of the largest agricultural ventures in Canada.

The severe winter of 1890 killed cattle and reduced feed stocks. Lister-Kaye's unorthodox efforts to cover these losses failed completely. The financially pressed company reorganized and Lister-Kaye resigned as manager.

The company continued to operate until 1909 but never achieved the level of prosperity envisioned by Lister-Kaye.

The "76" Ranch

The "76" ranch took its name from the brand used by the Powder River Ranch in Wyoming. When Sir John Lister-Kaye bought the ranch's entire herd of cattle for his land development, he kept the brand and took the name "76".

This was the site of the Crane Lake farm, one of the ten such farms that together made up the "76" ranch. In 1890, it was made the cattle operation headquarters.

Each farm had a two storey house, a bunk house, stable and machine shed, granary and windmill, blacksmith shop, harness room, cattle shed, sheep shed and piggery.

The "76" survived the 1906-07, but lost two thirds of its cattle, its British owners sold it to Gordon, Ironsides and Fares in 1909. In 1921, the "76" ranch was permanently broken up, the brand passed through a number of owners before returning to this area in 1945.


Land Location SW S27 T12 R23 W3M
Rural Municipality 110 - Piapot
GPS Location 50° 1' 7.61" N, 109° 4' 4.26" W
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