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Experience Calgary's history through the story of its "other" river. In this revised and updated edition, John Gilpin delivers the definitive history of the Elbow River and the vital role it has always played in the lives of Calgarians. Drawing upon a rich archive of historical documents, photos, and maps, Gilpin takes readers on a sweeping journey through Calgary's past, from the founding of Fort Calgary to the creation of the Glenmore Reservoir, which unlocked the city's potential for growth.

Along the way, you'll meet many of the mavericks who shaped the Calgary we know today, and you'll discover the Elbow's outsized role in the city’s growth. The Elbow River was the axis of Calgary's early development, and the battleground for its early feuds. Gilpin concludes by bringing the floods of 2013 into historical context, reminding us that Calgary has always had a complicated relationship with the Elbow as both a benefactor and a threat.

John Gilpin

John Gilpin is an historian and writer with a BA and MA in history from the University of Alberta and a PhD in economic history from the University of Leicester, England. His interests include the settlement of western Canada, with a particular emphasis on transportation, water resources and urban development.