Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pincher Creek's genesis commemorated with tree dedication

CIB Committee with dedication plaque at Pincher Creek's Ag grounds
Christian Davis - On September 22, Pincher Creek's Communities in Bloom (CIB) Committee dedicated a grove of poplar trees near the creek at the Ag grounds to commemorate the finding of the town's namesake pincers.

This was the fifth year of tree dedication projects for the committee, and could be the last.  Past dedications include:
  • The poplar tree in front of Town Hall was dedicated to the staff and students of Central School.
  • A spruce tree at Cenotaph Park was dedicated to the Pincher Planters.
  • An elm tree in front of the pool and library area of the Multi Purpose Facility was dedicated to the RCMP, as it was the original site of the area's North West Mounted Police farm.
  • A cottonwood grove beside the creek path adjacent to Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village was the first dedication.  "It was a very significant tree to the plains area, and this area," said CIB member John Hancock.
"This (the September 22 dedication) is probably the last one, actually, and we thought it had to be rather special," explained Hancock.

The pincers were lost in 1868 by explorer/prospector/fur trader/rancher William Samuel Lee and found by an NWMP officer six years later in the creek, becoming a reference point for the area.  No one knows exactly where the pincers were actually lost or found, so the spot recognized by the committee is symbolic.  The pincers were a farrier's tool, and similar ones are still used today in shoeing or trimming horse hooves.

September 21 was National Tree day.  Planting a tree is encouraged on this day but the committee chose to dedicate trees instead, as trees in this area do better when they are planted in the springtime.

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