As promised last month, I am posting some additional information regarding the Johnston Stevenson Stopping House. Having now gotten my hands on the Nose Creek Valley History book (see Sources, below), I have a bit more detail about the location.
What I did learn was that on this site (SW1/4, Sec. 36-27-1-W5) that John M. Dixon (or, Dickson, depending on the source) owned the original stopping house. While it could have been around since the late 1870s, it was only registered in the name J.M. Dixon on July 23, 1886.
Johnston Stevenson took title of the stopping house on December 9, 1895 and remained a stopping house until 1900 when the Airdrie Hotel was opened.
This was also a location for the dropping of mail along the Calgary-Edmonton railway, starting around 1891. For the first few years mail was simply dropped off opposite the stopping house which often necessitated the wading through marsh land to retrieve the mailbag. From 1900-1903 a mail catching tower was installed but then mail service ended when the Airdrie post office was opened.
The book shows a photo of a stopping house, but it doesn’t make note as to whether this is the Johnston Stevenson stopping house or the Dickson-Stevenson Stopping House which was located a bit further north. I’ve included a reproduction of the original image here because it provides a visual context for what a typical stopping house would have been like, even if it isn’t the exact one which is the subject of this posting.
We also know that the Nose Creek Historical Society was granted permission by the site’s landowner Donald Copley in 1975 for the erection of the monument.
I’m sure there is more information out there and I hope one of our local historians will be able to help fill in more of the details.
Wilk, S. (1997). 100 years of Nose Creek Valley history. Calgary: Nose Creek Historical Society. p.64-65,67