Did You Know (Archives)
Did you know that the Luxton Home has a Historic Garden you can visit?
The Luxton Home Garden offers a rare opportunity to observe a residential pioneer garden as it evolved from 1906 to the 1960s, and matured from 1960 - 1980.
The garden's roots lay in the Arts and Crafts Movement's revival of the English Cottage Garden, and the Luxton Garden is one of only 2 or 3 originals in Western Canada.
This is a frequent question for researchers at the historic Luxton Home Museum. After several years of searching the collections in the home, unusual items are still being found in the deep storage recesses of this modest semi-bungalow. During the 90 years the Luxton family lived in the home, they collected unusual items from many parts of the world. They were crowded into extensive storage areas, lining several of the rooms, the attic and the lower floor.
One such find that was recently identified, after help from Google, and other research aids, was a pair of African elephant tails. Our investigation revealed the fact that at one time ivory sellers were required to prove their claim to the ivory by presenting the elephant's tail. How the tails got to Banff only Norman Luxton could have told us.
Dried Elephant Tails
A hand made riding quirt fashioned from one tree branch, peeled and braided, is another fascinating item in the collection. We suspect the branch is from a type of willow, and we also wonder if it may have come from Norman's trip to Australia. This we may never know, but if you know tree-types and/or wood…perhaps you can help us pinpoint the origin of this fantastic piece.
Handmade Riding Quirt
In 1907, Norman Luxton was asked by Rocky Mountains (now Banff) National Park Superintendent Howard Douglas to help him buy the Pablo Buffalo herd of Rivalli, Montana to reintroduce bison in Canada’s Elk Island National Park.
The Pablo herd started from a few calves and had been bred up to become the largest surviving plains bison herd. Luxton traveled to Winnipeg to persuade Minister of the Interior Frank Oliver who was receptive to Douglas and the purchase is made. Douglas and Luxton participated in the great buffalo round up which took several years.
It took six years for 708 buffalo to be shipped to Canada, mostly to Elk Island National Park. These in turn were used to create the herd at Buffalo National Park at Wainwright, Alberta.
Image from "The Last of the Buffalo" booklet, 1909, photo by Norman Luxton