The Archival Collection
The archival collection of the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation is a major component of the Luxton Legacy. Extensive in size and subjects covered, it is a record of the McDougall and Luxton families’ impact on the development of Western Canada.
Dating from the 1850’s, the collection highlights the missionary past of the McDougall family from Owen Sound, Ontario to Morleyville, the first settled community in Southern Alberta. Methodist missionaries George and John McDougall were Eleanor’s grandfather and uncle.
The collection includes archival material from the early days of the Manitoba (now Winnipeg) Free Press, as Eleanor’s paternal grandfather, William Fisher Luxton, co-founded the newspaper.
The bulk of the records arise from Eleanor’s father, Norman Luxton and his Banff businesses and activities. Of special interest are the records of Norman’s voyage across the Pacific in the Tilikum, a dug-out canoe fitted with sails in 1901 and his part in returning plains buffalo to Canada via the purchase and participation in the great buffalo round up of the Pablo Herd of Rivalli, Montana.
Another major portion of the collection deals with Eleanor Luxton’s career as a school teacher, CP Rail locomotive designer, traveler, lecturer, field worker for the Glenbow foundation, historian, writer and businesswoman.
Nearing the end of her life, she arranged for the creation of the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation, with the aim of preserving the history of Banff and the Bow Valley. She envisioned the archives being housed in one of the residences that were part of her estate. When this proved impractical, for reasons of conservation and security, a contract was entered into with the Whyte Museum to store and process her papers.
For current archive hours, please visit the Whyte Museum website.
For direct access to the Luxton fonds description, please visit the Archives Society of Alberta.