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Return to the Old Days

Home on the Range at Circle Five!

by: Jean Williamson



Elkana Ranch


Only the Old Timers remember the property called Elkana Ranch was once Jake Fullerton’s Circle Five Ranch.   This fourth son of T.K. Fullerton was born in 1882 at Marquette, Michigan while the family was “en route” west. He was a year old when they arrived in Calgary the following spring.   

By 1906 his father had homesteaded NW ¼- 12-23-5W5 (Elkana) and had built a small log cabin on the banks of the meandering Bragg Creek near its confluence with the Elbow River.   This cabin was used, as a bunkhouse for many years while the land was headquarters for the family to run several hundred head of cattle and horses throughout our area.   By 1912 Jake bought his father’s quarter and his cattle brand was the Circle 5. Jake was successful in breeding and raising big work teams that hauled for the oil wells, did road building and hauled timber for the first government bridge across the Elbow.



Round Hall


In 1915 a start was made on a new house that eventually became the Circle Five Ranch House. This family home is still inhabited to day.   It was made completely of lumber from Jake’s own sawmill. He hauled the rough lumber to Cushing’s Mill in Calgary where it was planed and then hauled back to Bragg Creek. A path from the back door led to the “bathroom” and was complete with Eaton’s catalogue. Jake’s wife washed the family clothes on a scrub board.

By the early 1920’s this cattle and horse operation led to the beginning of a “dude” business.   Circle 5 hosted Stampedes, a yearly event. Pete Knight, just beginning his career in rodeos, won his first championship at Bragg Creek.   Dances, held under a huge circus tent, always followed the Stampedes.


camp cadicasu

Camp Cadicasu


Jake Fullerton’s home always seemed to be swarming with people, strangers and friends passing and staying the night.   He will be remembered for his involvement in sports.   Boxing was his passion. In fact, as a young man, Jake held the Western Canada Boxing Championship for several years.   He was endowed with exceptional promotional ideas. The old Round Hall and Camp Cadicasu are part of his legacy and part of Bragg Creek’s history.


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