Lives, Legacies, and Legends of the Calgary Fire Brigade

Hello All! I am Kesia Kvill, one of the Museum’s summer students. I am finishing off my BA Hon. in History this summer as a Co-op Student at The Firefighters Museum of Calgary. Over the past month or so I have been working on a research project we have titled “Lives, Legacies, and Legends of the Calgary Fire Brigade.” This project is a combination of two things for me: first my interest in the history of cemeteries (my Honours Thesis was on cemeteries), and second my new interest in the history of the Calgary Fire Department.

As July 25th will mark the 75th anniversary of Chief “Cappy” Smart’s death in 1939, the Museum staff wanted to take time to reflect upon the lives and legends of Calgary’s early fire department and honour the legacy of “Cappy” Smart and others affected by the Fire Department.

My research for this project has included the compilation of information on members of the Calgary Fire Department buried in Union Cemetery, as well as those who perished in a significant fire (or fire department related) incidents, and relatives of “Cappy” Smart. This list includes the locations of each person’s final resting place, as well as short tidbits of history surrounding them and their relation to the fire department. We will be posting a PDF self guided tour in August so you will be able to take a walk through the cemetery at your own pace, learn about the history of the CFD, and take time to remember the impact the early department, and Chief Smart, had on the city of Calgary.

If you wish to join us on our remembrance of the “Lives, Legacies, and Legends of the Calgary Fire Brigade,” the Museum staff will be meeting at the Spiller Road entrance at 11:00am on the 29th of July to walk through Union Cemetery 75 years to the day that “Cappy” was brought to rest there by a full Fire Department processional from his funeral at Knox United Church.

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