LUNDBRECK TRADING COMPANY: IN BUSINESS SINCE 1898
by Farley Wuth, Curator,
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village
Copyright, Pincher Creek & District Historical Society
This article on the sale of the Lundbreck Trading Company appeared in the Thursday, March 22nd, 1973 issue of our weekly newspaper, The Pincher Creek Echo. This place of business served as Lundbreck’s primary commercial outlet for several generations. A 1913 archival image depicts this as a two-storey structure with the business occupying the lower level. A centre door was flanked on either side by three to four sheets of picture windows. A cloth awning proudly proclaiming “Lundbreck Trading Co. General Merchants” provided shade for the store’s customers. The second floor, which had three traditional vertical windows that faced out onto the dusty street, provided accommodation for store staff. A set of three horse-pulled democrats could be seen outside the place of business in this pre-First World War scene.
“The oldest trading post or store in southwestern Alberta, the Lundbreck Trading Company, changes ownership on March 20th . Mr. Don Timmermans has sold out to Mr. Alf J. Neuberger of Pincher Creek.
It was in 1898 that Walter Knight established the business when settlers were coming in on the heels of the Northwest Mounted Police and Alberta was merely a part of the Northwest Territories. In 1905 when Lund and Breckenridge, both experienced railway contractors, discovered bituminous coal along the Crowsnest River. Lundbreck soon became a busy coal mining town bearing a name composed of the surnames of the two men. Then in 1909 Mr. Arthur Densmore bought out the Lundbreck Trading Co.
Under his direction, the store was enlarged to meet the increased demands of miners and ranchers in the area. Mr. Densmore operated this store and served the community well. It was in 1961, after the death of the owner, that the business was taken over by Mr. Don Timmermans.
The new owner carried on in the same pattern, the traditional general store with its reputation for good merchandise. Don Timmermans liked the area and the people. Once when he was in Chicago, a director of the stockyards told him “The finest cattle on earth are raised around Lundbreck.” Don has found the people there the finest in the world
He, too, took time to assist in the affairs of the community, becoming the Secretary of the Citizens’ Committee of the hamlet. He was for years President of the Livingstone Home and School Association. As an Elder of the Christian Reformed Church in Bellevue, he devoted much time to church affairs.
Community affairs involved the sale of the Lundbreck Light and Power Company, and the establishment of the Utility Co-op with the goal of bringing a water system to the hamlet had his fullest interest and participation. He would have liked to have seen an expansion of the hamlet.
Mr. Timmermans contemplates moving to the west coast where his brother Arie has established a business. His family will accompany him in early April. His many friends wish him well in his future.
The sale was capably handled by Chief Mountain Realty with Mr. Leslie Jasman, the agency for this Cowley firm.
The newest owner, Mr. Alf Neuberger, is planning a grand opening in the near future. He will carry on the 75-year tradition of service.”
Source: Adapted from “In Business Since 1898” (P), The Pincher Creek Echo, Thursday, 22nd March 1973.