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History: The Medicine Hat Legend

Reprinted from the October 1949 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

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The Medicine Hat Legend
By Mary Terrill, Medicine Hat, Alta.

‘Discovery of the oldest known record of the Medicine Hat legend has, in this writer’s opinion, settled for all time three controversial questions which have harassed the city for the last few years. They are: How did Medicine Hat come by its unique name; which story is the authentic account of the legend; and which Indian head-dress is the original medicine hat?

This record was uncovered three years ago in a 55-year-old file of the local newspaper. It was written by Rev. Charles Stephen, M.A., under the title, “The Name of Medicine Hat”, and is related to James Sanderson, who for many years before the arrival of the N.W.M.P. in 1874, engaged in buffalo hunting, trapping and fur trading in the district. Later he acted as interpreter and guide for the Force.’

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