Mt. Stephen and Mt. Donald

George Stephen and Donald Smith were the two primary financiers behind construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the nation honored them by naming prominent peaks in the Canadian Rockies after them. Both were made peers of the British Empire and barons, with Donald naming himself Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal while Stephen named himself after his own mountain, becoming Baron Mount Stephen.

Click images to download a PDF of any postcard.

In the above card from the early 1910s, Mt. Stephen looms over the Canadian Pacific train station in Field, BC. The train in the foreground would soon go through the spiral tunnels on its way to Lake Louise, Banff, and eastern Canada.

The above card shows the same mountain with CP hotel Mount Stephen House in the foreground. This hotel primarily served tourists before 1918, after which it was more for railway employees, so this card is probably from the early 1910s.

Here is Mt. Sir Donald, named after Donald Smith’s first name, probably because there was already a Mount Smith somewhere in Canada. While Mt. Stephen is located near the railway’s summit, Mt. Donald is about 40 miles further west near Golden, BC.

This card doesn’t identify the mountain, but from the previous card it is clearly Mt. Donald. The use of color suggests it is from the 1920s.

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