On August 20, 1883, the management of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, left on a grand tour of the new railway then under construction in western Canada. Including various dignitaries, the party came to 66 people, plus staff to cater to their daily needs and keep the train operational from Winnipeg to the Rocky Mountains.
According to the "St. Paul, Minnesota, Sunday Globe" for August 26, 1883: "The company are accommodated in three handsome Pullman cars, three Canadian Pacific official and one baggage car making up a train of seven carriages." - plus an engine and coal car.
Among those who travelled on this major CPR Executive and Dignitaries Tour were the following:
1.Hon. Donald A. Smith (Montreal);
Alexander Staveley Hill, MP;QC London
Matthew Henry Cochrane (Senator/ Ottawa);
Hon. Adams George Archibald - Nova Scotia;(former Lieut. Gov. of North-West Territories)
5.Hon. G.A. Kirkpatrick MP, Speaker of the House of Commons;
Herman Ernest, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (nephew of Queen Victoria and brother of Count Gleichen);
Theodore Robitaille, Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec;
Howard Potter - New York banking firm of Brown Brothers and Co.;
10.George Bliss - New York banking firm of Morton, Bliss and Co.;
Hon. St. John Brodrick, MP (William St John Freemantle Brodrick);
Professor Pierce Adolphus Simpson (University of Glasgow, Scotland);
Pascoe du P. Grenfell (London) - CPR Director/ partner of Morton, Bliss and Co.;
Colonel Egerton (London);
15.W. Donaldson (Glasgow);
A.S. McClellan (Glasgow);
J.G. Sibbald (New York);
William Armit - Secretary of the Hudson Bay Co.London
Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (Montreal) - CPR general manager;
20.Sir George Stephen Montreal) - President of CPR;
Count Gleichen (brother of Prince Hohenlohe of Prussia and nephew to Queen Victoria);
Edward Bootle Wilbraham, Earl of Lathom;
Col. C.B. Kingscote, M.P. (England);
Lord William Buller Fullerton Elphinstone;
25.Charles Francis Smithers (Montreal) - Pres. Bank of Montreal;
Duncan McIntyre - 1st VP of the CPR;
Richard B. Angus - 2nd VP of the CPR;
Thomas Edward Kenney (Halifax);
James B. Duffus (Halifax);
30.Sir John Waldron (England);
Thomas Reynolds (London);
J. Jones ;
Rev. Canon Anson (Anglican Archbishop of Assiniboia);
Hon. C. Anson (Montreal);
40.J.B. Hamilton (Essex, England).
Mr. Egan - general superintendent of CPR
Col. Needham, 1st Life Guards, London
W.P. Clirehugh, London
45.John Le Sage, editor, London Daily Telegraph
W.W. Hardman, editor, Morning Post
Baron Albert Salvador, editor, Paris Figaro
Professor Paul Passie, Paris
Dr. Oskar Berggexuen, Vienna Free Press
50.Hartland McDougall, Montreal
According to the "Regina Leader" for August 30, 1883, p. 4, the CPR dignitaries tour left Winnipeg on Sunday, August 26 at 9:00 a.m. and passed through Regina a little before 9:00 p.m. For this part of the journey, they travelled in six palace cars. The Leader also reported that "On Sunday evening last the party composed of members of the syndicate arrived here at 10 minutes to 9 having made the trip from Broadview (92 miles) in two hours and forty minutes. This is fast time considering that the road is not yet ballasted" Due to the speed at which the train travelled from Broadview to Regina, it would appear that the dignitaries did not stop at the Bell Farm that day, but did so later on during the return trip. It was reported in the "Calgary Herald" that the train arrived in Calgary on Aug. 27, at 4:45 p.m.
On Tuesday, Aug. 28 the tour left Calgary for the end of track, and then headed east again at 3:30 p.m. – (Calgary Herald, 31 Aug, 1883, p. 3) The "Regina Leader" reported on Sept 6, 1883, p. 1, that the CPR Excursionists stopped at the Bell Farm on Wed. Aug. 29 for an hour or two, then rode back to Winnipeg. The trip from Winnipeg to Calgary took 33 hours; while the return trip took 34 hours. The extra time was likely due to the stop at the Bell Farm.
On Sept. 14, 1883, the "Colonies and India" provided the following report on the CPR Tour: "The party of dignitaries left Montreal on Aug. 20 and arrived in Calgary on August 28 1883. . . . . . The return trip averaged 36 miles per hour. The party visited the Bell Farm where the average corn yield this season will be 27 bushels per acre"