• Diamond Hitch

    Diamond Hitch: The Pioneer Guides and Outfitters of Banff and Jasper

    By : E.J. (Ted) Hart

    3rd edition

    ISBN: 0969973276

    270 pages
    6 x 9 inches
    April 2001


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    As the tourist trade developed in Banff and Jasper in the late 1800s, a special breed of men emerged to lead wealthy, latter-day explorers into the Canadian Rockies wilderness. These guides and outfitters were often as undisciplined and unkempt as their clients were refined and polished. But together this unlikely alliance forged the last chapter in the history of exploration of the Canadian Rockies. Hart’s book Diamond Hitch describes the colourful lives and times of such men as Tom Wilson, Bill Peyto, Jimmy Simpson, the Brewster brothers, Fred Stephens, and Curly Phillips—the true mountain men of the Canadian west.


    The cover of Diamond Hitch is a painting that depicts legendary Canadian Rockies guide and outfitter Jimmy Simpson, who builtNum-ti-Jah Lodge overlooking Bow Lake. The artist was Carl Rungius and the painting dates to the 1920s. Rungius (1869-1959) was the premier wildlife artist of his era, but was also renowned for his landscape and western paintings. His estate was purchased by Calgary’s Glenbow Museum in 1959, making this the best place to learn more about the artist.

    At the time of book’s publication, the painting hung in the Shelburne Museum (Vermont). The piece has since been sold, and unfortunately there are no records as to its current owner.


    E. J. (TED) HART graduated from the University of Alberta with a Master’s Degree in Western Canadian History in 1972. Recruited to work in the archives at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, he became Head Archivist in 1976 and in 1979 the Executive Director of the Whyte Museum, a position which he continues to hold. Through this time, Ted has authored a dozen books on the history of Banff and the Canadian Rockies. He was the mayor of Banff from 1995 to 1998.