Beynon is an unincorporated populated area in south
east-central Alberta, Canada.
Beynon is primarily a private 500+ acre ecological preserve
. Located within a deeply
sculpted portion of the Rosebud River
valley, the area is recognized as being regionally significant. Due
to its unique topography, picturesque valley setting, and relative
rarity in terms of biodiversity, Beynon protected its' surrounding
area by permanently protecting over from development. This
protection was achieved by way of an outright donation of land by
Beynons founding family, who still own most of the unincorporated
area called Beynon. The Nature Conservancy of Canada
were the recipients of the land donation in 1999.
Hugh Hesketh 'Beynon' Biggs (1875 - 1941) emigrated from India and England to Canada
joining his friends the Ritchie brothers at the Springfield Ranche
in the Rosebud River valley.
At that time the Springfield
Ranche was little more than a sod roofed
with the bare beginnings of a
proper Ranch. Soon after Hugh arrived he began importing sturdy
cattle stock and building a life in the then very sparsely
populated region. A more suitable log home was erected by 1901,
which is fully modernized and still occupied by a family member as
of this writing in 2006. In 1912, with a new rail line being
constructed through the Rosebud River valley dissecting the
Springfield Ranche in the process, a need for a steam engine water
supply tank and rail siding changed the setting permanently.
The Canyon in 2009.
Naming the rail siding "Beynon" after one of Hughs given names
began the development of a small but uniquely civilized village. On
Hugh's property sprung up a country general store, blacksmith
, school and little post office (both
still standing in 2006), and construction of two prairie style
on the rail siding.
Corrals for the holding of cattle for transport were built, as was
a 'Section house' for the rail line maintenance crews. By the late
1920s, Beynon was a stable little community, all built in the
quarter section of property called Beynon, principally within the
Springfield Ranch (now without the 'e' at the end).
With the increased mobility offered to communities in the region by
the automobile, Beynon's future became less certain, and by the end
of the 1940s it was clear that Beynon was not going to develop into
a larger centre of population. In 1955, the general store closed
permanently, with the Beynon School having closed in 1949. The post
office closed in 1978. The grain elevators were both closed and
removed by 1980, leaving only 3 inhabitable houses ( all occupied
to this day ).
Meanwhile, one of Hugh Beynon Biggs four daughters, Myrtle Agnes
Beynon (Bud) Biggs (1912-1998) had developed into a highly aware
conservationist and talented artist. With the reverting of the
Beynon area to a more natural state, the establishing of an
ecological preserve at Beynon began in ernest in 1968. By posting
the Beynon property with "Ecological Preserve" signage, she single
handedly became one of the regions most outspoken land stewards,
promoting wise land use practices and sustainable conservation of
habitat, by example. It was decided by the Biggs family members
still living and still using the Springfield Ranch house at Beynon
that never-developed-property, held by the family would be
protected for all time from development. This action was taken to
ensure that future generations would be able to see at least a
small example of the regions unique beauty before development
became the norm in the region.
The Beynon Canyon was featured in the cemetery scene from the 1978
film Superman: The
- The Making of Superman the Movie, David Michael Petrou, New
York:Warner Books, 1978.