As a result of this policy, large ranching operations were established in the outlying country near Calgary.
Already a transportation and distribution hub, Calgary quickly became the centre of Canada's cattle marketing and meatpacking industries.
In 1875, the site became a post of the North-West Mounted Police (now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP).
The NWMP detachment was assigned to protect the western plains from US whisky traders, and to protect the fur trade.
When the Canadian Pacific Railway reached the area in 1883, and a rail station was constructed, Calgary began to grow into an important commercial and agricultural centre.
Over a century later, the Canadian Pacific Railway headquarters moved to Calgary from Montreal in 1996.) for one cent per acre per year).
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It is situated at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, about 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies.
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In the Blackfoot language (Siksiká), the area was known as Mohkínstsis akápiyoyis, meaning "elbow many houses," reflecting its strong settler presence.
The shorter form of the Blackfoot name, Mohkínstsis, simply meaning "elbow." There have been several attempts to revive the indigenous names of Calgary.
Originally named Fort Brisebois, after NWMP officer Éphrem-A.
Brisebois, it was renamed Fort Calgary in 1876 by Colonel James Macleod.