About Cranbrook, BC  

Baker Street looking East, circa 1925 (Cranbrook Historical Archives)

Brief Introduction

  • The earliest known people to use the basin, in which Cranbrook is located, were the "Ktunaxa" who have roamed the upper (East) and the lower (West) Kootenay regions for several millennia.

  • By the late 1860's, this basin was occupied by the Robert Galbraith family, and about 1887 was purchased by Col. James Baker, who named it "Cranbrook Farm" after his ancestral home in Cranbrook, Kent, England. Baker is the founder of Cranbrook as we know it today.

  • Cranbrook, as an urban centre, was created by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1898 when it completed a strategic major branch through the Crowsnest Pass in the southern Canadian Rockies. The railway made Cranbrook the Divisional Headquarters for the administration of this line, a position it still holds. Cranbrook was incorporated in 1905 and today is the largest city and major service centre in the south-east part of the Province with 20,000 population. Nelson, 230 km to the west, is the second largest at 10,000.

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