Alberta's Provincial Historic Sites, Interpretive Centres and Museums
Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston, Alberta

Don Remington

The Man Behind the Dream

Don Remington Don Remington was a self-made man who rose from Depression-era poverty to become a leading citizen of his hometown of Cardston, Alberta, Canada. His financial success was based on construction and ranching, but his place in the hearts of his fellow citizens was based on the fact that he never lost the common touch. He regarded money as being more convenient than important, and was at home with commoners and kings.

For 30 years Don collected and painstakingly restored horse-drawn vehicles, using the early hours of the morning to work on carriages before his construction business opened for the day. Don’s company specialized in building concrete bridges throughout western Canada, and he did most of the work on carriages during the slack months of January and February. In this way he amassed a collection of 49 vehicles, 48 of which he donated to the people of Alberta to become the nucleus of the collection at the Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston, Alberta. Don died in 1987 at the age of 73, just as his dream of a Carriage Museum was starting to become a reality.

Physically, Don was long and lean, with rough-hewn appearance similar to the mature Gary Cooper. He looked “at home” in elegant coachman’s livery or a tuxedo, but was more often seen in jeans, a plaid shirt, and a battered cowboy hat. He never disdained hard physical work, and found pleasure in his ability to create something of beauty with his own hands. Don was a proud craftsman, with skills in woodworking, painting, metal working and upholstery.

Don will be remembered by his friends and neighbors as a man who lived intensely, always active, finding good use for every hour. He will be remembered by future generations of Albertans as the man whose skill, vision and generosity made possible the magnificent Remington Carriage Museum.

 

Last reviewed/revised: March 18, 2016