Upper Fraser Ranch Chalets History
The Upper Fraser Ranch was established in 1959 when Dr. Jerzy (George) P. Betkowski (1917-2004, originally a native of Poland), acting resident surgeon to the nearby community of Jasper AB, needed land for his recently acquired horse “Beauty”.
Dr. Betkowski took ownership of this horse in the form of a gift as a result of delivering a baby boy to a local stable owner/wrangler in Jasper who already had four girls.
The horse was promised to the Doctor if the next child he delivered would be a boy. This is how the Upper Fraser Ranch found its beginnings.
Over the next several years Dr. Betkowski acquired several subsequent parcels adjacent to the original purchase until the total land count equaled 1250 acres.
These ranching years for the Doctor saw the clearing and development of much of his land into productive forage crops and pasture land for his livestock.
At its peak, the ranch sustained a herd of approximately 300 head of predominantly Charlais and Hereford cow/calf pairs… a sizable herd by standards, for this part of the world.
With the passing of Dr. Betkowski in 2004, forty seven years of the Betkowski chapter came to a close and the Upper Fraser Ranch changed hands in 2006.
The ranch is now amalgamated with neighboring Fiddle River Farm thus bringing the total acreage of ranchlands to approximately 1500 acres.
Present day Upper Fraser Ranch now serves as a business to produce hay for sale and to provide custom pasture for both horses and cattle.
The Chalet, built in the late 1970’s which served as Dr. Betkowski’s spring/summer/fall residence is now the Upper Fraser Ranch guest accommodation.
Located approximately 2 Km south on the ranch property are the stockyards and main ranch yard which both historically and at present time serve as winter feeding and year round livestock handling and processing paddocks.
This area of the ranch pre-dates the original Betkowski land purchase of 1959 as several of the log structures and original homestead are known to have been established circa 1920.
Present day ownership of the Upper Fraser Ranch remain as proud custodians to this magnificent piece of Rocky Mountain agricultural land and strives to continue on with the Betkowski legacy by careful stewardship of this land in the areas of crop development, livestock management and now, with guest accommodations at the Chalet.