Dead Man’s Flats is a hamlet in Alberta within the Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8. Statistics Canada also recognizes it as a designated place under the name of Pigeon Mountain. It is located within Alberta’s Rockies at Highway 1 exit 98, approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) southeast of Canmore and 78 kilometres (48 mi) west of Calgary.
A variety of explanations account for the origin of the hamlet’s name. One explanation associates it with a murder which took place in 1904 at a dairy farm situated on the flats of the Bow River. Francois Marret stood trial in Calgary for killing his brother Jean, whose body he had disposed of in the Bow River, but the jury acquitted him by reason of insanity. Another account states that two or three First Nations people who were illegally trapping beaver noticed a warden approaching in the distance. Knowing that they did not have time to flee without being spotted, they smeared themselves with beaver blood and pretended to be dead. The warden, fooled by their deception, ran for help. Meanwhile, the trappers took their beaver pelts and escaped. This account is regarded as dubious; for example, no known description of this incident appears in the official wardens’ reports. In 1954, the Calgary Herald wrote that it was “named only 10 to 12 years ago after a man was found shot in a cabin in the area.” From 1974 to 1985 the hamlet was officially called Pigeon Mountain Service Centre, but it changed its name to Dead Man’s Flats in 1985 to encourage
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