“Jack” Fuller was born on a horse ranch near Innisfail, Alberta in 1900. At the age of 17 he participated in one of the round-ups of the Brewster horses at the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. He describes his horse round-up experiences in his book, Red Saddle Blankets, by G.J. Fuller.
From a young age Jack was interested in painting and drawing. He was a cowhand and an artist all his life. He made life-sized dioramas for Norman Luxton; these are preserved at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. Over the years, Jack worked as a guide in Banff. He married his first wife Thelma in Banff in 1927 and they had their honeymoon at the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. For many years a carving was visible on a large tree at the Brewster Ranch site on Scalp Creek at the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. Most likely Jack was the artist. Unfortunately, the carving disappeared many years ago and all that remains is the large stump.
Jack had many colorful and interesting friends some of which were ranchers, cowboys, mountain men and first nations whose day-to-day life experiences provided him with ample material from which to record the stories, paint or carve the memory. He also personally experienced many interesting events before the “trails were plowed under”. Jack Fuller held a deep appreciation for the old timers of the early days and he has preserved the spirit of the west in his carvings, paintings and writings. Several of his carvings have been observed in trees in Banff National Park and in Kananaskis Country. The carving shown here was carved by Jack many, many years ago into a tree at the site of the Warden Station at Bow Summit.
In 1958 he opened a curio shop in Jasper. One of the items he sold were plaques made from casts of his original woodcarvings. Jack signed his artwork simply, “J. Fuller” along with his artistic trademark “running iron”. (Thank you to Peter Watts for the photo). (Photo of plaque by M. Nylund)