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What do Walking, Theatre & Snowshoes have in Common?

What do WALKING and THEATRE and SNOWSHOES have in common? Well back in 1916 a “World Champion Walker” was the headline at the Pantages Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta - as the Headliner!

To get this title, George N. Brown had lost only 4 out of 137 races. He had somehow taken his talent for walking to the Vaudeville Theatre. While in Edmonton he challenged some of the 218th battalion of the Irish Guards, including Major James Kennedy Cornwall, also known as “Peace River Jim.”

Cornwall was known for his ability to get around the bush in a variety of situations - quickly. The Indigenous people had even given him a nêhiyawêwin (Cree) name based on this ability. He wrote it as Opamochases, which is likely opapâmâcihôs (Plains Cree Dictionary)

By the time it was over, Brown’s record may have said 5 out of 137 races. Cornwall, nearly twice his age, had beaten him with a 15 yard lead using what he called the “Snowshoe Glide.” You can’t slow a good man down.

Image Credit: Edmonton Bulletin, June 12, 1916

Credits: The Edmonton Bulletin, June 10, 1916, Page 11, The Edmonton Bulletin, June 19, 1916, Page 7

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