The local community lost another link to the past recently with the passing of Bill Dunn at the age of 89.

Dunn arrived in Alberta in 1986 from Manitoba, with his wife Pat, and put down stakes on a ranch near Cayley on the Mosquito Creek.

He was the force behind the recognition of the Old Cayley stockyards and single handedly retraced and revamped wagon wheels denoting the Old Macleod Trail between Fort Benton, Montana and Calgary.

Mike McLean says it was a huge accomplishment.

"He took it upon himself to get out, get them tuned up, and I think add a whole lot more markers and it was quite nice, they spoke this at his memorial that he was really excited that the last marker finally went up at Fort Calgary in the city of Calgary. He wasn't feeling quite up to going and seeing the sign, but he said he was so glad that that saga had ended," McLean says.

markerA marker for the Old Macleod Trail, replaced by Bill Dunn

Dunn was one of the first to get into the Museum of the Highwood after the devastating 2013 flood, saving and refurbishing artifacts that had been kept there.

One of which, it's believed, was a diorama he'd done of the Old Clayey Stockyards.

He was instrumental in getting the stockyards recognized as the largest cattle shipping point in Western Canada.

McLean says you never caught Bill without a big smile on his face.

"When he was awarded one of the, I think it was one of the early Western Legacy Awards from the Calgary Stampede for promoting western heritage, and he got a big belt buckle saying, 'The Western Legacy Award' with his name on it and there is a picture of him posing with that buckle and just a smile that would light up the world."

McLean says when Bill's family and friends gathered, there were lots of smiles and laughter and he'd lived a full and rich life and enriched the lives of many others, and left a rich legacy.