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Benchlands grew from the homestead of Guy Gibson, who selected the section as a returning World War I veteran, much to the chagrin of the lands registry and the Veteran's Affairs Department, who insisted that the land could not be farmed and was, in any event, a highly irregular choice.
In that respect it matched Mr. Gibson to a "T". He had mistakenly married prior to departing for the Great War and was unable to tolerate his bride. He chose the land to preserve his isolation and to find peace in the beauty of the mountains. He built a log cabin for himself on the banks of the Ghost River, and it is said that Guy immersed himself in the icy waters of the Ghost each day, cutting through the ice if need be.
Gibson raised funds by building log cabins for others including the Suitor, Fisher and Manning families, and selling off large lots on the benches to city folk. He never married or had children and died in the mid 1960s. Cabins grew and flourished on the benches of the Ghost.
As a designated place in the 2011 Census, Benchlands had a population of 42 living in 24 of its 37 total dwellings, a -14.3% change from its 2006 population of 49. With a land area of 0.39 km2 (0.15 sq mi), it had a population density of 107.7/km2 (279/sq mi) in 2011.
- Alberta Municipal Affairs (2010-04-01). "Specialized and Rural Municipalities and Their Communities" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and designated places, 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
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