Monday 31 October 2016


Had to do multiple resets of my password as blogger keeps wanting to deny me access to this blog. Hopefully I have go this fixed. I doubt someone out there wants to hijack this particular blog. With luck I will be able to reply to some comments. Not to mention that my blogger feed seems to have disappeared.

Came down with a nasty cold on the weekend. NyQuil is vile but it seems to work. I am not a fan of cold sweats and coughing. I guess I was due.

Abandoned Romanian Church

October 15, 2016 northwest of Hairy Hill, Alberta. Found this when I was looking for something else. That happens lots of times, looking for one thing and accidentally finding something spectacular. A friend of mine managed to dig up some history on this place from the internet.

The church is formally known as “Parochia Romana Ortodoxa Nasterea Fecioarei Maria din Hairy Hill, Alberta, Canada”. The sanctification was performed in the Romanian Orthodox manner by Father Archimandrite Silvestru (Ionescu) on 11 or 14 August, 1914. In 1913, Father Ionescu had established a Romanian Orthodox Deanery which was under the direct canonical jurisdiction of the Metropolitanate of Moldova and Suceava. The formal approval for this sanctification was given by his Eminence Metropolitan Pimen of Ia┼či, Romania. From Regina, he occasionally served at Hairy Hill.

The interesting thing is that there is another Romanian Church just a few miles up the road from this one. There was a split in the Romanian community and each group set up their own church. Many years later the groups reconciled and both parishes became one. The church up the road, St. Mary's of Boain and the subject of a later post, is beautifully restored. This one has been left to the elements.

The marker lists a person's name and "donated AD 1943" so guessing the land was donated for the church in 1943.

There was about five to six inches of snow on the ground and I was wearing running shoes. That was not going to stop me. I took what time I could to tour the place. The church is locked.

There is a date of 1954 on the steeple. It may have been the date the church was built.

Building for the church bell. It turned out to be unlocked.

A quick peek from the bottom of the bell building looking up. 

The cemetery is off in the distance. I could not pass this up.

Fascinating place. I loved every minute I was here.

From the cemetery looking to the church.

Sunday 30 October 2016

Spotted today near Azure, Alberta

St. Julien School October 8, 2016

Former one room schoolhouse south of Esther, Alberta which itself is a ghost town.

The school is sandwiched between two grain bins. I took a peek inside the door and ventured no further. It looked like someone is using it for storage. Nothing to see inside. 

It looks fairly sturdy and it should last for a few more years. I gave up trying to get photos of the school without the bins in the photo. It was also cold and windy so not a lot of time was spent here.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Herronton, Alberta October 24, 2016

Nothing at Herronton these days except for a grain elevator and a few houses. The elevator is privately owned. There used to be more here. Nice southern Alberta day.

Bales in the mist

St. Francis, Alberta October 16, 2016.

Friday 28 October 2016

Blog notes

I think I have picked up some new readers and I have a few new people commenting.

Just a quick thank you for visiting my page. I enjoy the comments.

Airdrie, Alberta 2:00pm October 28, 2016

A quick splash of wet snow in my town that is quickly melting away. Winter is being held off for now.

Sometimes you inadvertently offend the locals

Parked in a rural area taking photos of an old barn off from a gravel road north of Mundare, Alberta October 15, 2016. 

The locals on the other side of the road were not impressed. They started to get vocal and make their presence known.

I was with three other people and we were obviously outnumbered. We let them have their victory. 

Keep on pumping

Near Stranraer, Saskatchewan along Highway 31 October 9, 2016. You can see this on Google Street View. It is just east of the rail crossing looking south. 

Thursday 27 October 2016

Boain School October 15, 2016

Northwest of Hairy Hill, Alberta.

Somehow I managed to include powerlines in this photo. Not happy about that. The original school was built in 1910 and it burnt down in 1937. So it was replaced with a stone building which operated until 1950. Not a one room schoolhouse, it is a two room schoolhouse. Mainly Romanian and Ukrainian settlers in this area at the time. It is now a community hall.

Of course it recently snowed about six inches and drifted. I walked through snow to get some photos of this. If the weather had been better I would have better photos. Very unique.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Rural humour

Spotted on the east side of Highway 23 a bit north of Vulcan, Alberta October 23, 2016. I have seen the same name on a different property near Irricana, Alberta.

Grain elevator at Dorothy, Alberta

You can see this on Google Street View. There is talk of restoring this. This spot is a popular spot with photographers and it is east of Drumheller. The roof was lost in a storm within the last year. There are places that I like to stop at if I am nearby and this is one of them. I hope it lasts for a few more years. This was taken October 8, 2016. 

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Fairacres School October 8, 2016

East of Oyen, Alberta north of Highway 9 on Range Road 41. Fairacres operated as a school for a short time. There were not enough students to keep it going so it was no longer needed. It is boarded up and I heard it was or is being used for grain storage. I had to walk along a barbed wire fence line to get close enough for a photo. The ground was slick and muddy and I had to be careful not to step into barely visible badger and gopher holes. I really need to find stuff like this in the summer months.

Monday 24 October 2016

Not native to Alberta

Took a drive on the back roads southeast of Calgary October 23, 2016. You see fads in agriculture like any other business. Years ago I remember people thought they were going to make a mint raising ostrich and saw some high prices being paid for them. Llamas and alpacas were all the rage at one point as well. I kind of wondered about ostrich when it encountered winter in Alberta. They did prove to be pretty tough. Years ago I would drive by some guys place north of Morinville, Alberta in the middle of winter and you would see three ostriches running around in a fenced area. That was different. Llamas are better equipped to deal with winter here. It does cause you to take a second look when you are in a very rural area and you see some of these in a field instead of cattle.

Stranraer, Saskatchewan October 9, 2016

Practically a ghost town. The church has a sign on the side stating it is a municipal heritage site. and that it was a United Church. Reality is there are so few people in the area I cannot envision anything other than the church just slipping away over time. No inside look, it was locked.

I really need to be a little smarter running out to places like this. The weather was not good. The church is on a bit of a muddy hill. Even though I had new tires I was driving a car and very rural Saskatchewan is not a place to get stuck. This place can be viewed via Google Street View. I would have taken more and better photos. It was raining and I had to keep wiping raindrops off my lens.

Sunday 23 October 2016

Rural humour

There is an old phone booth at Dorothy, Alberta. Someone keeps changing the mannequin there. The last time I drove by and posted a photo it was a female mannequin in a cowboy hat. I admire the dedication to this running gag. Spotted October 8, 2016.

Cold and horse

Or more accurately, horses. I kind of feel for them when they are out in the cold. This was near Sedalia, Alberta October 8, 2016.

Saturday 22 October 2016

New Brigden water tower

New Brigden, Alberta October 8, 2016. I have posted this before from a prior visit. The last time I was here the tower was damaged by a severe windstorm the very next day. It has been mainly fixed, there is some more work to do. These are kind of rare. This is an old water tank/tower for train engines. These would store water and fill steam train engines. I believe there are only two in Alberta that are on their original site. This one and the one in Heinsburg, Alberta. Foundations remain where they once stood beside rail lines. The rail companies did a great job of tearing things down when they abandoned rail lines. There is one of these is Glaslyn, Saskatchewan that I have to see one day.

The door was open so this is a look inside. The heavy supports are to support the water tank. There are supplies on the floor for more repairs and restoration. Tried to get more photos. I had to keep wiping snow off of the camera so I eventually gave up.