Saturday 30 June 2018

No bales, making do with . . .

Grain elevators at Rowley, Alberta. 

Not abandoned, just no longer in use.

Friday 29 June 2018


Sharples, Alberta

Visited on June 23, 2018. I have been here before and posted it before. It is abandoned, not a ghost town since all that was ever really here was a grain elevator and a rail stop. The rail line was taken up many years ago. It was raining when these were taken.

Thursday 28 June 2018

Some Alberta School Signs

A small selection of my personal favourite school signs in southeast Alberta. 

Above is the Flat Valley School sign as it appeared early last summer. There are some other school signs of similar design in the Schuler/Hilda area but each one is a little different than the next.  This one also has a missing bell.

Glen Echo School sign comes complete with a fully restored one room schoolhouse. The colourful cairn under the sign has a detailed history of the school. Located near Conquerville.

Sunny Plains School sign is in the Milo/Lomond area of Vulcan County.  There are several school signs nearby using this popular design. "Sunny Plains" is such a cheery name.

Buffalo High School sign is next to the post office in Buffalo, Alberta. I've only seen a few like signs in my travels and they are all most likely made by the same person.

I pass by the Goose Lake School sign dozens of times each year and, more often than not, stop to take a photo. This shot was taken one late Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago just as a storm was approaching. The rain became so heavy that I had to pull off to the side of the road and wait out the worst of it. Unlike being caught in a snow storm which can be terrifying, riding out a rain storm is really quite pleasant but exciting at the same time.  Located along Eagle Butte Road near Bullshead Reservoir.

South of Bow Island is the Selz School sign. It has a bent bell tower but I still like it for its simplicity.

Another school sign in Vulcan County. The Rocky Buttes School sign is another popular design similar to the Sunny Plains sign but utilizes a brass plaque instead of cut-outs.

I found this one on a trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park.  The Imperial Colony School still exists, as seen behind the sign, and has been protected by a metal roof and the windows have been covered. I know a few elders from local colonies...maybe I can make some new friends and see the interior next time around.

The Haig School Site sign was one of the first school signs I photographed when I renewed my interest in back roads trip back in the fall of 2016.  The wooden section of the sign was achieved by wood burning. In the County of Forty Mile.

This one is a beauty!  The Haddington School monument is near Patricia.

I happened across Osborne School by chance one day in the Tide Lake area.  I was visiting Saint Mary's Church and Cemetery at Tide Lake and was pleased to see the abandoned school standing just a few hundred feet off the road as I traveled northward.

My all time favourite Alberta school sign. Someone went out of their way to make a "special" sign for a special pioneer school. Chances are this person had some personal attachment to the school.  It's just down the road and around the corner from Assumption Cemetery and Grotto.

Kudos of the highest merit to those organizations and individuals who have helped preserve a part of Alberta's history.  Pitch in and get your hands dirty!

- Michael Truman

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Give me a home . . .

The first few years of spotting antelope I could never get a photo of one. This year it is easier for some reason.

Monday 25 June 2018

On the road with Steve

I got to meet up with Steve on June 23, 2018 who blogs at and is kind enough to contribute a post here when the mood strikes. Steve lives in Winnipeg and happened to be in town on the weekend. We took the opportunity to cram in as many grain elevators and other sites as we could in about eight hours. Hopefully he got enough material for his hobbies and I am glad we got to meet in person..

Frenchville, Saskatchewan

Or what remains of Frenchville.

This is from the cemetery looking down the road where the church stands and the school is directly opposite.

You can type Frenchville, Saskatchewan into Google Maps and it will show you exactly where this is.

There is a plaque near the church. From it this place was founded by Peter Filiatrault. He built a two storey inn that had a post office, store, dining room, and bedrooms for travellers. It was also a stopping place for the Northwest Mounted Police (which became the RCMP). Homesteaders arrived in 1909, the Catholic Parish of St. Joseph was founded in 1912, the current church in the photo replaced the old church in 1940. The first mass was June 5, 1940, the last mass was May 10, 1987.

The church and school remain.

The figure of Christ is hand carved. I would have loved for this to show up better in a photo.

The Roman Catholic Church has the fake brick tarpaper covering it. The steps are unsafe and it appears that the doors are locked so I did not attempt a look inside. The last service was in 1987. The church is not small so there must have been a fair number of people in the area at one time.

I have seen similar school designs, not one exactly like this. I did not see a sign on the school so I do not know the name or when it operated. It is unique.

Sunday 24 June 2018

Annenthal Baptist Church Cemetery

This century old cemetery sits along a grassy road allowance in the Golden Prairie, Saskatchewan area. It's a mile off the main road so I wouldn't imagine it gets many visitors, which is a shame as it's really quite beautiful...especially in spring.

A large metal sign states that a church once stood on the property as long gone.

A local family renovated the cemetery in the late 1990's as a memorial to their son who passed away at the age of nineteen. They continue to maintain the cemetery to this day . . . my kind of people.

These are the days that will last forever.

- Michael Truman

Saturday 23 June 2018

Archibald School

I stumbled across this lonely school district sign north of La Rivière, Manitoba. This is an area known as Archibald and once featured a school, church, and presumably some houses. Today it is open farm land.

The school was open from 1883 until 1962. During this time there were at least two different school buildings. Today there is no trace of it other than this sign.

The Archibald Museum was nearby. It closed in 2016.

I saw this old house up on a hill near the school sign.

- Steve Boyko

Friday 22 June 2018

Sunrise Hay Bale

I was out looking for trains and found a hay bale instead.

- Steve Boyko

Hummingbird Falls June 17, 2018

Located off Hummingbird Road off Highway 40, a gravel forestry road, in Clearwater County, Alberta.

I could have made it with a car, the truck is better suited to roads like this.

The falls are located at:   52.0754429,-115.9691431

The view from Hummingbird Road. I was there with a couple of friends. We parked and climbed down the bank to get to the falls.

A natural rock wall forms a pool at the base of the falls. I might have to come back on a hotter day just to jump it.

A little further downstream . . .