Friday 31 August 2018

The long weekend

May you all have a stellar long weekend and celebrate the end of summer with a bang!

Road trip?

I have the first week of September off. Anything I will do will be done very frugally. Bills to pay and so forth.

I will see if I can come up with anything to post during that time.

In the meantime I would like to thank Jason Paul Sailer for his posts. I recently added him as a contributer and he has written great posts.

Below is an abandoned rail line in Vulcan County, Alberta. I liked the look of this.

Sharples P&H Grain Elevator

The 1923 Parrish & Heimbecker grain elevator at Sharples, Alberta it is representative example of a P&H 30,000 bushel elevator of this period. It originally had a 12 ton Fairbanks scale and a 10 hp engine. Two 26,000 bushel annexes were built in 1939 (though only one remains standing) and in 1943-44, P&H handled 125,549 bushels of wheat! When the adjacent rail line closed in 1982, the elevator was then closed. Its neighbor, a former 1927 AB Pacific elevator, was demolished though the P&H survived being used by a local farmer for grain storage. Of particular note is the nearby barn, which was owned by P&H and was used to rest farmer’s horses that pulled wagons full of grain to the elevator. This is the only elevator in the province of Alberta that has a barn associated with it still standing.

Visited with permission from the landowner - July 2018

- Jason Paul Sailer

Thursday 30 August 2018

Late night tree

State School District #1817

Opened in 1908. Water was originally hauled to the school at a distance of 2 miles (approx 3 km) until a well was drilled on the property. Teacher’s salary in 1908 was $300 per year and rose to $687 by 1939.

In the late 1940s, a teacherage building was erected behind the school for the teacher to live in. The school continued to operate until June 1955 when it closed after the school session. In the Fall of 1956 it was sold to the local neighborhood community association for a lofty sum of $300. I am unsure how long the community centre operated in the former schoolhouse.

- Jason Paul Sailer

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Orphan bale

Personally I prefer the round ones to the rectangular ones. A few readers of this blog prefer them as well.

Vulcan County, Alberta August 25, 2018.

It feels like October lately . . .

Farmer's fields are getting that shaved look. The haze in the air from forest fires from British Columbia make the evening sky look like harvest time when all the grain dust is in the air. It feels later than it is. Time feels a bit out of sync. My summer seems to have slipped away before I could get a grip on it.

Things are changing. A friend of mine gave me short notice that he is moving across the country. I might have seen him for the last time this last weekend. We met for a quick beer and said goodbye. I hope things go well for him.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Six hundred dollars later . . .

I finally got my motorcycle out of the shop today. Of course as soon as I do the weather gets colder. New rear wheel bearing done. When it went the back tire wobbled and did a bit of damage to the rear brake. That is also fixed. I was told the ABS needs work because the ABS sensor needs to be replaced. That would be another $174.00 for just the sensor. I asked them if I had brakes. They confirmed the brakes are working fine. I told them the sensor can wait until next year when it is getting a new windshield. There are only so many things the budget can handle at any one time.

Bird post

With a little luck I got a decent bird photo. You see lots of various birds on fence posts when driving along rural roads.

Monday 27 August 2018

Not Fade Away

I was first made aware of this in Greg McDonnell’s book “Canadian Pacific: Stand Fast Craigellachie” – a simple monument made out of ties, silver paint, and wooden cross bucks for CPR laborer Mytro Borys, who was killed during the construction of the Bassano – Irricana branch line in June 1913. Greg writes when construction threatened the site, Borys was officially exhumed and reburied. When CPR rehabilitated the line in the 1980s under the Prairie Branch Line Rehabilitation Program, the gravesite was spruced up at the same time and a new wooden marker was installed. The original cedar 7x7 inch cross buck post, weathered and split from decades in the prairie sun, was left and leans against the grave fence.

CPR would abandon and remove the railway line between Standard and Irricana in 1976, and the portion between Bassano to Standard was put up for abandonment in 2005, and was later removed. 

Since we were in the area, we decided to stop and pay our respects to Myto, a young immigrant helping CPR build their branch line on the Alberta prairies at mile 28.8 of the Irricana subdivision. Located in Wheatland County, just outside of Chancellor, Alberta. Visited in June 2018

- Jason Paul Sailer

Sunday 26 August 2018

Random barn photo

Vulcan County, Alberta August 25, 2018.

Saint Mary's Cemetery

A well kept country cemetery near Tribune in southeast Saskatchewan.  The blanket of clouds adds a touch of drama to the scene.

- Michael Truman

Saturday 25 August 2018

Abandoned vehicle

Someone once remarked they liked seeing old vehicles on this blog. Old abandoned vehicles with character are hard to find. By chance I found this one today. Smokey skies in Alberta are not making for good photos these days. 

One of those posts

One of those odd sights that I run across and where I am at a loss for a title.

Friday 24 August 2018

4-H sign

When I was out by Elnora, Alberta I spotted a few 4-H signs and these are the only ones I have ever seen in Alberta. 4-H has been around around for over one hundred years. I have relatives that were in 4-H These have the familiar 4-H emblem at the top with signs pointing the direction to farms in the area. 

Abandoned Alberta

Abandoned farmhouse east of Elnora, Alberta.

Thursday 23 August 2018

Chancellor Memorial Hall

In the days when pilgrims rode the Canadian Pacific Railway in search of golden crops, places like the Chancellor Memorial Hall served as dance central, and a site for weddings and wakes.

Chancellor is a dot on the map between Standard and Hussar, which are dwarfs between the Prairie towns of Drumheller and Strathmore. Though Chancellor once boasted a two-storey hotel with a “beer parlour,” the town seemed to have since disappeared.

In the end, we found Chancellor – a one-time boom town – has only six houses and the memorial hall left to it. Six houses translates to a total population of less than 15, at one time the town’s once thriving economy included five grain elevators, oil depot, Ford dealership, and a stockyard. Those were Chancellor’s days of promise, before the drought of 1929 and a fire in the ’50s which destroyed half of main street.

Back to the hall – already in a state of decline, the town’s fortunes evaporated further when a fire started in the hotel and spread up and down main street, torching the original memorial hall among other buildings. The general store was spared, and later bought by a co-operative of farmers who re-branded it as the Chancellor Memorial Hall. While Chancellor continued to fade through the late 20th century, residents say the hall still played host to lively dances until 2000.

The hall – which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2008 – is no longer in use. On our visit in July 2018, the hall has been moved back from its original location and is sitting on blocks. It appears that the new owners that will be giving it a new lease on life - which was confirmed by the owners when we visited. They welcomed us over from the nearby street to talk and to reassure us that they will restore it to what it was originally and have it opened up so the local community can enjoy it and relive some memories... We look forward to returning!

- Jason Paul Sailer

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Anyone interested in how frontier Alberta looked

Try this link.

Practically none of what is depicted exists anymore. Some of the towns do not exist anymore.


Tried it a few times. Never liked it.

For some reason I am getting spam comments from India. How they manage to find this blog in the first place is a bit of a mystery. The blogger spam filter seems to be catching nearly all of it. For now it is not much of an issue.

Église de Sainte-Radegonde

For several miles along Highway 13 I could see the spire of Église de Sainte-Radegonde rising above the tallest trees in Lafleche, Saskatchewan. It was a blistering hot Wednesday afternoon but the mature trees along the streets and boulevards provided some welcoming shade upon my arrival.

I drove directly to the church, parked and with camera in hand began taking photos of this rather grand church located in a town of only about four hundred people. I was standing in the middle of the street when a lady drives up and says the church is open and I'm welcome to take photos inside as well as outside. There's nothing like a small town greeting!

The church is built of pressed clay brick from the nearby Claybank Brick Foundry.

The view from the front doors towards the altar . . .

. . . and from the altar to the front doors.

The stained glass window above the altar . . .

. . . and on the adjacent walls of the altar . . .

. . . my personal favourite, the window above the front doors.

The cornerstone of the church.

The church is in immaculate condition . . .

. . . and rises over one hundred and twenty feet into the sky.

Lafleche is a predominantly French community.  I love the way some of the older folks can switch between speaking French and English without a hitch...and without any noticeable accent. 

The church is a Municipal Heritage Property.

- Michael Truman

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Rural mail is going to the dogs

Dog shaped mailbox spotted August 18, 2018.

Monday 20 August 2018

Postal post

This has been on my informal list of places to track down. On a forum someone posted a sign that marks this place. I looked up the legal land description from the sign and tried to find it a year ago. I got some directions from someone on the same forum so I could find it. The person that gave me the directions mixed up northeast and southwest as well as mixing up the directions that range roads and township roads run. Range roads run north/south, township roads run east/west. The directions I got implied the opposite.

Regardless, I found out why I was not able to find it the first time. The legal description on the sign might be wrong. Looking up the legal description show it should be on Range Road 170, in reality it is on Range Road 171 a mile west. 

I was looking for the Hunterville Post Office sign. There is no Hunterville in this day and age. I run across many school markers, post office marker are not as numerous. I found it easily. There is still a significant haze in the Alberta skies from forest fires in British Columbia. The haze does not result in the best photos.

That is supposedly the old post office on a hill behind a fence a ways from the road.

Historical sign beside the road. No one lives nearby. I am amused to find historical markers in places where not a lot of people will see them.

Hunterville Post Office 1908 - 1916. An important spot in its day.

Sunday 19 August 2018

Ventilated barn

Brief drive Friday night. Found this. I like how it looks in black and white. 

Saturday 18 August 2018

Aneroid Cemetery

I passed through the town of Aneroid on a recent trip to the Assiniboia area of Saskatchewan. I like stopping in the small towns and especially at the cemeteries. 

On this occasion I saw someone weed-whipping in the Aneroid Cemetery so I pulled over and went to have a chat with him. As it turned out, my new friend Harley was the sole, volunteer caretaker of this rather large cemetery.  He had spent nine hours mowing it a few weeks before and was now weed-whipping around all the headstones. A big job for an older fellow on a very hot day.

Harley also takes care of a pioneer cemetery out in the country. He mentioned that someone had recently asked him why he took care of an entire cemetery where he had no relatives buried. He said that if he had known all those people when they were alive they most likely would have been his friends.  I like that answer.

Aneroid celebrated its centennial in 2013.

A child's headstone in white marble.

Harley busy weed-whipping around the headstones.

The stone pillars of the main gate were erected in 1929.

- Michael Truman