Monday 30 September 2019

Abandoned Alberta

Unknown abandoned church north of Minburn, Alberta.

I have been here once before one winter. I do not know how long it has been abandoned or the name of this church.

I took a peek inside. Where one wall joins another it is starting to come apart at the seam. It has been stripped. It has one of the smallest domes I have seen on a church. There is a cemetery just a little north of the church.

Sunday 29 September 2019

On the road Saturday September 28, 2019

Near Nordegg, Alberta.

The next guest post from Dale and Lynn Redekopp

On our trip through Alberta's Peace Country, we leave the town of Peace River and take Highway 684 the scenic Shaftesbury Trail which runs southwest parallel to the Peace River and is the route taken by the famed explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie. The Trail is fully paved and our first stop is the St. Augustine Mission which is a Provincial Historic Site and is located on the grounds of the Peace River Correctional Centre. We check at the visitors centre as directed by signage but no one is there so we proceed to the Mission Church. The site has only two buildings left, the log church which was built in 1894 and the barn which was built in 1936. The Roman Catholic Mission closed operations in 1950. The church was locked but we managed to get some pictures through the windows. One of the pictures depicts the mission when it was the main centre for agriculture, education and health services for the benefit of the Indian and Metis peoples which included a residential school. The cemetery is located on the church grounds. 

Of particular interest to me were the markers of two brothers who were military pilots and their father who is also buried here. These graves seemed to be out of place in this cemetery. My initial research concerning these graves has not been fruitful. 

Our next stop was the MacKenzie Cairn (1929) site which contains an information kiosk and some maps and drawings of Fort Fork. Fort Fork which was located across the river from the cairn was where Alexander Mackenzie, a Canadian explorer of note, stayed the winter of 1792/73 and set out for the pacific.

Then on to the Shaftesbury Ferry. This ferry is one of six still operating in Alberta and crosses the Peace River between Highways 684 and 740 southwest of the town of Peace River. The ferry is unique in that it is powered by a tug.

- Dale Redekopp
- Lynn Redekopp

Saturday 28 September 2019

Former farmhouse

Lone outpost in a field marking what once was. 

Guest post from Dale and Lynn Redekopp

Leaving Grouard, we travel on Highway 2 through High Prairie and stop in McLennan. In McLennan we have a look at St. Paul’s Anglican church which still holds services twice a month. Next is St. John the Baptist Cathedral Catholic Church which was built in 1947. The headquarters of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Grouard-Mclennan was located in McLennan until June 2014 when it was moved to Grande Prairie. Unfortunately both churches were locked. There are two other churches in town.

Back on the road, we stop in at Nampa to have a look at the elevator which has been converted into a fertilizer plant. There is a museum in Nampa which looked very interesting but we don’t have time this trip.

Arriving in Peace River, first stop is the gravesite of 12 Foot Davis. This site gives a fantastic view of Peace River and the river valley. 12 Foot Davis is a legend in the Peace River area. A wooden statue of him stands in Riverfront Park, located along the bank of the Peace River downtown. For the complete story see:

The base of the statue reads:

"Pathfinder, Pioneer, Miner, and Trader. 
He was every man's friend and never locked his door." 

- Dale Redekopp
- Lynn Redekopp

Friday 27 September 2019

Road trip?

I might be able to get out this weekend. I will see what happens.

Prairie scene

The fields are getting that shaved look after harvest.

Fall on the prairie

Thursday 26 September 2019

Music post

Maple Lodge School 1925 - 1952

Jenn and I were out hunting old schools last weekend. We were at Lake Alice School when a local stopped and asked what we were doing. Unfortunately there is a lot of theft and vandalism in rural areas. We explained that finding old schools is a hobby and showed a few photos of our previous finds from earlier in the day. Once he was satisfied that we were not up to anything he told us about another school that we did not know about: Maple Lodge School. He gave us directions and we made that our next stop.

Someone went to the trouble of restoring Maple Lodge School. It is fenced off with a locked gate so we could not get a closer look. Trees and brush prevented us from getting photos from other angles. It is nice to see some of these places being preserved.

Be nice. You might get rewarded.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Lake Alice School, Minburn County, Alberta

Former one room school built in 1908. Could find no further information on this one.

Thank you to Jenn for finding this.

Monday 23 September 2019

Prairie scene

Minburn County, Alberta, September 21, 2019.

The Church of St. Luke’s on the Lake est.: 1915

Still in use and right beside Francois Lake in British Columbia.

Sunday 22 September 2019

Sometimes you run, sometimes you stall

Last Thursday night I drove to my friends acreage, which is about forty minutes from me, to swap the Ford Ranger to my Kia Rondo.

I used on of my holidays to take the following Friday off. I would have had less to do if I went to work.

I was up early Friday to have my Kia to the shop at 8:00am sharp to get the brakes done.  Well, brakes and calipers, apparently the front calipers seized so I might as well fix them all. The brakes started making ominous metal on metal noises just  two days before I bought the Ford Ranger. I like the idea of having two vehicles, one as a backup. Luckily Glen Bowe (glenbowe.home.blogwho lives not that far from me met up with me for coffee. Glen is great company and helped me pass the time while the car was being worked on. It was great to meet up with him again. 

The Kia was done by about 11:30am. More than I wanted to pay, on the plus side I have brakes. I had work done on the Kia because I am going to use it for my winter vehicle and park the truck for the winter. This sounds backwards - the truck would make more sense for winter - however I have eight winter tires on rims for the Kia and do not yet have any winter tires for the Ranger. It is a bit of a long story how I ended up with eight winter tires on rims for the Kia but since I have them I might as well use them. I decided to drive out to my friends place to swap back to the Ford Ranger.

On the way my mother phoned and said she had to talk to me. I asked if was good news or bad news. She said she did not know and would tell me when I visited on Sunday. I intensely dislike being left hanging so I changed course and drove out to Drayton Valley which is about an hour from where I live. When I got to mom's place I found out that the hospital in Edmonton where she was taken when she had her stroke wanted her to come in for a follow up appointment on October 2, 2019.

After visiting mom I drove to swap vehicles, about forty minutes, then drove the Ranger home, about another forty minutes.

Saturday Jenn, ( met up with me at about 9:00am to explore Minburn County in Alberta. We tracked down some schools, looked up some old churches, and found some interesting sights. A day well spent and it was about 6:00pm by the time I got in my door after a lot of driving. Minburn, Alberta is about ninety minutes from me.

I woke up this morning and metaphorically dragged myself out of bed, threw back two cups of tea in quick succession, only because I am out of coffee, and tried to wake up in the shower. I left a bit later than I intended, my plan was to do breakfast with mom. Almost too tired to function this morning. An hour of driving out to Drayton Valley, then stopped to pick up coffee and breakfast sandwiches (with extra bacon of course) then to mom's place. Did some light shopping for mom, got back to her place, then had an unintentional short nap, as in I fell asleep on her couch while visiting. Another hour back home. I am bagged.

At least I am on holidays next week.

Correction: I had to change my holiday time to take mom to her medical appointment. So much for those plans. I am not complaining, life happens. I will try to set up some legitimate time off when I can. I have been a little busy. 

Guest post from Dale and Lynn Redekopp

We travelled with friends on a very pleasant three day trip to the Peace River and Grande Prairie areas. One of our first stops was in Grouard. 

St. Bernard Mission (Church and Cemetery). The church was built in 1902 and the cemetery dates from about 1873. The cemetery contains the remains of four Roman Catholic bishops including Bishop Grouard. Well worth a visit.

Thursday 19 September 2019

Out of action for a day or two

Vehicle repairs and other assorted matters to attend to.

The post cupboard is also bare.

Out of Order

I don't think this windmill has pumped any water in a long, long time. 

Spotted near Tunstall, Saskatchewan.

- Michael Truman

Wednesday 18 September 2019

The barn post

A barn that has seen better days.

Tuesday 17 September 2019