C.P.R. to spike Brooks centennial punch

Alberta Wheat Pool elevator in Brooks, 1973. (Koch family photo)

From the Prairie Post, the Canadian Pacific Railway is helping the City of Brooks celebrate its centennial:

CP Rail, with whom Brooks has a long, intertwined history, will celebrate its 125th anniversary of The Last Spike and bring its Empress 2816 steam train to centennial celebrations in Brooks. The historic Empress will pull its heritage fleet which includes CP’s Museum Car — a vintage baggage car from the 1950s refurbished and transformed to capture CP’s history. The general public will have an opportunity to tour the museum car when the Empress arrives in Brooks for the Centennial Celebrations July 31. It will be open to the public from noon to 4 p.m.

As pointed out in the Post piece, Brooks, like virtually all of the communities in the southeast, owes its existence to the C.P.R. The name of the community itself is derived from Noel Edgall Brooks, who was a divisional engineer for the railway at Calgary from 1903 to 1913. While the town’s passenger station was hauled out in the early ’90s (it was sold for $1) and partly re-assembled in the Glenbow Museum, heralding the beginning of the end for passenger service to the community, it’s appropriate that the C.P.R.’s role in the founding of the community be recognized.

Speaking of the Last Spike, parts of the last episode of the ’70s CBC series, The National Dream, based on Pierre Berton’s book The Last Spike, were filmed just west of Brooks along the C.P.R.’s now dismantled Cassils subdivision, specifically in the Antelope Creek area. The late Earl Taylor, founder of the E.I.D. Historical Park at Scandia, gives an interesting account of the filming here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *