On February 27, 2016 I was privileged toattend a celebration in Milk River honouring Dr. Liesl Lewke-Bogle, RPAP Alberta Rural Physician Award of Distinction recipient in 2015. On the drive home the following morning, I took a trip up Highway 36, stopping in at some familiar haunts, and not-so familiar places along the way.
Leaving Empress, we journeyed westward, following the abandoned Royal Line onto our next stop, the hamlet of Bindloss. Located in Special Areas No. 2, Bindloss, according to ‘Place Names of Alberta’, is named after Harold Bindloss (1866-1945), a prolific British author of “western” novels, some of which were set in the Canadian West. No word on whether Bindloss ever visited the hamlet that bore his name, although some of his tomes, including “The Harder Way”, “The Lean Years” and “Long Odds”, could very well have been set here. #Alberta #Canada #history #abandoned #mybadlands #FABTrip15 @gregfarries
Having logged over 1000 km in two days, we finally headed for home on a lazy Sunday morning. Along Secondary Highway 555 we stopped in forlorn outposts of the prairie, the communities of Bindloss, and Buffalo, and a forgotten graveyard near the ghost town of Cavendish. As the warm winds whipped the dirt and tumbleweeds around us, and the sun bore down through the high haze, I felt a communion of sorts with the dry belt denizens of decades ago, who left these parched plains en masse, having endured too many seasons of promise turned to dust. I wondered how the residents of today would endure, and what would be left to see our next time around. Continue reading #FABTrip15: Bindloss, Buffalo, and beyond.
John Harold Fenton reported for duty on June 10, 1918. A farmer’s son from the windswept plain at Cavendish, Alberta, young Fenton was just 17 when he journeyed west to Calgary to enlist in the Alberta Regiment of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Possibly driven by patriotism, a desire for adventure, or the need to escape the dusty desolation of the drybelt, Private Fenton signed up just as the Great War was drawing to a close. While Germany’s forces on the Western Front were nearing defeat by October 1918, another deadly foe was emerging from the east, this time closer to home. Read more at www.forgottenalberta.com #LestWeForget #Alberta #Canada #RemembranceDay #WW1 #abandoned #forgotten #pioneer #cemetery #history #mybadlands #FABTrip15 @gregfarries
John Harold Fenton reported for duty on June 10, 1918. A farmer’s son from the windswept plain at Cavendish, Alberta, young Fenton was just 17 when he journeyed west to Calgary to enlist in the Alberta Regiment of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Possibly driven by patriotism, a desire for adventure, or the need to escape the dusty desolation of the drybelt, Private Fenton signed up just as the Great War was drawing to a close. While Germany’s forces on the Western Front were nearing defeat by October 1918, another deadly foe was emerging from the east, this one closer to home.
Having been a bank (twice), a boarding house, and a jeweller’s studio, the old CIBC building in Empress is now home to arts, crafts, groceries and gas, and it still looks great after almost a century. Now “That’s Empressive!” #Empress #Alberta #Canada #history #explorealberta #mybadlands #returntorural #FABTrip15 @gregfarries
Is it a symbol of a mysterious medical past? Or a relic of pioneer history, its meaning lost over time? What is the deal with the winged thingy atop the old bank building in Empress anyway?
According to Place Names of Alberta, Esther was named after Anna Esther Landreth, daughter of the community’s first postmaster, Yens.B. Olsen, in 1914. A townsite bearing the same name was established here in 1926 alongside the newly constructed C.N.R. rail line. #Alberta #Canada #ghosttown #abandoned #elevator #explorealberta #mybadlands #FABTrip15 @gregfarries
Our last stop on the Alberta leg of the abandoned C.N.R. line running north of Hanna was at Esther, a bona fide ghost town north east of Oyen, and site of the oldest remaining wooden Alberta Wheat Pool elevator . Although the townsite seems to have become an extension of someone’s farm yard, the presence of mailboxes within, and signage commemorating previous occupants of the remaining structures, re-assured us it was okay to have a quick look around.
Our visit and social sharing inspired nostalgia amonsgt many of our followers online, further evidence of the power these fast-disappearing wooden structures have in evoking memories amongst prairie people of the way way were, as well as a longing and reverence for the way things used to be. Continue reading #FABTrip15: Esther elevates the discussion