Tag Archives: Empress

#FABTrip15: We end up in Empress

Constructed in 1914, the former C.P.R. railway station at Empress is located in a railway cut, situated on the north end of the village. During its hey-day, Empress served as a divisional point along the now-abandoned “Royal Line”, which operated between Empress and Bassano from 1914 to 1997. The Royal Line is so-named as Empress, and a number of sidings to the west—including Princess, Patricia, Millicent, Duchess, and Countess—possess names with royal origins. Although Empress was once home to a terminal facility, including a roundhouse, today all that remains is the station, which was restored by the community in time for its centennial in 2014. #Alberta #Canada #railway #royal #history #mybadlands #explorealberta #FABTrip15 @gregfarries

A photo posted by Jonathan Koch (@forgotten_alberta) on

Greg and I concluded our sojourn along the old Scapa-Loverna line with a swing through western Saskatchewan. Just over border we located Loverna, which admittedly was much more substantial than I had expected. Loverna was, at one time, a commercial hub for much of eastern Alberta and western Saskatchewan, boasting a population of about 500 souls, before drought and abandonment took its devastating toll on the community, and the surrounding area. Apparently several blazes over the past half-century have served to clear out much of the community’s “dead wood“, leaving  behind only a few occupants, and block after block of empty lots.

Leaving Loverna, we surveyed the scorched earth between there and Alsask, a stop on our 2007 road trip.  As both our vehicle and ourselves began to run on fumes, we headed into Oyen for a meal and sundries, before setting off for the village of Empress. We arrived in the “Hub of the West”  as the sun slid towards the horizon, ending our excursion at the Forksview Inn: a comfortable, clean and affordable place to relax after a long, dusty day on the road. Continue reading #FABTrip15: We end up in Empress

Historic images of western Canadian towns can be found at Prairie-towns.com

(Hover over image to activate slideshow options – Slides courtesy of Glen Lundeen / prairie-towns.com)

The launch of Prairie-towns.com signals yet another online endeavour to preserve the history and heritage of Western Canadian communities.

Contained within the collection are over 2700 photos, many postcard images, from 400+ communities throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. Amongst the total is are several pioneer-era postcards from southeast Alberta communities such as Alderson, Chinook, Orion and Suffield (see above) that have withered considerably, or disappeared altogether since the images were captured.

Continue reading Historic images of western Canadian towns can be found at Prairie-towns.com

Four S.E. Alberta heritage projects get funding

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Empress, as viewed from east of the 4th Meridian (2005).

Congratulations to heritage preservation projects in Empress, Medicine Hat, Redcliff and Taber that will split over $80,000 in grant funding from the province (details below, with project descriptions from Alberta Culture). A total of 58 projects across Alberta received provincial funding this time around. Still no word on whether the application from Vulcan County for the installation of a heritage marker at the village of Bow City was successful, but I remain hopeful.

Update: Good news everyone! No decision yet on the Bow City heritage marker, expect work one war or the other in June.

Continue reading Four S.E. Alberta heritage projects get funding

2005 Forgotten Alberta Road Trip – Day Two

“To see what we can see.”

In late August 2005, my wife and I were joined by our friend, Greg, on a two-day journey through the southeastern Alberta outback. On the first day, we took the roads less travelled from Lethbridge to Medicine Hat, checking in at outposts such as New Dayton, Warner, Foremost, Manyberries and Onefour.

Following a stopover that night in Medicine Hat, our intrepid crew set out the next morning on a journey around the (British) Block. We got hopping at Schuler, checked out Hilda in the morning (my wife didn’t even mind), and enjoyed a side-trip to Saskatchewan for brunch at the Hilton. Upon our return to the promised land, we paid homage to the pillars of Alberta industry, and were ‘Empressed’ with what we saw.

On the final leg of our journey we became acquainted with the Royal Line, crossed from old Assiniboia into Alberta, and had a gas at Alderson.

Click here to check out day two of the 2005 Forgotten Alberta Road Trip.