Tag Archives: Wheat Centre

Enchant’s centennial is cause for celebration

Soggy Center Street in Enchant, likely sometime in the late ’40s or ’50s. Photo Courtesy of the Enchant 100th Anniversary Committee / The Long Family.

PrairiePostLogoRecently, residents past and present gathered in Enchant to reminisce and celebrate a century of community. Revitalized by irrigation in the ‘50s, the hamlet of Enchant was spared the fate of neighbouring Retlaw and Travers, which today are considered ghost towns along the abandoned Suffield branch line. While Enchant endures, irrigation came too late to salvage the community’s attempt at village status, which was undermined by a quarter century of drought and economic depression.

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Taylor Cemetery: “Consecrated, set apart, and dedicated forever.”

On October 1, 2013, I was honoured to be part of a dedication ceremony at Taylor Cemetery, located about five miles west of Bow City (which I have written about here and here). A ceremony was performed by Rev. Gordon Cranch of Vulcan; alongside a plinth and bronze plaque that had been installed previously by Vulcan County to commemorate this nearly forgotten pioneer graveyard.

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Drought and desolation erased Kinnondale from the map

My dad's granaries, alongside the former site of Kinnondale School, in 2007. None of the antique farm equipment or structures, including the converted residence of homesteaders named Hartley on the right, remain today.

What a difference a decade makes.

In 2003, my beloved Calgary Flames embarked on a season that would end one victory short of a Stanley Cup championship. A return to playoff form this season seems, well, very unlikely.

Ten years ago, the province of Alberta was on the verge of becoming debt-free, and would record a $2 billion budgetary surplus. Ten years later, not so much.

For the first settlers of southeastern Alberta, the contrast between 1916 and 1926 was also striking.

Following consecutive above-average harvests in 1915-16, a casual observer might have concluded that the region was on its way to becoming the economic powerhouse of the province.

Ten years later, the southeast was verging on economic and societal collapse. Settlers were leaving the land in droves after a decade of drought and extreme natural events strained the resolve of even the hardiest homesteaders.

Nowhere was the change in fortune more evident than in the former Kinnondale district, situated in northeastern Vulcan County.

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Bow City – The village born unlucky

Many thanks to the Historical Society of Alberta, and the legendary Mr. Hugh Dempsey, CM, for the opportunity to share a decade’s worth of research on the former village of Bow City. Below is the piece in its entirety in the Winter 2012 edition of Alberta History:

Bow City Alberta History (Refresh if iFrame does not appear)