Forgotten Alberta: Fading Legacies is now available on ebook

The story of southeastern Alberta is one of boosters, builders, skeptics, and schemers.

In Forgotten Alberta: Fading Legacies, author, Jonathan Koch explores the stories of some of the settlers, speculators, and scalawags who found their way to the Last Best West, and whose names and legacies are slowly fading from memory.

This is the third in the Forgotten Alberta Anthology series, click below to learn how you can order.

Forgotten Alberta: A Land Redeemed is now available on ebook

Over the course of a century, the grasslands west of the Bow River, located along the western fringe of Alberta’s dry belt country, have been promoted as a promised land, written off almost entirely, and redeemed, eventually, much to the relief of those who wondered what to do with it all.

In Forgotten Alberta: A Land Redeemed, author, Jonathan Koch digs into the stories of the settlers, speculators, and community builders who attempted to transform this unforgiving corner of Alberta.

The second in the Forgotten Alberta Anthology series, click below to learn how you can order.

Forgotten Alberta: War Stories is now available on ebook

As author, Jonathan Koch explores in Forgotten Alberta: War Stories, the First and Second World Wars created casualties on the homefront as well. In nascent farming communities across the south, wars a world away inflamed ethnic tensions, turned neighbour against neighbour, and left economic and social scars that forever altered the landscape of Forgotten Alberta

The impact of global conflict on the people of southeastern Alberta extended far beyond the battlefield.

#FABTrip21: Byemoor for less

The goal of #FABTrip21 is to take you, the viewer, on a virtual tour of southern Alberta’s out-of-the-way places and spaces, which we do for less, saving you time and money as you follow along with your personal device (that was a bit of a stretch for a pun, I know). We kicked off a smoky Saturday in August with a trip to the hamlet of Byemoor, a nifty little locale on the edge of the drybelt.

According to “Still God’s Country: the early history of Byemoor and area”, the community of Byemoor was first known as “Wilson’s Siding,” as the townsite was built on land purchased in 1924 from homesteader, Jack Wilson. The name “Byemoor” was reportedly suggested by another settler, Leonard Browne, who was born at Stockton-on-Tees in England, which apparently is also known as “By-the- Moor.” As the story goes, several names were suggested for the fledgling burg, with Browne’s suggestion, Byemoor, being drawn from a hat by his son, Buster. I was informed around 25 people live in the hamlet today, which is part of the County of Stettler No. 6.
Continue reading #FABTrip21: Byemoor for less

#FABTRIP21: Hilda and Schuler

Earlier in the summer I took a quick trip with the family to see some sites of interest in Happyland, the friendliest little M.D. in Saskatchewan. Along the way we passed through the extremely photogenic corner of the dry belt that is home to Hilda and Schuler. Schuler is still very much alive and kicking, and Hilda never disappoints. The Big 10-4 in Leader makes a wicked Twister as well.


“A smoky Saturday at the Hilda Hotel” – The Hilda Hotel first opened in 1928, and according to a Cypress County publication was the only hotel permitted to operate “in a radius to the Saskatchewan border, to Medicine Hat, to the south side of the South Saskatchewan River”. When I originally researched the Hilda Hotel back in 2005, it reportedly held the distinction of being “the oldest running hotel never to have its license revoked”. It has been closed for several years now, and it seems unlikely that it will reopen anytime soon..
Continue reading #FABTRIP21: Hilda and Schuler

Chronicling the pioneer-era people and places of the southern Alberta drybelt since 2009. Alberta Heritage Resources Foundation Heritage Awareness Award recipient.