Boyd Stevens: Storekeeper & Orion #Alberta icon. #FABTrip14 @prairiepostalta

A photo posted by Jonathan Koch (@forgotten_alberta) on

If you’re ever passing by Orion, Alberta, be sure to stop in at Stevens Hardware and Garage. Chances are Boyd Stevens will be there.

I had the honour of meeting this prairie icon on a sweltering day last summer. Unassuming, cordial, and a favorite of inquiring journalists and ghost-towners alike, he’s also the subject of a recent  video short by director, Sean Thonson, recently of Travel Alberta fame (“Remember to Breathe”) calledPassing Orion“.

Find your centre. Orion #Alberta 2014. #ghosttown #outhouse

A photo posted by Jonathan Koch (@forgotten_alberta) on


18 Replies to ““Passing Orion”: Sean Thonson’s tribute to prairie Icon, Boyd Stevens.”

  1. Hi. Great video!!

    My name is Julie and my family and I make up 4 of the population of the 6 of Orion. I have a request for whoever can help me. Boyd would like a DVD copy of this video of him. He doesn’t have a computer but has a DVD player. Could you please contact me. Not sure if I should put my email address up here or what I should do.
    Thank you

  2. Thanks Judy! Full credit to Sean Thonson for the video, but also full credit to you for taking part in the video, and for keeping the Southern Ranchmens Inn in Manyberries humming away. A buddy and I stayed there last summer, following our stop in Orion, your hospitality was outstanding. I can’t wait to come back!

  3. I went to school with Boyd in grade 9. The school’s principal Mr. Kokotello & I boarded with the postmaster Charlie Tuttle. The post office was the false front building shown in the video. Brings back many memories.

  4. I moved to Manyberries a few years ago and have come to really appreciate Boyd’s friendship and stories. I always take time to go to Steven’s Hardware for a pop and a chocolate bar and a conversation. Thanks Boyd, foe being a good friend.

  5. Hi Ken, thanks for sharing your memories, and for the info on the old post office! I have some photos of that building myself, so it’s good to know what it is.

  6. This is such a great little story. I drive by Orion a few times each year on way to Havre in the US and have often wondered if that
    Hardware store was still open. And now I know the story. Thanks to Sean for a great story about a wonderful kind man, Boyd Stevens. Will have a whole new outlook next time I pass Orion.

  7. I had the pleasure of touring “The Red Coat Trail” last year and stopped in Orion where I met Boyd. I actually bought gas from his store (didn’t know I could).
    We had a great chat. I hope to get back there as I have a small gift I would to give him.

  8. Great video, we lived in Orion in the ’70’s as kids when my dad ran the Wheat Pool elevators and were always over bugging Howard and Boyd. I can remember the tangerine coloured fridge as you came in the door was always full of orange crush! 25cents a bottle back then!

  9. An interesting town, Orion. Towns name is Greek and so are some of the street names. I’m interested how the streets and the town got it’s name. Anyone with this information I would be very interested.

    Plan to visit Orion in the very near future.

  10. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s we operated tours and a B&B near Elkwater. On our way back from Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park we stopped in Orion. One of our guests grew up there, was the daughter of the station manager and went to school with Boyd Stevens. After we visited for what seemed a long time and it was approaching six p.m. I said to Boyd, we better let you close up and we need to get home. His response was, “Oh I don’t close until 8, so there’s no hurry. “

  11. Hi Don! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for sharing! Boyd is a remarkable fellow, and a font of local knowledge as you know. Sadly we’ve always been on a schedule when we have stopped by the store to talk, there is never enough time. 🙂

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