On the final day of #FABTrip15, we emerged from comfy confines of the Forksview Motel and Manor, ready for another dry and dusty day in #SEAlta. After a wander around the village, Greg and I stopped at That’s Empressive for a coffee, a chat, an ice cream, and a Kit Kat, before hitting the road for Bindloss and points west along the abandoned Royal Line.
Storey’s Hardware and Garage. #Empress #Alberta #Canada #abandoned #history #FABTrip15 @gregfarries A photo posted by Jonathan Koch (@forgotten_alberta) on
Last nights accommodations in Empress, Alberta.@4gotten_alberta #fabtrip15 pic.twitter.com/zOyr9tpZsy
— Greg Farries (@gregfarries) August 3, 2015
Restored train station in Empress. Unfortunately, no train runs through Empress anymore @4gotten_alberta #fabtrip15 pic.twitter.com/ZOgHcCsWNx — Greg Farries (@gregfarries) August 3, 2015
A little Empress lore from one of the locals: A gentleman from California arrived in Empress on the eve of the millennium, believing this prairie outpost to be a safe place to wait out the impending Y2K crisis. Longing for a piece of the West Coast in Alberta’s southeast, he opened Club Tropicale, an exclusive fitness club, sauna and games room (for private members only) in the former Royal Canadian Legion branch. After the Y2K crisis had passed, the Californian returned home, and Club Tropicale shut its doors. #Alberta #Canada #Y2K #Legion #History #abandoned #mybadlands #FABTrip15 @gregfarries
The outskirts of Empress. #Alberta #Canada #History #abandoned #mybadlands #FABTrip15 @gregfarries A photo posted by Jonathan Koch (@forgotten_alberta) on
Situated at the corner of Centre St. and 3rd Ave. in Empress, this building has served at various times as a pool hall, the original the Bank of Commerce, a jewelry store & insurance agency, the post office,and as home to numerous government officials, as well as the village office. Incidentally, it can be yours for a cool $39K! Check it out: mls.ca Listing ID MH0064117 #Imnotarealtor #Alberta #Canada #history #forsale #abandoned #mls #FABTrip15 @gregfarries
8 Replies to “#FABTrip15: Impressions of Empress”
I am a wanderer and have visited Empress 2 or 3 times . Last time was this past year. I found some great people to coffee with in the morning’s before leaving. Forksview Motel is a neat place to stay. The lady, Helen that takes care of the motel is a grand lady to meet. I also enjoy time spent with the people who have the “store” in the “Bank Building” . All things even I will return. Thank you — Jim Jensen – Fairview AB .
return once again come spring. Jim Jensen, Fairview Ab.
Hi Jim, thanks for stopping by! I had a very similar experience as you in Empress. I would highly recommend a visit.
I have great memories of Empress. Really a family town. I remember there was an old grocery store on main street. It was awesome inside. Just like the “old” days inside and if you rummaged around you could find some neat finds. He would open on I believe Thursday and you could get fresh produce.
Our “bank house” was across from the school. Great times were had in Empress.
I had an aunt and uncle who homesteaded near Empress from , I guess the late teens to late twenties or early thirties. From the stories, I was told, they prospered for the first while but when things turned bad they were quite bad, including two young sons having died and I presume buried at the cemetery outside of town. At that time my aunt and uncle returned to Ontario where they lived out their lives. We visited Empress about 10 years ago on our way home from Alberta, personally it was an a very sobering experience to see the evidence of what was and all the dashed hopes and dreams. However, I look forward to doing more research before I return again when I will take more time for a longer visit. Keep up the good work. I enjoy all the stories.
Hi Scott, thanks for stopping by, and for sharing. Interestingly enough, there was an article online today about Empress wanting to attract more tourists:
It’s such a beautiful little town, I would have loved to have seen it in its hey-day. Hopefully it endures.
Thank you for your reply.
I wish the town well with their initiative for tourism and rejuvenation.
I would like to visit Alberta and Empress again next fall after our harvest is done.
I was less than 10 yrs old when my aunt and uncle were in their late seventies and early eighties shortly after which they passed on. I was always intrigued by the stories from their days out west.
Do you know where I could find information on where my aunt and uncle would have settled? Also, I would like to know if their children are buried at the community cemetery south of town, do you know where I could find those records ?
Thank you for any assistance.
First I appreciate your site and all the work that you have put into it. Really enjoy it.
I’m replying to Scott Prosser’s inquiry as to cemetery records at Empress. They have a spreadsheet of all individuals buried in the Empress Cemetery. To the best of my knowledge there are no interments with the surname “Prosser”.
If desired he can find contact information at http://villageofempress.com
Hi Dennis, Scott Prosser here. My great aunt and uncle were Frances and Albert MacKenzie. If I remember correctly their sons were about 8 and 12 years old when they died. Not sure exactly of the circumstances but I remember my mother passing on the story of how Aunt Frances used to try in vane to keep the blowing dust out of the house because it caused breathng problems for the sick boys. Certainly hard times that we cannot imagine. Thank you for any information you can provide and I will try the link above