Having logged over 1000 km in two days, we finally headed for home on a lazy Sunday morning. Along Secondary Highway 555 we stopped in forlorn outposts of the prairie, the communities of Bindloss, and Buffalo, and a forgotten graveyard near the ghost town of Cavendish. As the warm winds whipped the dirt and tumbleweeds around us, and the sun bore down through the high haze, I felt a communion of sorts with the dry belt denizens of decades ago, who left these parched plains en masse, having endured too many seasons of promise turned to dust. I wondered how the residents of today would endure, and what would be left to see our next time around. 

18 Replies to “#FABTrip15: Bindloss, Buffalo, and beyond.”

  1. Hey Chris, that certainly seems to be the case. It was a Sunday, so the church was definitely out of commission. I think the store is open usually, we were just there on the wrong day.

  2. My father’s family homesteaded 10 miles south of Cavendish in 1917-1923 and this was there main town during those pioneer days. It was originally known as Pancras, incorporated in 1914 – name changed around 1918. We visited there about a year ago and all we could find was an overgrown neglected cemetery. No sign of the once thriving pioneer town supporting over 300 homesteaders in the surrounding area. It sported two grocery stores, two hardwares, two blacksmith shops, a restaurant/rooming house, a lumberyard, a livery barn, poolroom, two elevators, a community hall, a bank and a school.

  3. We visited these areas as well Jonathan, a very lonely place especially in the rain! Will be heading back in July! We also paid our respects to Pte. Fenton @ Cavendish as well.

  4. I will really surprised to find this old military headstone in the middle of the prairie. It left me wondering how many more like Pte. Fenton’s there are scattered throughout the forgotten cemeteries of the plains.

  5. The town of Cavendish is NOT a ghost town. The cemetery a 1/4 mile from town is in fact overgrown but the residents still living in Cavendish proper probably don’t like being considered ghosts. Not yet at least!

  6. Hi Brett, thanks for your comment. I know there is a farm near the turnoff towards the cemetery, but I didn’t realize this was still considered a town. Do you have a personal connection to the community? I’d love to learn more if you have more information. Thanks!

  7. Hi and very pleased to find this site!!! My fathers family homesteaded a few miles north of Cavendish in the late “teens” I have special memories of this area!!! My dad was born there in 1920!!!

  8. I grew up 5 miles south of the Cavendish cemetery, 1953-1968 on a cattle ranch and have an interest in the area. I am not sure of the origins of the Fentons, but so many of the Cavendish homestead folks were British. I would love to hear from Tim Fenton, where his family was from, how long they homesteaded and what their experiences were.
    My father started cattle ranching on land that had once been homesteaded .

  9. My family until about 7 years ago owned the land the Cavendish cemetery was on. Yes a ghost town but there was my aunt/uncle, my family, and 4 other families living in the area. Many are gone now as 3 of us sold our farms at the same time. The cemetery was upkept by my father but that is no longer the case. Beautiful country! The farm was in my family for 100 yrs. The school in Bindloss is closed but is now the community center. There is no store in Bindloss that is open. I do not think the church is open. Buffalo has a community hall too, and a campground 🙂

  10. My family lived south of Cavendish from 1953-1970 when there were still 8 AGTL houses and I wonder why AGTL/NOVA closed this field station, moved staff and sold the 8 houses in the 1980’s. Any information would be appreciated.

  11. Hello former Cavendish people! And Terry, it’s good to hear from you — not sure if you remember me. My dad worked for AGTL and lived in Cavendish for 8 years (1967 to 1975). I haven’t been out there for a few years now. Need to make another trip back.

  12. Hi Rod – thanks for stopping by. I just caught up with you on Instagram! I’d love to hear more about what Cavendish was like back in the days of AGTL. If you have any photos or memories you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to be in touch!

  13. I grew up in Buffalo. 1978-1996. My family still farms out there. We have loved ones in the Cavendish Cemetery. A few locals try to take of the cemetery when they can. The Buffalo Post office and store is still open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Buffalo hall was renovated a few years ago and is used for many events every year. My husband and I were married in the Buffalo Church in 2016! I have many memories from my childhood in that church. It was the Buffalo United Church until 2015.
    There was a school that we attended, Grade 1-9, it closed many years ago and the building was moved to Irvine, AB.
    I love this community and wish there were more opportunities there to move back for.
    It was fun to read the comments.

  14. Hi I lived in cavendish from 1972-the late 80’s.so memories and great ppl that lived there..

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