Founded about 1925, the now extinct settlement of Naco, Alberta derived its name from a town and former military post on the Arizona – Mexico border. According to the font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, the word “Naco” means “nopal cactus” in the extinct Ópata language of Sonora in Mexico. Wikipedia also states that “nopal” is a common name in Mexican Spanish for Opuntia cacti, commonly referred to as Prickly Pear. The Opuntia polyacantha, or Plains Prickly Pear, is a hardy variety of cactus found in Southern Alberta that thrives in sunny, hot, and dry locations, such as Naco. #Alberta #Canada #mybadlands #explorealberta #specialareas #rolandschool
First of all, I have to apologize that it has taken me so long to get this post online. The pace of my personal and professional life has ramped up considerably, leaving me with less and less time to devote to my passion, the Forgotten Alberta project. However, on the flip side. I’m truly blessed through the course of my work to be able to work alongside many passionate and dedicated rural Alberta residents who are making their communities better places to live. Last month I was honoured to spend time in Veteran, Consort, and Oyen, where I interviewed local residents, and learned about rural leadership, and the challenges of keeping healthcare professionals in rural communities. I also encountered a stretch of glorious summer weather (one of the few this year), and some spectacular scenery in my travels throughout the Special Areas.
Thank you to Bonnie Sansregret for the invite to tour Roland School, a century old one room schoolhouse situated on her family’s land south of Consort. Opened in 1913, the school was in operation for 20 years, according to the Alberta Register of Historic Places, and was used as “a voting station, a venue for Christmas Concerts, sports days, dances, and even a hospital” until the early ’60s. The school owes its long life to the dedication of Bonnie’s family, in particular her father, whom she tells me halted a moving crew as they were preparing to abscond with this historic landmark. Although vandalized recently, this 103 year old one room school is an authentic part of Alberta’s pioneer past, and is still open to be viewed by the public. #Alberta #Canada #mybadlands #explorealberta #specialareas
Inscription on the plaque at Loyalist reads: “Loyalist – First settlers arrived 1908. Named to honour coronation of King George V. C.P.R. arrived 1912. About 14 businesses and 5 grain elevators once flourished. Declined through fire and Depression. Surviving store closed 1967. Erected in 1967 by the Loyalist Women’s Institute and the Loyalist Community Assoc.” #Alberta #Canada #mybadlands #explorealberta #specialareas
A farmer out… combining in his field. It was great meeting @supercrookedice on his farm north of Oyen last week. Athough harvesting was well underway when I arrived, David stopped to chat and share some intelligence regarding local historic sites. Yes, there are historic sites around Oyen – pics to come! #Alberta #Canada #mybadlands #explorealberta #specialareas #RolandSchool #harvest
Fairacres is the place to be. The following is an excerpt from the Oyen History Book, “Many Trails Crossed Here” Vol. 1 about Fairacres School, written by Edward McKinstry and Harriet Austen: “Fairacres 2585 took it’s name from the post office opened in the home of Mrs. Cora Nelson. Mrs. Nelson had thought of the name while looking out of her kitchen window across the green hills of the homestead. A number of local men worked to build the school on Section 26-29-4-4… By 1937 every family northof the school had moved away and the enrollment had dropped so it was decided to join with the two neighbouring districts, Nebalta and Glenada. So the final school board, chairman Dave Warwick, secretary Gilbert McKinstry and trustee Charlie Gillespie turned over the management to the Acadia School Division. The building was moved from the original location on section 26 to a new spot on the Warwick farm on section 14. Fairacres school closed in 1944 and still stands today.” #Alberta #Canada #mybadlands #explorealberta #specialareas