Old Pakowki, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain…

Old Pakowki, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain…(with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein II).

Following the arrival of rail in 1915, a townsite sprung up at Pakowki, about eight miles east of Etzikom along Highway 61. Pakowki, which is pronounced “Pa-coke-ee” by the locals, roughly translated from Blackfoot means “bad water”, a reference to nearby Pakowki Lake. For a brief period, the settlement at Pakowki included a hotel and livery, two (possibly three) elevators, and the ubiquitous lumber company. The Ghost Town Journal states this bona fide ghostly burg was also home to a Chinese restaurant, machine shop, machinery agent, and two general stores, during its heyday.

However, Pakowki’s heyday was short-lived, as residents and merchants migrated east with the railway the following year, and the townsite dispersed to Orion and Manyberries. According to Orion icon, Boyd Stevens, farmers continued to haul wheat to the siding for a time, dumping on the ground until it could be loaded into boxcars and shipped. In later years, Stevens said Community Auction Sales operated a stockyard at Pakowki, the remains of which are all that is left of the community today.

It’s gonna rain some more tomorrow


When I was a little boy living out on the farm at Kinnondale, I remember hearing the distinctive song of the Western Meadowlark coming from the fields.

“Listen,” dad would say, “he says ‘It’s gonna rain some more tomorrow, it’s gonna rain some more tomorrow’”.

The rain seldom came, but hope springs eternal, on the great Alberta plains. Photo taken at Bassano, Alta. July 2019.

Chronicling the forgotten people and places of the southern Alberta drybelt. 2014 Alberta Heritage Resources Foundation Heritage Awareness Award recipient.