Tag Archives: Carlstadt

Listen: Forgotten Alberta with Joe McFarland

Thanks to Joe McFarland at CHQR770 yesterday for the amazing opportunity to talk about ghost towns – specifically (old) Bow City and Alderson (a.k.a Carlstadt, a.k.a. Langevin). It was lots of fun, with minimal stammering.

I have embedded the podcast of yesterday’s broadcast below  for your listening enjoyment. You can check out the scary situation at Calgary City Hall first, or fast forward to 6:55 where my interview kicks in.

For reference, here are a few links to content on the site about Alderson, and (old) Bow City:

Also be sure to check out Empire of Dust by David C. Jones – a compelling read that has influenced me greatly.

#MHNews: Bowell road signs destined for the dump

Bowell

A photo posted by Jonathan Koch (@forgotten_alberta) on

  Collin Gallant, intrepid scribe of the Medicine Hat News, and friend of Forgotten Alberta, dropped me a note yesterday about an item appearing in today’s News:  

End of an era for Bowell as Cypress County votes to have highway signs pointing to hamlet removed

Continue reading #MHNews: Bowell road signs destined for the dump

Globe and Mail: Ghost towns reveal forgotten past

Thanks to Mark Hume of the Globe and Mail for the opportunity to talk about Alberta’s ghost communities, and why it is important to remember them.

Comments from myself and Dr. David C. Jones appeared in the article, “Ghost towns reveal forgotten past”, which ran in the March 1st Alberta print edition of the Globe and Mail.

Mr. Hume has kindly permitted me to reproduce those comments below:

Continue reading Globe and Mail: Ghost towns reveal forgotten past

Historic images of western Canadian towns can be found at Prairie-towns.com


(Hover over image to activate slideshow options – Slides courtesy of Glen Lundeen / prairie-towns.com)

The launch of Prairie-towns.com signals yet another online endeavour to preserve the history and heritage of Western Canadian communities.

Contained within the collection are over 2700 photos, many postcard images, from 400+ communities throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. Amongst the total is are several pioneer-era postcards from southeast Alberta communities such as Alderson, Chinook, Orion and Suffield (see above) that have withered considerably, or disappeared altogether since the images were captured.

Continue reading Historic images of western Canadian towns can be found at Prairie-towns.com

Update: Alderson up in smoke

An update on Alderson, the past remains of which appear to have gone up in smoke. It appears a prairie fire swept through the area around August 14-15, leveling what little was left of the former village.

Following up on his comment in an earlier post, Forgotten Alberta reader, Greg, has forwarded a number of pictures depicting what he found when he visited the former village a few days ago.

As he mentioned in his comment, much of what is left resembles a moonscape; although I am struck by the site of green grass in late September, a rarity itself in southeastern Alberta. The state of Alderson today also stands in stark contrast with what I found there in late July, when abundant overgrowth had overtaken and obscured the entire townsite.

With the bones of this bygone village now exposed, I sincerely hope it will not be besieged by pickers and plunderers, rooting for souvenirs within the newly scorched earth. In my opinion, the value of this site extends far beyond being a place to be plundered for period trinkets and souvenirs.

Scrolling through the images below, I can’t help but wonder how the former village of Alderson is any less significant than any number of the 12,500 historic places listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places? Curiously, the site of Canadian Pacific Langevin Number 1 and 2 Gas Wells, listed as the site of the discovery of natural gas in Alberta (and possibly Canada), was recognized in 1981, and the cairn commemorating this event is literally across the road from the Carlstadt / Alderson townsite.

It seems a glaring and obvious oversight that the subsequent settlement was not included, especially considering the circumstances of its decline, and the historic value of this community as an illustration of the collective history of southeastern Alberta’s homestead period. Of course, this designation preceded the publication of Empire of Dust, without which we might have already forgotten about this forsaken village long ago.

To me, there are many reasons for seeking some sort of protection and recognition for this site, and the recent prairie fire underscores the need even further.

The experiences of the people here helped shape our province. As a descendant of southeastern Alberta pioneers, this place is sacred to me.

It deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

AldersonABSept26-2014-(42)-web AldersonABSept26-2014-(16)-web AldersonABSept26-2014-(41)-web AldersonABSept26-2014-(8)-web AldersonABSept26-2014-(13)-web AldersonABSept26-2014-(6)-web AldersonABSept26-2014-(7)-web AldersonABSept26-2014-(5)-web AldersonABSept26-2014-(4)-web

 

Related: