Smallville High School has changed very little over the years and from the 1970s when the Superman movie was filmed here to today one would be hard pressed to find many differences. See for yourself. The big field has been altered a bit and the school grounds have a new sidewalk and playground, but what we see today is remarkably close to what’s seen in the movie. The only thing missing in our shots is a young Clark Kent (in his pre-Superman days), the other students and all their nice classic cars. Love that Studebaker!
This faculty, officially the Baron’s Consolidated School in Barons Alberta, is currently being used as as alternative Mennonite school – that is according to the Palliser School Board, who oversees this location. Prior to that it was home to grades one through twelve and served in that aspect for some seventy years. The building was constructed in 1930 and has a newer annex of the west side that is not seen in our pictures.
The school building and the grounds are kept in impeccable condition from what we could see. Someone still takes pride in the old building and that is fantastic.
Of the elevators seen in the movie, only one remains. It’s the smallest of the bunch, the small grey one that site between the two larger orange ones. This view is now blocked by bushes. The orange elevators in the movie by the way are labelled for the Pioneer Grain Company – you can tell by the colour – a one time big player in the Canadian grain industry. I have seen later photos of these same structures and some at least were later labelled Alberta Wheat Pool and painted the company’s light blue/green motif. This change is not so odd, since elevators are sold and acquired through mergers and so on.
The last of these elevators, save for that grey one, were torn down only recently and this author has seen pictures from as late as 2011 showing most (or some) of them still standing.
Also shown is a then and now series taken at the railway crossing where Clark jumps in front of a train and then speeds away down a dusty road. The cross buck shown in the movie hints of its Canadian location – US crossings typically say “Railroad” instead of “Railway” as they do here. For us the cross buck seen has been replaced and neither a train nor Clark Kent showed up, but a truck speeding away gave us the dust we needed to complete the one shot.
My angles were off a bit, but I think I lined them up pretty well anyway.
Barons is a small town just north west of Lethbridge Alberta and while it was the location for the high schools scenes, other parts of Alberta filled in for the farm and cemetery scenes. The former can be seen at a link below and they show the Kent homestead where Clark Kent grew up while going to the school here. Another filming location is the graveyard scene where Mr. Kent get buried, an the link to it is below.
All these scenes were meant to portray Kansas USA and in comparing them to that state, I think our province did a good job of filling in for it.
Images from the movie are copyright Warner Brothers.
To see the Kent farmhouse seen in the movie, follow this link…
Superman 1978 Kent farmhouse – then and now.
To see the cemetery scenes in the movie, click below…
Superman 1978 cemetery scenes – then and now.
To see the Clark Kent’s high school in the 1983 movie Superman 3, click this link…
Superman 3 then and now – Smallville.
Date of adventure: September 2012.
Location: Southern Alberta.