Nov 022017
 
Closed Roadhouse Alberta

The Red Deer River Valley is one of the more stunning places you can visit in the province. Those awesome Alberta Badlands, a wondrous setting, geologically interesting, historically fascinating and of course visually mind blowing. It’s pure magic for the senses. And because of all these qualities, it can be a popular place – come any summer weekend and see, but be prepared for city like gridlock. Don’t even go down by the Dino Museum. You’ve been warned!

Team BIGDoer has an aversion to crowds so when we’re here – and we love the place just not the hustle and bustle – we search out things others don’t. Back road stuff. “Off the beaten path” stuff for which we’re known. This how we roll among the hoodoos. So here, in this fantastic valley, nestled away down a private drive, and once catering to some of those visitors we just spoke about; but now forgotten and all quiet, is the place we’re exploring today. This is the Roadhouse. Today, it’s our domain. And ours alone.

The Roadhouse: a former watering hole in the Alberta Badlands. Researched, Written and Photographed by Chris Doering and Connie Biggart.(BIGDoer/Synd)

To protect the property we’re going to be vague in regards to the location and certain details. Sad we have to do this, but that’s the reality of things. Still, vandals and pickers and trespassers have gotten in, and as they always do have made a mess and caused problems. They don’t want more touble.

Scroll down for photos and to comment.

We wander in on the overgrown road. Sections with a quicksand like consistency can be down right treacherous and they often times come without warning (not always easy to spot). More slippery than a well greased pan and all soft and squishy, one step and you’re on your ass or ankle deep in goo. And then there’s the sinkholes some big enough to swallow a kid whole. They’re often hidden by vegetation. The badlands are aptly named.

We pass some old relics, a late 1940s Mercury, and what appears to be a late 1930s Dodge/Plymouth. Both are bent and mangled and full of bullet holes (head shake). Keeping them company is a bus that once belonged to a rafting tour firm that used to operate in the area. Wow, what a cool way to experience the wonder that is this valley, lazily floating along the slow moving Red Deer River and taking it all in. Sign me up!

The roadhouse is reached. They actually used the saloon moniker when operating, but hey. There’s a central building with a large patio overlooking the river (trees are now sorta blocking the view). It’s all empty inside except for a bar to belly up too (all covered in bird poop). A second building houses biffies. Down below is the open area with picnic tables and a stage for the band. Over there, there’s camping spots in case you wanted to spend the night.

For a half dozen years or so, in the 1990s the places rocked, then it went silent. We won’t go into the whys and whats, but it wasn’t for a lack of business but other issues – use your imagination. The owner is tossing around the idea of opening it up again – lots of work ahead of him. Hopefully the problems that dogged them back then don’t return.

The roadhouse is not original to this site and was hauled in from another town a hundred clicks or so away. It’s said the building is connected to the railway somehow – perhaps being accommodations for crews or some such thing – we’re still researching what exactly. The style of roof, the support brackets, the siding certainly has a railway vibe even if I can’t put my finger on it. And it did come from a town with a big railway presence. Maybe there’s something here. We’ll keep on this, if it kills us, and of course experts are always welcome to chime in.

The structure is said have been built about 1912 – again, a tie in with the RR – that’s when it came to that town. The structure looks pretty solid overall. The extended awning and patio were added after the move of course. You need a patio if you have a bar.

Occasional things are found inside and on the grounds reminding us of the building’s past, empty cans and bottles, a forgotten platform shoe (something right out of Saturday Night Fever – hey Tony!), remains of tables and chairs and other bits. Not much really.

Out back an old vehicle. Thinking Red Green here. Or project Boogie Van. Don’t think it’ll be going anywhere soon. It’s being swallowed up by the earth – I kid you not the ground here is so soft, doubly so when wet, that things just sink into it over time.

We take in the site, under glorious skies, a deep blue with puffy clouds. A glance at our watch…it’s been that many hours? Time to go, we hike back to our car, slowly. Soak in the valley – don’t want it to end. Don’t want to leave. This was one cool experience! Thanks to the owner for allowing us in. Nice photos came of it. Now back to researching that building – it’s bugging us.

You’ll love these…
Queenstown Garage.
Hillhurst United Church.
In Event of Nucular Attack!

If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!

Date: May, 2017.
Location: The Alberta Badlands.
Article references (and thanks): John BG.
The roadhouse is on private property. BIGDoer.com visited with permission.

Abandoned Roadhouse Alberta

An old “Roadhouse” in the Alberta Badlands.

Boogie Van Canditate

Thinking Boogie Van here…

Red Green Van

…Or maybe Red Green comes to mind.

Abandoned Bar Alberta

The place was in business in the 1990s.

Abandoned Saloon Alberta

The building is about a hundred years old…

Closed Roadhouse Alberta

…And is not original to this site.

Closed Bar Alberta

The outdoor seating.

Closed Saloon Alberta

A stunning setting here!

Abandoned Alberta Badlands

It’s said the building has a railway connection.

Abandoned Place Alberta Badlands

Wandering about, a random find.

Alberta Badlands Abandoned

From the patio.

Tony Manero Shoe

Straight out of Saturday Night Fever…

Closed Bar Alberta Badlands

Not a bad view out the front door.

Old Milwaukee Beer

Old Milwaukee…gold medal beer!

Closed Saloon Alberta Badlands

The owner mentions the place could reopen – lots of work ahead.

Chris Doering BIGDoer

Your yellow shirted author hard at work.

Camping Alberta Badlands

From the camping area.

Abandoned Cars Alberta Badlands

A late 1930s Chrysler Product and late 1940s Mercury.

Alberta Badlands Abandoned Cars

Also seen, an old bus that once ferried rafters.

Alberta Badlands Old Car

Nothing more scenic that the Alberta Badlands.

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38 Comments on "The Roadhouse"

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Jenn
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Whoaaaa, love this! What a location! Take me with you if you ever go back!! lol

Jason Sailer
Guest

Great photos!

Barry Ryziuk
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Barry Ryziuk

I have been here before and almost thought this might have been a biker hangout.

Amanda von Arx
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Amanda von Arx

I camped there!

Sandra Killaby
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Sandra Killaby

I have had a few beer there!!!

Robert J. Fisher
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Robert J. Fisher

Nice!

Emily Mae Mertz
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Emily Mae Mertz

I always see it from across the river. I was wondering what it looked like up close.

Peter Gaynor
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Peter Gaynor

Drank lots of beer there.

Pam Tidsbury
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Pam Tidsbury

Gorgeous shots!! Very interesting building.

Deirdre Pasztor
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Deirdre Pasztor

That’s a rr station.

Bernadette S Finzel
Guest
Bernadette S Finzel

It sure has deteriorated from the 1990’s.

Angel Lynn
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Angel Lynn

…horses would wander through the campground all the time.

Mary Maxie
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Mary Maxie

Is that the place they dragged down the river ice a long time ago? I think we had a few beers there too! It didn’t have a road to it, just bounced across the field & thru the ditches. Too bad someone closed off the access. It was a fun place.

Bonnie Wilson-Echlin
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Bonnie Wilson-Echlin

Had many good times there! Sad it is in such bad shape now!

Pam Tidsbury
Guest
Pam Tidsbury

I would love to use your pic for a drawing if you let people use your photos for references. It is incredible! Message me if you like.

Richard Brazeau
Guest
Richard Brazeau

Ah the good ol days partying there!

Carrie Weber Mashon
Guest
Carrie Weber Mashon

I pass it all the time……I’ve always called it the “jukejoint” lol! You know….from The Color Purple”…..

Diana Hanik
Guest
Diana Hanik

We had a steak dinner here….many moons ago.

Dean Guidolin
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Dean Guidolin

Been there.

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