Nothing beats a good small town museum. Team BIGDoer is huge fan and think you should be too. They’re hidden gems, wonderful places to learn about local history, the people who came before, those tough and resilent folks from times past, on display at these venues the things connecting them to you. At every turn […]
Starland Alberta. Not a town. Nothing more than a siding along a former rail line, the only thing here, a lone grain elevator. It’s relatively modern one, a bit unusual in some ways, which we’ll touch on soon enough. Think of it as a transitional design of sorts, from the wood elevators of old that […]
Nier Alberta was not so much a town, but more a locality. Think of it as a dot on the map, the centre of an area, perhaps with a post office, but not really by definition a community with houses and businesses. Located not that far north of Calgary, the place had one claim to […]
We’re standing smack dab in the middle of Second Street West, Munson Alberta, much to the amusement of some locals, shooting a trademark BIGDoer.com then and now. We’ve come armed with an old photo, taken close to a century ago, have plopped ourselves down in the spot where it was captured then, our mission to […]
East Coulee, in the Alberta Badlands, is split by the slow flowing Red Deer River. Space was limited in this deep valley, so homes and businesses, the highway and in years past, the railway, were all located on the north side, while on the south there were coal mines and a grain elevator. It’s this […]
As old-school wood grain elevators go, this one, found in the town of Bentley Alberta is a relative youngster. Still, it follows a very traditional design and in construction, layout, function, so pretty much everything, albeit in a somewhat more massive form, it’s not all that dissimilar from ones much, much older than it. Dare […]
Almost every last town, village or hamlet across the vast Canadian Prairies was at one time home to a building much like the one we’ll be looking at today. Towering over everything, the flat expanse of the land, the community itself, they were always located in a prominent spot usually opposite or just down from […]
Saying a handful of people live in Esther Alberta might be a stretch. There’s not many here. Even at the peak, long ago, it was never a populous place. It’s a tiny dot on the map, always has been, on some lonely back road, middle of nowhere stuff, seen and visited by few…you get the […]
In 2013 we studied the former town of Mitford Alberta, located just west of present day Cochrane (links to those posts below). One of the earliest communities in the area it was established 1880s. It was also one of the first abandoned too and was completely gone by the turn of the twentieth century. Connected […]
In the first few decades of the twentieth century a huge number of railway branch lines were built across the Western Canadian plains. Look at any old time map and see. It was a messy spaghetti-bowl of track, running this way and that with reckless abandon, to near every town or village and what appears […]
A heavenly place for lovers of vintage metal and machinery, the Reynolds-Alberta Museum is home to today’s subjects, several giant mining shovels and draglines. These humongous beasts are connected historically to various coal mines in the province and date back as far as a hundred years. Impressive at a distance, doubly so (no, a million […]
Presenting the almost perfect timeless scene: a vintage truck, former service station and an old school wood grain elevator. Taken not twenty or thirty years ago, but in 2016. One corner in Bashaw Alberta, a small community approximately in the middle of the province, founded about a hundred years ago and visited by us for […]
A good sixty five years separate the two images used in this then and now article. The scene is Rosedale Alberta, in the Red Deer River Valley badlands, first along the train tracks in 1948 and then again in 2016, the same spot, but with the rails now gone. The original image is a postcard […]
For this then and now we’re in the “almost” ghost town of Rowley Alberta. Home today to a couple people at most, in the past it was a much busier and more populace place. Many of the buildings in town, long vacant, have been lovingly restored. Included in that are three impressive grain elevators, various […]
Three old grain elevators, very photogenic ones at that, can be found in small town Mossleigh Alberta. They’re located along a railway branch line that has been out of service for well over a decade, but as of spring 2015 (so just after our visit) hosts tourist trains coming in from nearby Aspen Crossing, just […]
There used to be many grain elevators in the tiny community Arrrowwood Alberta, now there is one. In this post we explore how those iconic structures looked a couple decades back, and now with all but one of them gone, how that same location appears today. The change, as you’ll see, is rather dramatic. Arrowwood […]
The tallest thing around in any direction, the structure we’ll be discussing here is a fairly late example of a traditional style wood cribbed grain elevator. Located along a busy rail line, it’s not been used for a number of years, having been replaced by newer facility a bit to the north. Come with us as we’re given keys to the gate.
The lovely old church seen here, St Andrew’s United, is just over a century old and is the subject for this then and now study. Located in the community of Lacombe, in central Alberta, the substantial and very handsome building will be seen twice, first how it appeared in the early days via an old photo found online and again how it looks in 2015.
This old “prairie sentinel” was once located along the railway line in Menaik Alberta, but for the last few decades has stood at farm not terribly far away, where for many years it was used for grain storage. Rendered obsolete by the passage of time and changes in agricultural techniques and technology, it’s no longer needed.
The then and now photos used in this posting date from 1982 and 2015 and shows the small community of Rosebud Alberta. The location in both is a hill overlooking the village, which allows us a good view of pretty much the entire place. In spite of the thirty plus year that have passed, not […]