Jun 282017
 
Coming Attractions!

To say we have a “couple” articles in the works would be a gross understatement. We’ve been busy exploring and photographing all over the west, at some crazy accelerated pace, Chris & Connie seemingly possessed or something and accumulating a huge number of photos and information for new posts. We’re full of it…energy and passion […]

Apr 112017
 
Railway Bunkhouse

This long skinny shed looking building was once a railway bunkhouse. Simply, it was a crash-pad for train crews overnighting away from home base. There would be a couple beds inside, a simple kitchen, a biffy and that’s about it. No five star resort, it was about as basic as accommodations could get. There used […]

Apr 072017
 
Grain Elevators of Magrath

The small community of Magrath Alberta is home to a nice and varied collection grain elevators from various eras. There’s four here, down over there where the tracks used to be. A couple are traditional wood “prairie sentinels”, one’s a fairly modern, albeit modest sized, concrete silo type elevator. And the last, which will garner […]

Feb 282017
 
A Few Minutes in Pincher Station

We’re in Pincher Station Alberta, passing through, heading west for a couple days of rest and relaxation. Timing is everything, and as it happens, we’re here and so is a train. Pull over, brakes on hard, jump out and run around like someone who’s mistakenly kicked a hornet’s nest. Catch it going by, line up, […]

Feb 102017
 
A Few Minutes in Hoosier

Tiny little middle-of-nowhere Hoosier is hanging on for dear life. A handful of people still live here, give or take, with more on farms in the immediate area. And while the CO-OP and Post Office slash Coffee Shop are open, it’s hardly thriving. There are just as many empty or forgotten dwellings and buildings in […]

Dec 282016
 
Herronton

Herronton…this tiny little place, a blip on the map. A collection of homes, a small clustering, found along some dusty Alberta backroad. While not the middle of nowhere, in feel, it’s not far removed from that proverbial place. The population…it can be counted on one hand…maybe two (we saw no one in the hour we […]

Dec 022016
 
Prairie Sentinels - Bentley Alberta

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 […]

Nov 102016
 
Skiff Alberta ex-Parrish & Heimbecker

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 […]

Oct 312016
 
Dive Motel

Team BIGDoer has this fondness for dive motels. You might call it strange. As accommodations go, they’re low cost, which is a plus for us professional historians (yes, it’s a career) who dream of minimum wage as some sort of glorious income nirvana. We’re budget minded, we have to be, this job dictates it. But […]

Oct 142016
 
CPR Demonstration Farm

The home, the barn, everything seen in this yard once served a rather unique and special purpose. Operating as a fully functioning “demonstration farm”, near Vulcan Alberta, and tied to the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was a show piece of sorts a century ago, promoting the region’s agricultural potential. Come, see how to farm. Then […]

Aug 302016
 
Creston BC Grain Elevators

British Columbia! Endless forests, precipitous peaks, bears, lumberjacks, bears eating lumberjacks, raging rivers, a moose, a squirrel, all things wild. No arguments here! But what’s this in Creston? Grain elevators, aka “prairie sentinels”…here in the mountains – emphasis on mountains? What the? Aren’t these associated with the vast (and very flat) plains of Alberta, Saskatchewan […]

Jul 252016
 
Valley Social Boler

I’ve just come to the realization we’re almost a full year behind in our Boler postings. It’s been crazy busy and admittedly we’ve let them sort of fall to the wayside. Time for a quick one though – this example with a very, very interesting paint job – found in the small surrounded-by-mountains southeastern British […]

Jul 202016
 
New Brigden Water Tower

Here’s an undeniably rare find, an original standing-where-built railway water tower that was once used fill the boilers of steam locomotives. Way back when there used to be literately thousands of these across the country in strategic places up and down every main or branch line (steamers required a lot of water). With the end […]