Oct 222012
Lashburn SK fire truck

Potpourri is a blend of scents but it’s also a term for an interesting mixture of things, Today’s potpourri report includes short articles on an old fire truck, an even older airport, a grain elevator and a trail deep in the southeastern BC Rockies.

1) Like nearly every town in the prairies, Barons Alberta was once home to many grain elevators. Today however only one small example remains. Not much is known about this one other than it’s a seed cleaning plant, and this may explain why it survives. This image is from October 2012.

2) The airport seen here, the South Calgary Airport near DeWinton, was a former World War Two RCAF training base. There were many others like it in this part of the province, in Calgary, High River, Vulcan, Claresholm and Fort MacLeod, among others, and here they trained pilots from across the Commonwealth.

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These airports only operated in that capacity for a short period, generally from 1941 to 1944. Afterwards they found other uses either as public airports or as industrial sites, What is interesting is that all are still intact to some degree or another. There is mention of this site being used for drag racing in the 1970s, but that’s about the limit of what we know at this point. This picture and the following are from October 2012.

3) This odd looking concrete structure is the gunnery backstop at the South Calgary Airport. My understanding is it was used to train aircraft gunners how to line up and adjust their sights. A similar structure exists at the RCAF Vulcan base, which this author has visited.

4) The Sunken/Lost creek trail has defeated us twice. Deep in the Steeples Range near Cranbrook BC this difficult and rugged route follows an old mine pack trail into a high valley. While not a particularly scenic trip, unless you like ferns and Devil’s Club, once you get higher up and out of the dense understory you are treated to views of the Dibble Glacier.

Our purpose on this trip however was to explore the nearby Dibble Mine which operated in the 1890s and again in the 1930s. This pictures is from August 2012, but we had tried this trail in 2008 as well. In each case were unable to complete the trip due to the stifling heat we encountered each time. We’ll return…when it’s cooler. In this picture our expedition is seen crossing Sunken (or Lost) Creek on a slippery log bridge. I am not sure why there are two names given to this creek.

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5) Lashburn Saskatchewan is a small town in the western part of that province, situated on the Yellowhead highway not terribly far from the Alberta border at Lloydminster. The fire engine seen here, from that town, is mounted on an International Loadstar truck. This chassis was produced from 1962 until 1978 and was quite popular with rural small town fire departments.

Unfortunately this gives us a very broad range of when this truck could have been built – so we don’t know this or who the body maker was either. It’s assumed it was retried a couple years back, given the town took delivery of a new Fort Garry rig in 2009 (a nice unit by the way). This truck was seen in Calgary, not far from where I live, in July 2012. It’s in fine shape and looks to be owned by a private party.

To see the Vulcan World War Two era air training base, click the link below…
Vulcan Aerodrome.

To see more of the Sunken/Lost Creek trail mentioned here, follow this link…
Sunken (Lost) Creek to Dibble Mine – Cranbrook BC.

If you wish more information on any of these pictures, by all means contact us!

Barons Alberta grain elevator

The last grain elevator in Barons Alberta.

South Calgary Airport

South Calgary Airport, a former World War Two training base.

Gunnery backstop

The gunnery backstop at the South Calgary Airport.

Sunken/Lost Creek trail

The Sunken/Lost Creek trail near Cranbrook BC.

Lashburn SK fire truck

A former Lashburn SK fire truck.


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