Jan 302015
Ohio Locomotive Crane

The strange beast seen here, basking in the sun on the first day of 2015, is called a locomotive crane and is used in railway maintenance of way service. They are used lift or place what ever needs to be..well…lifted or placed. Self propelled it can travel from work site to work site on its […]

Jan 302015
Bigfoot Boler

Plain and simple, we’re a bit confused. This is a Boler, is says so and anyway we know so by its recognizable form,, but it also says it’s a Bigfoot, which is another trailer brand altogether. And what in the heck is a luxury edition? We don’t recall ever seeing that. Are these mysteries for […]

Jan 292015
Small scale coal mines

The coal mines we’ll be exploring here, found near Donalda Alberta, date from the first half of the twentieth century and were two of hundreds of such operations that once existed in the province. Smaller mines in particular, as these are, could be found all over, supplying their local markets, mostly domestic users. Back in […]

Jan 282015
Canada Malting elevator Beiseker

Here’s something we’ve personally never seen before: grain cars, presumably spotted there for loading, sitting at the old Cargill, now Canada Malting, grain elevator in Beiseker. We’ve been driving past the building with regularity since the 1990s and this is a first for us. Any time we’ve checked the siding has been empty and the […]

Jan 232015
Prairie Sentinels – Coaldale Alberta

The central structure in the large complex seen here is a vintage wooden grain elevator. Located in Coaldale Alberta, it dates from the 1930s while the metal bins that flank either side are much newer. Today a specialized firm works out this facility and they store grain, feed, fertilizer and other granular agricultural products for […]

Jan 212015
Galt Mine #8

In production from 1934-1957, Galt #8 was the last coal mine in the Lethbridge area. Remains seen today include a head frame, water tower and work shops. Once owned by the CPR, now in private hands, the operation sits right beside the famous Lethbridge Viaduct train bridge, the longest and highest of its type in […]

Jan 202015

While traveling forgotten back roads, as we are apt to do, we often unexpectedly and completely by chance stumble across some really interesting finds. We’ve discovered long abandoned homesteads or farms, or their remains, vintage equipment and old cars and trucks by the score. Included in the latter category are the three old autos seen […]

Jan 162015
Sunset on an old barn

With scant time to spare before the sun set completely, fellow history buff Jon Dirks and I take a few minutes, in waning light, to explore a barn near the town of Gleichen, east of Calgary. A barn is a barn right? Sure, but this one is a little different and is simply huge in […]

Jan 162015
Lynnwood Boler

While searching through some old photos we found this unpublished image showing a “big” 17 foot Boler (when designed Canada still used the Imperial system). Well, we’ll have to fix that and post it. This example was found in the Calgary Community of Lynnwood way back in October of 2013. Many large Bolers – large, […]

Jan 152015
Horseshoe Dam

Just over century old, the Horseshoe Dam (also called the Horseshoe Falls Dam) is located along the Bow River in the foothills west of Calgary. This massive concrete structure was the very first sizable hydroelectric facility in Alberta and to this day continues to supply power for the province’s needs. Seldom seen by the general […]

Jan 142015
Bow River walk

This “urban” hike we follow a route which parallels the Bow River southwards from a point just east of downtown Calgary, a journey that takes us through a huge number of varied environments. We pass though and by grimy industrial areas and railways yards, neglected city parks, wooded river flats, beside and under many busy […]

Jan 122015
Boler Love

Someone must love their little Boler. Check out the plate seen in the window of this 17 foot example, found in the old and established Calgary community of Inglewood. This trailer has been outfitted with air conditioning. That option was never offered by the factory, at least based on the research we’ve done, but over […]

Jan 122015
Conrad Alberta

Conrad Alberta still merits a dot on most maps, even though there is really nothing left of the town, save for a couple homes, the moribund remains of a CPR branch line and the old station sign next to the tracks. The community was established in the 1910s and never home to more then a […]

Jan 092015
Shaunavon SK - railyards and grain elevators

Waking up bright and early on a cool May morning in Shuanavon Saskatchewan, we make our way to the nearby railyards to see what we can find. We’re not disappointed and find some old boxcars and other vintage railway equipment to document along with two massive old school wooden grain elevators to explore. Now that’s […]

Jan 082015

When the subject “what’s the toughest heavy truck ever made” comes up, the name Hayes, of Vancouver BC, is sure to make mention time and again. These over-built nearly indestructible monsters were well regarded by those who owned and operated them, and while you could find them at work nearly anywhere in Western Canada (and […]

Jan 072015
The Bluebell

Even though it was a fairly large scale and long lasting operation, surprisingly very little is left from the Bluebell Mine located in Riondel BC. In production, sometimes intermittently, from the mid-1890s all the way to 1972 it was for that time the very cornerstone of the local economy. Now tourism pays the town’s bills. […]