Oct 182017
CNR #1158 at the Western Development Museum

If you have a thing for history and find yourself in North Battleford Saskatchewan the Western Development Museum is a must see. It’s a fantastic facility, good sized, well regarded, with numerous exhibits indoor and out. One highlight is a representation of a 1920s era pioneer village just like one of thousands that used to […]

Aug 302017
Canadian National Railways #1392

Stop the presses folks…we’ve reached a milestone here. This post, which you’ll soon be enjoying, is the 1000th here at BIGDoer.com. Yes, our society has produced that many pieces and in only five years to boot! Not 1000 simple photo essays, but rather painstakingly researched history write ups, in-depth articles covering all manner of things […]

Aug 172016
Roland School

The final count, thought to be somewhere between three and five thousand (reports vary). That’s the approximate number of one room schools that were once located in Alberta. The first opened in the 1800s (some say 1860s, others 1880s), the last closing a scant dozen or so years ago. They shared common features. They were […]

Jun 162016
Case Steam Tractor

A metal leviathan, this steam tractor was built close to a hundred years ago. Today it resides at Pioneer Acres Museum in Irricana Alberta where on occasion it’s fired-up, transforming it into a fire-breathing, steam hissing, smoke belching monster put to work entertaining visitors to the venue. At rest on our visit, we take some […]

Jun 072016
DNR Excavator

Found at Pioneer Acres Museum in Irricana Alberta (a great place, BTW, if you love old metal), the leviathan earth mover we’ll be documenting is known as a DNR Excavator. Curious looking, as though random bits of machinery were thrown together by someone without a clue as to what they were to do, it actually […]

May 262016
GMC L7000 V12

This short and stocky brute, a GMC L7000, can be found at Pioneer Acres Museum in Irricana Alberta. A bit tattered with faded orange paint, it looks as though it’d be ready to get back to work with minimal notice. Where’s that next load going? Hidden from view behind some exhibit halls, perhaps it’s waiting […]

Sep 292015
Canadian Forces Station Alsask

Join us for a tour of the long decommissioned Canadian Forces Station base in Alsask Saskatchewan, in operation during the dark days of the Cold War. We’ll be given extra special permission and all the time we need to explore most of the of the buildings left standing in the extensive complex, inside and out, some of them still used for various functions, others closed up and literal time capsules.

Aug 212015
Canadian Pacific Railway #4090 and #4469

The Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in Cranbrook BC owns a huge collection of vintage train equipment. Founded in the 1970s, the organization has grown over the years and today occupies a huge tact of land on the far edge the community’s downtown core, just beside an active railway line. On display at one end of the property are two old diesel locomotives and a passenger station.

Apr 242015
Turner Valley gave us gas

The Turner Valley Gas Plant was the first in Alberta, the one that started it all, and today is museum you can visit. We join a group of passionate amateur photographers (perhaps some pros too), from the Foothills Camera Club, who’ve arranged a private tour of the complex and invited us to tag along. We […]

Mar 262015
Little red caboose

The little red caboose seen in this article is located at the Stettler Alberta museum and can be viewed by anyone visiting that venue. Once owned by Canadian National Railways, it was originally a boxcar built in 1918, so darn near a century ago, that in the 1950s was converted to its present form. Before […]

Mar 202015
Compressor Plant

This report we tour the compressor building at the historic Turner Valley Gas Plant, just south of Calgary. Inside this long cavernous structure is a bank of ancient engines with integral compressors, the size of which are are hard to describe. They’re big, really big…let’s call them behemoths! These were used to pump gaseous petroleum […]

Mar 172015
Big Balls!

The giant globe shaped tanks seen here are known as Horton Spheres and are located at the historic Turner Valley gas plant. Built in the the early 1940s, these “Big Balls” were used to store specialized gaseous products produced at the facility, most notably a World War Two era fuel additive used in fighter planes. […]