We’re sitting inside our truck this morning, hiding away from the rain while waiting for an estate sale to open. Naturally, we are browsing Facebook to help pass the time when we see a post telling us that the wooden grain elevator in Hodgeville Saskatchewan has been demolished.
Although we are 618km away from Hodgeville, we cannot help but feel a sense of melancholy as another prairie icon disappears from the skyline. It is a story we see repeated all too often.
As expected, the second video from the Alberta Ghost Town Convention came together a little faster than the first one. I find by the second day of shooting my mind has gone into “video mode” and I am able to preplan my shots a bit better so less footage ends up on the floor of my digital cutting room. I have a better vision in my head of what the story is I am trying to tell and that simply makes the whole process go a lot faster. Of course, if I had a newer computer that could crunch video faster that would help a lot too!
It is hard to believe we have just concluded the sixth edition of the Alberta Ghost Town Convention (GTC). This annual gathering of friends is an offshoot of the Saskatchewan GTC created by Mike Stobbs back in 2007 which ended in 2016.
The Alberta edition is the brainchild of Jason Sailer, who puts many hours into scouting locations, obtaining permission for access, and generally trying to herd the group of cats that abandoned places enthusiasts tend to be.
This year we focused on the area around Hanna. We revisited some places we have been before (St. Peter’s Lutheran Church), some places we wanted to visit but hadn’t (Hanna Museum and Pioneer Village), and some places we hadn’t even heard of before (too many to mention).
There is far too much to pack into a single video, so here is Day One of the 2019 Alberta Ghost Town Convention…
There are some places that you see online countless times but have never had the chance to visit in person. For me, the abandoned Notre Dame de Savoie church has been on the “must visit” list for many years but I never found myself in that area of the province.
Last weekend we found ourselves attending a family gathering in the village of Forestburg. Afterwards, we took the opportunity to detour south to visit the church.
Amazingly, it still stands against the forces of nature. However, with it’s collapsed steeple and distinct lean, it certainly doesn’t seem like it can defy the odds much longer. Sadly, I will not be surprised when some backroads explorer makes a post saying the church has fallen over or collapsed on itself.
Naturally, we didn’t just make the trip out and back without a few other stops. Feel free to check out our video where you will see us visit even more places on this trip.
St. Hilda’s Church
The World’s Largest Lamp
The grain elevators of Forestburg
The “Bog in the Burg” mud bogging event at Forestburg
We opted to stay closer to home this weekend than we have been lately. We still wanted to get outside so we took Tucker the Dog out for a walk along some trails near the village of Waiparous. This small series of trails is actually a hidden gem in the foothills of Alberta.