No, not some long lost love from junior high – Laura, Saskatchewan.
Dubbed by Mike Stobbs as “The Town That Leans”, Laura was home to a church with a noticeable tilt, along with a pretty badly broken spine. It was one of those places I had driven past many times and I had even taken note of the interesting church since it was quite visible from the highway. It wasn’t until the second Ghost Town Convention stopped by Laura that I actually had a chance to really check out the ole girl. I’m glad I did too, for the church has since collapsed, presumably under its own weight. The last time I drove by the only thing still intact was the steeple.
Laura wasn’t on my mind when I caught a glimpse of an old church sitting in the town of Aldersyde last Friday. I made a note that I would have to investigate that church the next time I was passing by.
The Laura Lean, Saskatchewan Style
Well, “the next time” ended up being today. I was northbound on Highway 2A and I decided I shouldn’t waste the opportunity. A quick detour off the highway and soon I was parked across the road from your typical old prairie church.
The first three things I noted were the stained glass was intact on the west side, completely missing on the east. Then I noticed all the rabbits. It would appear the Aldersyde church is home to a ton of the furry creatures. The third thing was the property was marked with multiple signs warning people to stay away as the building had been deemed unsafe. Unsafe? Sure, every abandoned building is unsafe at some basic level.
The Laura Lean, Alberta Style
The I noticed the lean. A distinct lean to the east, as it were. It is as if the church is finally giving up after fighting the chinook winds which have hammered it from the west since it was erected. Slowly but surely she is surrendering to the ravages of time, the inevitable increase in entropy which is the ultimate fate of anything which is left abandoned.
As I drove away I wondered how many more times I will be able to drive along the highway and see her standing there. I drove away thinking of Laura.