Crowsnest Pass History Tour

There are some places you can visit over and over again and still never have enough time to see it all. That’s how I feel about the Crowsnest Pass region in southern Alberta.

I have been visiting this region since I was a child and it continues to fascinate me. And, even to this day, we continue to discover new places that I didn’t know about or uncover new stories I haven’t heard. There is so much to see and do in “The Pass”.

This is a two-part video series from our weekend in the Crowsnest.

Part One:

  • Bellevue Mine underground tour
  • Crowsnest Museum
  • Alberta Provincial Police Barracks
  • Leitch Collieries

Part Two:

  • Passburg Cemetery
  • Hillcrest Cemetery / Hillcrest Mine Disaster Memorial
  • Following the rum runners along old alignments of Highway 3
  • Frank Slide
  • Lundbreck Falls
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Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

Heading out to check out the foundation of a creamery which existed on the site back in the 1890s.

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An Abandoned Picnic Shelter in the Woods

Exploring history doesn’t always mean seeking out the biggest sites or the most famous objects. In this video, we go out seeking an abandoned picnic shelter hidden in the woods of Kananaskis. Steps from the highway but hidden from view and sitting alone for decades, a true relic from the early days of automobile travel in the area.

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Sunshine Auto Camp

This weekend I learned about a place from Calgary’s past I had never heard of before — the Sunshine Auto Camp. Let’s dig a little into its history and see what we can learn about it.

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Grain Elevators of Milk River

With all three grain elevators in Milk River, Alberta currently undergoing demolition, it was time to get on the road and document these soon-to-be-gone giants of the skyline.

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Exploring Skunk Hollow, Alberta

Skunk Hollow was a town located west of Water Valley, Alberta near the location where Silver Creek flows into the Little Red Deer River.

The town got its start in 1904 when two coal mines opened in the area. It was a short-lived community as the mines closed in the 1920s and the people moved away. At its peak, the population was about 75, but the town had many of the features you would expect of a town in that era: general store, post office, and dance hall.

The children of Skunk Hollow were educated at Bituma School, which opened in 1914 at a site about two kilometres east of Skunk Hollow. From what I found online, Bituma School operated up until 1958. At some point when the road was upgraded the school building was moved but I do not know where nor what its fate was.

At some point after the town ceased to exist, the area was home to a campground. During the floods of 2005 the bridge used to access the campground was washed away and the campground was never reopened.

Today the area is home to the William J. Bagnall Wilderness Park and offers some light hiking, picnic tables, and opportunity for exploration. Come check it out with us:

I have only been to this area once before, back in February of 2014. We need to come back at some point when the creek is lower (or we have more appropriate footwear) so we can explore further. Perhaps we should bring the drone with us so we can see if we can spot any remnants of the mining operations from the air.

As always, thanks for following our adventures and if you have more information about Skunk Hollow please share it either in the comments here, on our Facebook page, on Twitter, or on YouTube.

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The Badlanders

If you have been following us for any length of time, you know we are big fans of the National Film Board of Canada movie called “Every Saturday Night”. We have made special trips out to places like Garden Plain just to see where some of it was filmed.

The stars of the show are certainly the band — The Badlanders. We made a trip out to Drumheller to purchase an album by band and then take the chance to explore a great abandoned place called Taylor Siding, down in one of the many valleys in the area.

DanOCan.com video “The Badlanders”
“Every Saturday Night” by the National Film Board of Canada
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