Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hat to GPK Virtual Trip

HI Marston


Can you believe it? Another major snowstorm? This one dropped 75 cms or 30 inches of snow tonight all the way from Pincher Creek to Wild Horse.. It all came out of the states courtesy of the State of Montana. Actually I think we sent them this sort of weather about 2 weeks ago.  Right about this time of spring, they get fed up with it and send it back...


Well on the road, I met another Photo artist by the name of Chris Attrell. He has a web site where Ghost town buffs can post their pictures. He gave me permission to copy some to the blog and here they are.   There are many, many ghost towns on this route. for instance Scotsguard.  These towns were spawned by the railway and this one was really colourful. By 1915 it had restaurants, dance hall, hotel, pool hall, and even a theatre. In fact it earned the name of " Little Chicago" because of the many gambling and booze joints. It was all kept under control by a lone policeman by the name of Luke Willy. Wiley Willey could stop a man in his tracks by shouting" Stop, in the name of the Law” Didn’t do a lot of good because during the roaring twenties when prohibition was in force, bootleggers and rum runners flourished.  In Admiral, about 3 miles away, one of the current three and only residents, is quoted as saying " My Dad told me a story of one bootlegger ( no, that does not mean a legger with only one boot) who was reported to be a woman. One night the police raided her place but found her sick in bed. It wasn't until much later they found out that's where she hid her liquor"


The town was first called Notukeu, pronounced NOT-A CUE, but the pool and snooker oriented populace already knew it wasn't a cue and coupled with the fact there actually was a town called by that name in Saskatchewan, they changed it to Scotsguard. By 1941, the town had 6 grain elevators, a stockyard, three lumberyards, three hardware stores, 2 auto garages, a drug store, two grocery stores, an insurance office, 2 livery barns, three churches, a bank and an ice cream parlour.


Today that’s all gone.  Depression, drought, the world war which drew away all its youth and man power, and finally a fire that destroyed 11 building in 1941 have all combined to strip all these places of their former hope and aspirations.

Mr Hagen collects antique cars but his main passion is preserving the history of this town. He is replacing the street name signs and owns several building including the jail and the two sheet curling rink.


Traveling the back roads is the most amazing experience. It’s easy and a tragedy if we forget our history but its even worse to ignore or dismiss the vibrant lives of so many vibrant and colourful people that make up Canada today.



Doug G

Thanks Doug


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