|Sylvan Lake CNR Train Station - courtesy Sylvan Lake Archives|
I have lived in Alberta my whole life and I can say with certainty that there is no other place in the province like Sylvan Lake. It's more than just the beach, the lake and nice vacation homes. There is a rich history here including a few interesting historic buildings left from the early days of Sylvan Lake. My 2 favourites are the Stone Castle and the Stone House, both are a block or 2 from the lake (a stones throw you could say!).
The Stone House, also built in 1912, is closer to the lake and was originally a residence and then various businesses over the years, but it is currently vacant and for sale. (I'm looking for investors, I think it would make a great tea house/book store!) At one point in 1980 it was condemned due to the old wiring but the family raised the money to have it replaced. I saw inside briefly last year and was glad to see some original woodwork and other details. The narrow steep staircase to the upper floor made me wonder how any furniture ever made it up there. It also has a dirt basement accessible from the back yard. I spoke to a lady who worked there when it was a spa and she told me that it is haunted. She experienced strange things there that can't be explained. The rumored spirit is a little girl who drowned years ago in the lake. When I was there I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, it was just very empty and quiet.
|Ozarks Cabin today|
Next time you are in Sylvan Lake, take the time to visit these places and to read the plaques along Lakeshore Drive, the path by the lake and various other places around town. They have a wealth of historical information and photos from the archives, My kinda thing....I'll even show you around and finish the tour with a drink at the old Dingwalls Boarding House. Cheers!
|Stone Castle and Holbrook Cottage - Sylvan Lake Archives|
|Courtesy of the Sylvan Lake Archives|
|Dingwalls Boarding House, now Hazzard County Bar & Grill|
Special thanks to the Sylvan Lake Archives who answered my questions and provided me with photos and information. Oh to have seen some of these places..especially the Dance Halls!
Cool photos and more history can be found through these links:
January 9th, 2016 **UPDATE**
The Stone House is now home to a new business called Crafted for the Home. They sell art and craft items from local vendors. Yours truly might have something in store soon! Stay tuned!