Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Coronation is the new Haneyville

Old Barn, near Haneyville 
I took an impromptu trip to Coronation, AB with a friend and her daughter this last weekend. She knows the things I like to take pictures of and her family and relatives were pioneers and are homesteaders of that area so she showed me old barns, houses, cemeteries, an abandoned town and a couple old grain elevators. It was an awesome day and seeing my friend reliving old memories was priceless.

Google map view of the cemetery
We stopped at Haneyville Cemetery on our travels. Haneyville is NW of Coronation about 12km.  As you can see by the photo, most of the cemetery is unused. They likely set aside a large area for the cemetery while envisioning the population boom when the railroad came. This sadly, was not meant to be.





Just east of the cemetery is Arkona School. It opened in 1908. It was named after the hometown of some of the first homesteaders from Arkona, ON. Mrs. Evelyn Towns, from Arkona, became one of the first school teachers. I am not sure when the school closed but it still sits on a quiet corner, as it always has.

By 1910, Haneyville had a couple of stores, a stopping house, barn, post office, and a school. It was Mr. E.R. Haney who owned and operated the stopping house, feed barn and mill as well as one of the stores.

In September of 1911 the long awaited CPR railroad was built into what would soon become Coronation (it was incorporated in December of 1911). The railroad bypassed the growing community of Haneyville by 2 1/2 miles. This was essentially a death sentence for the town. Lots in the Coronation town site were bought and the Haneyville buildings were moved. Only the stopping house and school buildings remained. The stopping house became a residence. The Haney Store was moved and became the Star Theater in Coronation. The Haney's ran the theater then later they also owned and operated the Alberta Hotel. Mr. Haney passed away in 1936 and was buried at Haneyville Cemetery.

Arkona School today 

The Big Store at Haneyville, AB (courtesy of the Glenbow Archives)
Haneyville town may be gone but the memories, stories and the families of these pioneers will live on. I have barely touched on the history of the area and highly recommend reading the stories in the local history books. They determination and spirit of the pioneers of Alberta never ceases to amaze me. If you have stories or photos of the area, I am always interested in seeing them and learning more!

Here are a few interesting buildings from Coronation:


I was focused in the Avalon sign, but there is a
big mural on the side featuring the Royal Family

Former Catholic Church
More to come from this day trip including a stop at Bulwark, AB. See you soon!

References: Shadows of the Neutrals; Find a Grave; Pioneering with a Piece of Chalk





25 comments:

  1. Great find. Looking forward to future editions.

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    1. Thanks Vicki! I am lucky I know people in the area.

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  2. Always enjoy reading your posts!

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    1. Thanks BW, I guess this blogging thing isn't too bad.

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  3. Very nice Jenn...that Avalon looks like it could almost be an old theater. I love old cemeteries...the little Frances gravestone took me aback though, considering my last name! Gave me a little bit of the creeps...mind you, I'm in the middle of researching pumpkin carving patterns for Halloween, so maybe I'm in the mood to be spooked! :)

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    1. Hi Rain, yes the Avalon is a theater as well. Yes it was a bit strange to see that little Frances stone laying there, it looked out of place but I didn't want to move it.

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  4. Great article and photos, I haven't been to Coronation for many years. The Avalon was a theatre. It was a pleasant surprise to see a photo of my uncle Jack's shoe store. He used to do the rural mail delivery as well and it was quite an adventure accompanying him as he delivered to many farms and rural post offices.

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    1. Hi Marvin, thanks for reading! That would have been an adventure for sure! I bet he knew everyone in the area. Love the shoe store building.

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  5. Nice post, Jenn. Many of the pioneer cemeteries down here are large (4 acres isn't unusual) with only a small percentage of space taken up by gravesites. Also, sometimes what looks like empty space actually holds unmarked graves.

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    1. Thanks Michael. I wondered, one website says there are 65 interments there but there was definitely not 65 visible.

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  6. Nice post Jenn! I have photographed the Avalon Theatre before too. I love the looks of that building. So retro!

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    1. Thanks Tim! Very retro, I love the sign! It was a great day.

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  7. As a kd lang fan, I really should make a pilgrimage to Coronation some day. Haven't got there yet though!

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    1. Hey Debra! I think she lived in Consort but they are near each other. šŸ˜Š

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  8. That small stone with the name "Frances" may be a footstone (a small marker placed at the foot of a grave). I've seen some in old cemeteries around here and more often than not they were used on children's graves.

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    1. I looked it up, there was a child named Frances buried there. Thanks Michael.

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  9. My grandparents settled near Haneyville SE 2-37-12-W4M in 1910. I apparently have a couple of uncles who died in infancy buried in the Haneyville Cemetery but I couldn't find any trace of them when I visited the area a few years ago.

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    1. Hi Tim, thanks for the comment. I love hearing from people with a connection to the places I visit. It is sad there is no markers for your uncles but as long as there is someone to remember them, they aren't forgotten.

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    2. Please check out the Haneyville Cemetery on Find a Grave. Both of them are mentioned there. I owned this quarter of land for many years.

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  10. I’ve lived in Coronation my whole life & had no idea about this!!

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    1. Cool hey! I love researching and learning about Alberta's history.

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  11. I used to work at the Avalon Theatre when I was around 13 & 14 years old (‘65 & ‘66). Jack Noonan, the town administrator, ran the theatre and Bill Bornyk who managed the Builders Hardware Store was the regular projectionist. It seems everyone did more than one thing to make a living back then. I worked at the theatre with Jack’s son John, who was a friend of mine, and often his daughter Noreen. John and I made and sold popcorn, took tickets at the door and refilled the Coke machine once the movie started. Then we swept or mopped up after the show was over and closed things up. Noreen and sometimes Jack were the ticket sellers. The theatre was later owned by Harry and Gladys Bubel who added a fantastic candy counter to the lobby which sold many exotic items like 3/4” thick peppermint sticks. The Bubel’s also built the Corolon Drive In, “Coro” for Coronation and “lon” from Avalon.

    It was great to see your picture of the Avalon but it was sad to see it’s original Art Deco double doors had been replaced. The originals had a big circle of glass in the upper 2/3rds of the doors with half of the circle in each door. In front of the glass each door had 3 chrome bars on about a 30 degree angle sloping up towards where the doors met in the middle. They created a very Art Deco Sergeants stripe kind of chevron. Very classy against the light of the lobby shining out over them through that large circle of glass. I always admired the Avalon Theatre’s architecture and sometimes wonder if that played a part in my becoming a designer as a career.

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    1. Hi Richard! Thanks for commenting and for the great info. I would have loved to see those Art Deco doors!

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