Bulwark is a true ghost town, not a living soul left there. Just a few scattered buildings, rusty cars and machinery that hint at what used to be.
I have been wanting to see Bulwark for awhile, even before I knew the significance it held to some close friends of mine. Seeing it recently was even more special once I found out that their grandparents (Lundy) homesteaded near Bulwark.
The first post office, originally called Lindsville, operated from 1908-1916. The name was changed to Bulwark, and it as operated as such from 1916-1965. It is speculated that due to Bulwark being in the proximity of royal themed settlements such as Coronation, Consort, and Throne, that Bulwark was named according to that theme. Perhaps a less obvious reference than the aforementioned communities. I am still not exactly sure how a bulwark fits in here, but Bulwark it is!
In the 1960's the railway closed the line that passed Bulwark. The population was already on the decline and the was the proverbial nail in the coffin. Businesses began to close permanently and the people moved away. The last store to close was the Ogilvie General Merchant.
|c.1950's. Ogilvie General Merchant
|c. 1940's. Courtesy of Marvin Dolling.
Down the road from the cemetery is the old townsite. You can see how Google maps shows streets where there is only farmland now. We explored Kitchener Street from Roberts Ave. to Beatty Ave. French Ave. is where the grain elevators once stood, you can still see part of an old grain elevator annex along the long pulled up rail line.
|There is a house in those bushes.
|Rub a dub dub
|Former site of Bulwark School, along former Kitchener Street
|A solid foundation.
Interestingly, the old Pioneer elevator from Bulwark ended up on a farm belonging to another Lundy family member, thus saving it from demolition. Looking north and a bit west from the Lundy elevator you can see a 2nd elevator, also originally from Bulwark and still being used on another farm. The other 3 elevators that used to be in Bulwark are long gone.
|Former Pioneer Grain elevator from Bulwark
Thanks to Cindy and Callee Lundy for letting me tag along. The next post will be about the old homestead! 💖
References: Pioneering with a Piece of Chalk; In the Beginning: A History of Coronation, Throne, Federal and Fleet Districts; Place Names of Alberta Vol. III Central Alberta
Photos taken on Sept 4, 2017.