Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hay Lakes: A Creamery, a Barn and More!

I did say a few posts back that, this year, I would boldly go where I haven't gone before. So far the year is off to a good start as I visited a bunch of unexplored places already and returned to some old local spots. I also have a couple of trips coming up that will be full of unexplored back roads!

Hay Lakes, AB was one of the new to me places. It wasn't on my list of places to go that day but the friends we were meeting suggested we meet there to see a couple of the local sights, as they are very familiar with the area.

First we stopped at the old Creamery. It was built in 1923 by Edmonton City Dairy, in 1924 it was taken over by Burns and Company. They constructed additions to the creamery to include a cheese making plant and an egg grading station. The Creamery was then sold in 1944 to the Northern Alberta Dairy Pool. It closed for good in 1969 and was sold the following year.

I love this building. I understand that the current owner uses it but it's too bad it likely will never be restored to it's former condition. It think it should be a designated historic building.

c. 1929 Alberta Provincial Archives

c.1940 Alberta Provincial Archives

c.2018 Jenn 
Just down the block on the east edge of town is what's left of a homestead. There is a big barn, a couple of outbuildings and an old water pump. This land is potentially being slated for redevelopment. It would be a shame to lose this old barn but that is the reality these days.




Here are a couple of interesting buildings on Main Street:

Former garage or implement dealer?

An old store front

Google Image
Hay Lakes has another interesting bit of history attached to it that I read about after I was there so I didn't actually see the site. In 1876 Hay Lakes was the location of the western terminus of the telegraph line. However, by 1879 the line was extended to Edmonton and the Hay Lakes location was closed. The area is now known as Telegraph Park the site was given Provincial historic designation in 1976.  There is more on this here.

In conclusion, I am glad we took the time to explore Hay Lakes and always stop and explore something new.

Have you found something cool or unexpected while out for a drive?





31 comments:

  1. Nothing says "small one-horse prairie town" like those old false-front stores!

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    1. True! I love finding them! I found one sitting in the middle of a field this summer. Nothing nearby but cows.

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  2. Hay Lakes, a forgotten town it seems. I love seeing the photos and reading the history but somehow it makes me a little sad that things just got left behind like that! The buildings are so nice.

    When I'm out for a drive and I see a smile on someone's sour face, that surprises me lol! Seriously though, there isn't much to explore around here because it's all private property and folks are serious about not letting anyone in.

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    1. Hi Rain, I was surprise to read there are a few hundred people in town.
      I think the problem around here is that with some of these abandoned farms being remote, it's impossible to keep people out unfortunately, some people don't respect the no trespassing rules.

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  3. I can remember back in the late '70s and early '80s when Hay Lakes was still quite a bustling little village. It's mostly a bedroom community now for larger centres like Camrose, Nisku, and even Edmonton. Great research you did on the creamery Jenn, and maybe next time, we can visit Telegraph Park. I'm glad we had the opportunity that day to show you around the area.

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    1. Thanks Tim, that trip has provided endless things to write about and research!

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  4. I love the buildings you find and the places you explore Jenn. Not much exploring going on here until spring!

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    1. Thanks Marie! I will keep exploring as long as the weather permits! Are you getting a ton of snow out east?

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  5. It seems that time has passed this place by. Terrific shots!

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    1. Hi William, it seems to be a quite place but it close enough to some bigger centres that it will probably just keep on keeping on! ;-)

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  6. Hay Lakes must have been a happening place in its day! I especially like the creamery building and the barn. Only recently I learned that arched roofs such as the one on this barn are called rainbow roofs...sounds exotic and magical all at the same time. :-)

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    1. Hi Michael! I haven't heard that term before but I like it! I always referred to them as gothic arch barns...my personal fave type over the hip roof. LOL yes I have favourite barn type.

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    2. Hay Lakes used to have a rockin' little hotel!

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    3. Was it the local watering hole? I didn't see anything like that there.

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    4. It burned down several years ago, Jenn. It was located in the empty lot right across from the gas station, where we met up with you that day.

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  7. The old barn would make a beautiful home for someone with vision.

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    1. Hi Gorges...I agree! Would have a lot of character that's for sure.

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  8. I love that old creamery building and the barns. It's a shame that the creamery is not designated as a historical building. It could serve as a museum or something that schools would take a class to on a field trip. A great way to illustrate how life was back in the day.
    Fantastic photos Jenn and great reportage.

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    1. That's what we're trying to do with the old creamery in Donalda.

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  9. I don't think the old barn has much hope left

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    1. Hi Adam, likely the best that can be hoped for now is that the wood will be salvaged.

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  10. Great pictures of the old buildings.

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    1. Thanks Danielle! They fascinate me.

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  11. So many lovely old buildings, Hay Lakes was probably a pretty little town at some point. Was surprised to hear there are still some people living here it has a kind of deserted look about it. Fascinating to visit and try and imagine how it once was. Great job on documenting your visit Jenn.

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    1. Thanks PDP, I was surprised when I saw how many people live there. I guess I didn't go down too many of the residential streets. Main Street has the cool stuff!

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  12. Another interesting report! Thanks Jenn.

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    1. Thanks Frank! If only exploring all these places was a paid job!

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  13. Interesting blog
    thanks
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Thanks Ol'Buzzard! I enjoy finding these off the beaten path places.

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  14. Amazing find for me. Feeling nostalgic I decided to look at an area I enjoyed in my three years living in Edmonton. I was a nanny in my last job in Leduc yet my social life extended to working in the hotel in Hay Lakes in the mid to late 70's. I became close to the Sheridans that owned it at the time, they were Irish yet came from the UK. The hotel was very lively Fridays and Saturdays, followed by the cafe being busy on a Saturday morning. I have wonderful memories of those that drank there regularly from New Sarepta and in the village itself and parties after closing time. I expected to read a huge growth in population and possibly not so sleepy. Thanks for this blog, ifs lovely.

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    1. Glad you found this post and it was able to bring back some memories!

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