Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Dickson Store Museum - Now and Then

You all know that I love a good 'now and then' image and story.  Today's subject is the Dickson Store Museum in Dickson, Alberta. First let's get some history of Dickson! It is the oldest Danish settlement in Western Canada and was settled in 1903 by 17 Danish settlers who made their way there from Nebraska. 2 of these settlers, Carl and Laura Christiansen, opened a post office in their home in 1905  and then in 1909 built and opened the General Store and lived on the 2nd floor.  The Christiansen Family operated the store right up until 1980.  

Restoration on the store began in 1987 and officially opened as a museum in 1991. You can now visit the store as it would have looked in the 1930's, view the living quarters upstairs, and enjoy an ice cream cone in the ice cream room!

While you are in Dickson, you might as well head down the road (less than a KM) and visit the Danish Canadian Museum which is another great place to learn the history and culture of the Danish Canadians. Viking Days is one of our favourite events as well as the Haunted Forest in October. Both the Dickson Store Museum and Danish Canadian Museum are seasonal but with special events happening outside operating months.  

Dickson Store 1909 (From Dickson Store Museum Facebook)

Dickson Store c.1918 Courtesy of the Glenbow Archives

Dickson Store 1981 (From Dickson Store Museum Facebook)

Dickson Store 1992 after restoration. (From Dickson Store Museum Facebook)

Taken by me on our visit August 5th, 2021.

The Dickson area is also home to the Dickson Dam and Provincial Recreational Areas with all the outdoor amenities! So much to do in this part of Central Alberta and only a short drive from where I live!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Fall Photo Roundup

I love Fall, it's my favourite week of the year. If you know, you know. Seems like one day the trees are turning yellow and the next day they're almost bare. I will take it though, we have had a very nice autumn so far and it really is my favourite time of year. 

Also, we are celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. Technically Thanksgiving is tomorrow, October 11th, but I think a lot of people do their big dinner today. There was no getting together with family this year but instead a nice quiet dinner at home complete with all the usual turkey day fixings. Fun fact, I had to go to 5 different grocery stores before I found a turkey. I guess that is what I get for leaving that little detail until the last minute. So, Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends, may you always find a turkey at the first store you go to.   

I hope you enjoyed the images and thanks for sticking by me and my blog, which seems to have become a bi-annual publication at this point. Have a great week ahead!

Monday, July 12, 2021

Miette Aquacourt and Hot Springs

Hello! Even though I have a love for abandoned things...I have not abandoned this blog. I just wasn't up to anything really blog worthy. I hope you are all doing well and thanks for reading!

We spent the day in Jasper National Park. This beautiful park is located in the Rocky Mountains, about 20 minutes from the border to British Columbia. I recommend making plans ahead of time though if you want to hike or do other outdoor activities. I had no plan and just stopped wherever looked interesting. Also, normally the mountain views would be amazing but they were a bit hazy when we visited. Likely due to smoke blowing in from a wildfire. 

One of the places we stopped was the Miette Hot Springs and Cabins. After a very windy road in, and then a short walk from the main parking area, are the ruins of the original Miette Aquacourt which operated from 1938-1984. 

According to the Parks Canada Website, the history of the Miette Hot Springs goes back to the 1800's when First Nations persons showed the locations of 3 hot springs to members of the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company. In 1910, a foot or horseback only trail brought in only the most determined bathers. 1913 brought the construction of log bathhouse and sleeping shelter. In 1919, striking miners from the nearby (and now gone) town of Pocahontas, build a temporary bathhouse and 2 sweat houses.

Finally, in 1934, the increasing popularity of the hot springs in the area, prompted the construction of a proper road and permanent 'aquacourt' facilities. Built as a depression unemployment relief project, it opened up work to several hundred men who completed the facility in 1938. 

By 1984, the aquacourt was closed due to unstable rocks on the surrounding slopes, weakening concrete, aging equipment, over crowding, and poor access. The new and current facility opened about a kilometer from the original in 1986.

Here are some images from the Provincial Archives of Alberta:

Exact date unknow but after 1909

c1934-1938 during construction

c. after 1938

c. 1950 from Parks Canada 

Now that you've seen the 'then' photos, here is the Miette Aquacourt today (or yesterday to be exact...). I would have loved to be here in the winter, it must have been beautiful!

Notice the cement border around the grass and trees on the left side of the photo, that
was the pool. Now filled in and with trees. This part of the trail is actually the old pool deck. 

Around the back of the ruins.

Continue on the path, and you will reach the source of the hot springs. 

There are actually 3 hot springs along here but this is the largest and fastest flowing. It was very hot (55C) and had a very strong Sulphur smell. This water comes from about 1500ft down. 

I really enjoyed this detour and wish I could stay longer. One day in Jasper National Park is not enough.