Category Archives: Back In Time

Niagara of the Foothills

The picture above is of Lundbreck Falls, located on the Crowsnest River in southwest Alberta. It’s a vintage, hand-tinted photograph produced by the Gowen Sutton Company of Vancouver. The photograph was taken circa 1903 by the photography team of Marks and Buchanan, who operated a photo studio in the town of Frank, some 18 kilometers (12 miles) away. The title of the print is “Lundbreck Falls, Alberta – The Niagara of the Foothills.”

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Vintage First Nations Postcards

The colorful image shown above is of a 1941 postcard from Glacier National Park, Montana. The photograph was taken by a renowned American photographer, Tomar Jacob Hileman (1882-1945). I came across this linen postcard several years ago and thought it was quite interesting. It’s not a rare postcard by any means, but what drew my attention to it was the vivid colors of the garments worn by the two Blackfeet women. After more than 75 years, the colors in this image are as vibrant as the day the postcard was sold to a tourist visiting the park. Continue reading »

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Flashback 1967 – Canada’s Centennial

If you are Canadian and are of my generation, or older, you probably remember some of the celebrations and festivities that occurred in 1967, the year we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Confederation of our country. With our 150th birthday less than two weeks away, I couldn’t help but think back to the spring and summer of 1967. Continue reading »

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Emperor Pick – The Bottle King

Crowsnest Pass would have been an exciting place to be during the early 1920s. It was in its heyday then and there was always something going on, in one way or another. There was plenty of hustle and bustle in each of the towns, with people constantly coming and going from one place to another. The Pass also had its share of interesting characters back then. One such person was Emilio Picariello, proprietor of the Blairmore Hotel. Among most residents of the area, he was known simply as, “Emperor Pick.”

The years leading up to the Roaring Twenties were good for the Emperor. He had become a successful and respected businessman in his own right, but it would all come to a sad and tragic end shortly after 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 21, 1922.
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Glass From the Passt

It’s something we don’t see much anymore, but at one time telegraph lines stretched across Canada like spider webs, from coast to coast. Many of these lines followed the right of way that railroads provided, and in many instances were owned by these very same railroad companies. Such was the case in Crowsnest Pass, with the coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1898. During construction of the rail line through the Pass, the company also erected their own telegraph line. It would provide them with an important means of communication in the construction process, and later, assist with the day-to-day operation of their railway. Not only would the telegraph line help to run the railway, it would also provide a valuable service to the general public. In doing so, it became an extremely profitable venture for the railway company. Miles upon miles of wire, attached to thousands upon thousands of glass or porcelain insulators, high atop an endless number of wooden telegraph poles, would make it possible for anyone to send messages to distant places in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take to send a letter, via conventional mail.
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Canadian Snapshots – The Frank Slide

Here’s an interesting photograph that appeared on a postcard, published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1939. The CBC was still in its infancy then and had only been around three years. The postcard promoted a radio program called Canadian Snapshots. The show aired weekly for two years (1939 – 1940) on the national network. Its announcers were CBC personalities Lorne Greene and J. Frank Willis. Each half-hour episode “turned the lens of the radio camera to the wonders and oddities of Canada.” According to the CBC digital archive website, the program was … “chock full of skits and short dramatic pieces, and augmented with actualities (the relatively new phenomena of onsite reporting). Canadian Snapshots brought the vast panorama of the country to the airwaves to tempt the tourist’s taste.” Crowsnest Pass, and more specifically, the Frank Slide, was highlighted as a Special Events feature on the program. The episode aired 77 years ago today, on November 29, 1939. Continue reading »

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Early Newspapers in Crowsnest Pass

Blairmore Enterprise - 1911

Blairmore Enterprise – 1911
(click image for larger view)

One of the best ways to learn about events that occurred in the past is by looking through old newspapers. Sometimes, you can rediscover things that have been forgotten over time by reading the original stories and articles, as published in the periodicals of the day.

Today, it’s possible to go online and view many historical newspapers from around the world, including some of the ones published right here in Crowsnest Pass. Continue reading »

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Snapshots of the Past

Blairmore, Alta. - Crow's Nest Pass (ca. 1905-1910)

Blairmore, Alta. – Crow’s Nest Pass (ca. 1905-1910)
(click image for larger view)

I always enjoy looking at old photographs such as those found on vintage postcards. When viewing them, it can be like going back in time. The images on these postcards can reveal a lot of historical information, whether it’s about people, places, or events. These snapshots of the past can also help us to better understand what daily life was like, back in the day.

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