Tag Archives: crowsnest pass history

Opening Day – 2023

The fishing season on our local trout streams officially opened today. While a couple of rivers around here, including the Crowsnest, are open year-round, most close at the end of October. It’s been 8-1/2 months since anyone has fished these waters.

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Blairmore Cemetery Repair Work

There are about a dozen heritage cemeteries located in Crowsnest Pass. Many of the early citizens and founding members of our communities are buried here. Some of their graves date to the early 1900s. Many of the descendants of these people have also passed away or no longer live here. As a result, some gravesites have been neglected over the years and have fallen into disrepair. Exposure to the elements, combined with the growth of trees, bushes, and other vegetation, has taken its toll, particularly on some of the older graves.

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Harvest of Memories Gala and Fundraiser

Late September is usually the time of year where a lot of folks enjoy attending the annual Harvest of Memories Gala and Fundraiser in Crowsnest Pass. This event raises funds crucial for the operation of the Crowsnest Museum. Despite the cancellation of numerous events scheduled for Crowsnest Pass this year, due to COVID-19, the Harvest of Memories Gala will proceed “virtually” this Saturday (September 26), starting at 7:00 pm.

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Garage Sale Surprise

Several weeks ago, I stopped in at a garage sale at a local church near my home. The sale is held twice a year – once in spring and again in autumn. All of the items are donated. Nothing is priced, and if you find something you like, you simply make an offer. If it’s a reasonable amount, it’s yours.

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Something to Crow About

For years, small towns located along busy highways and byways have erected larger-than-life roadside attractions, in hopes of drawing tourists to their communities. Often, these “world’s biggest” attractions are sculptures representing something the town is known for, such as an industry, local wildlife, or some other familiar symbol. Continue reading »

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Tribute to Cutch

Southern Alberta lost a true gentleman and sportsman last week, with the passing of Joseph “Joey” Coccioloni, a long-time resident of Pincher Creek. Joey was born in Coleman, Crowsnest Pass on November 17, 1929, and passed away November 29, 2017. He was in his 88th year.

“Cutch,” as he was called by his friends, was the quintessential outdoorsman, and epitomized the meaning of what a real mountain man was like.

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Canada Day – Saturday

Saturday is July 1st – Canada Day! We’ll be celebrating our 150th birthday, the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of our Confederation. Until recently, I was not familiar with the word sesquicentennial. It’s not a word you hear every day and it’s certainly not easy to pronounce, either.
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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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