Wednesday, May 12, 2021
The picture on the front of this post card shows what the diesel engine number 9000 looks like with a similarly painted B unit as it hauls freight out of Oshawa, Ontario on April 3, 1953. The locomotive
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
The picture on the front of this post card is of a streetcar that used to ply
Friday, April 23, 2021
https://www.greatamericanstations.com/stations/elizabethtown-pa-elt/ The Elizabethtown depot first opened to the public in 1915, and was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). Strategically sited with entrances on the north and south sides of the embankment that supports the railroad right-of-way, the station easily served residents of the Masonic Homes and the town. Visually, the depot clearly references the architecture of the nearby Masonic Grand Lodge Hall which was designed in the Collegiate Gothic style by the well-known Philadelphia-based firm of Zantzinger, Borie & Medary. The cornerstone of the Grand Lodge Hall was laid in 1911; two years later, the architects were hired by the PRR to draw up plans for an improved passenger station. The one story structure features a steep, gabled slate roof and a tall chimney. Walls of rough Holmesburg granite are laid in a random ashlar pattern that is accented by smooth-cut Indiana limestone used for window and door trim as well as coping. The passenger waiting room, which features warm, rich wood paneling and decorative roof trusses, is brightened by sunlight that enters through a tall window on the west façade. Passengers exit the station to access staircases to the platforms, as well as the tunnel to the south side of the embankment. The station site also includes a free-standing tower that houses an elevator to transport passengers between the station grounds and the platforms located on the top of the embankment. Wikipedia adds this information to the mix: Because of the construction of an embankment at nearby Bainbridge Street, the Pennsylvania Railroad was forced to build a new station at West High Street in 1900. After 15 years, the Pennsylvania replaced the station. The post card was mailed on March 29, 1915. This makes me wonder if this isn't a picture of the first station that was built at Elizabethtown. So, it is either a historic picture of a station that is no more, or it is a historic first picture of the new station.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
https://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=8791&pid=0 The Macdonald Hotel, built in the derivative Canadian Chateau style of the grand railway hotels, is one of Edmonton's foremost symbolic and visual landmarks. Fronting on 100 Street and MacDougall Hill adjacent to Frank Oliver Memorial Park in Edmonton's downtown core, it's strategically situated, L-shaped form and seven-storey Indiana limestone facades present a dignified and solid presence overlooking Edmonton's North Saskatchewan River valley. Heritage Value Completed in 1915 and named after Sir John A. MacDonald, the "Mac", as it has become affectionately known, is significant for its strong association with Edmontonians' social, cultural and political history as exemplified by the intense civic rancor when it closed its doors in 1983 and the protracted negotiations that led to its careful restoration and extraordinarily well received public reopening celebration in May of 1991. The centrepiece for royal visits, graduations, family birthdays, and a wide range of other occasions, the "Mac" continues to be a major contributor to Edmonton's collective memory. The Macdonald Hotel is architecturally significant as an expression of the Chateau style preferred by Canadian transcontinental railways for their hotels, a style derived from French Renaissance-era chateaux. Characterized by high-pitched dormered roofs and inspired by French architectural elements, the Macdonald Hotel was designed for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway by architects Ross and MacFarlane, who also designed the Fort Garry Hotel and the Chateau Laurier. Built by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and later owned by both the Canadian National Railway (CNR) and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), the MacDonald Hotel symbolizes Edmonton's participation in the great transcontinental railway initiatives of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Macdonald Hotel's substantial visual landmark status can be attributed to its distinctive architecture and prominent location overlooking the North Saskatchewan River escarpment. Source: City of Edmonton (Bylaw: 7700) Character-Defining Elements The Canadian Chateaux style is expressed in character-defining elements such as: - the form, massing and scale of the L-shaped building; - the recessed diagonal entranceway and perpendicular wings and turret; - the steeply sloped dormered roofs including roof features such as high chimneys, projecting towers, turret roof and finials; - the five arches of the entrance portico with order expression of four pillars and two pilasters including stone detailing such as gargoyles and provincial crests of the four western provinces; - the major defining elements on all facades such as pilasters, balustrades, balconettes, overhangs, brackets, cornices, arches and keystones and other stone detailing; - mouldings and decorative elements on all facades including hood mouldings, dentils, and panels; - all blind arcades, windows and door openings, arched windows, leaded glass transoms, windowsills and transoms; - all architectural metals such as copper roofing, cornices, bracketing and decorative eavestrough. The cultural landscape and landmark character-defining elements of the Macdonald Hotel include: - the Frank Oliver Memorial Park between the Macdonald Hotel and Jasper Avenue; - the relationship of the building to MacDougall Hill, Jasper Avenue and 100th Street; - the open space adjacent to the rear facades of the building overlooking the North Saskatchewan River valley; - the views of the North Saskatchewan River valley from the hotel and adjacent grounds; the open space and gardens at the east side of the building.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Like last week’s blog post, I am honouring the family history of a friend of mine. He gave me this post card about which I am blogging today, the post card from last week’s blog, and a few more post cards yet to come. This post card shows a locomotive at the station in Ponoka, Alberta. The picture was taken around 1910, but the post card was mailed on June 4, 1912. http://forthjunction.ca/news-ponokanews-0214-roadandrail.htm One of Ponoka's first buildings, the Canadian Pacific Railway Station was built in 1891 and served our community and districts for 77 years. Siding 14 began in 1890 as a solitary railway depot, which was inhabited by the section crew and a caretaker for the nearby octagonal wooden water tower, which was fed from a small reservoir in the Battle River by a windmill driven pump. As a vital supply point for the huge steam locomotives, these structures would be our modest beginnings, and soon welcomed hundreds of railway workers, settlers, labourers, professionals, and businessmen looking to establish their homes, their farms, and their livelihoods here. Due to the demand on the facility and the event of the steel rails reaching the Ponoka siding from both directions, the community's first official building, the big brown station was built in 1891. The classic 'B' type train depot included a long loading platform and a waiting room, which in the winter was heated by a stove all night long to accommodate incoming railway travellers or locals looking to get warm. A landmark at the end of Chapman Avenue, the water tower also supplied a nearby hydrant to assist our local fire department with the dousing of many fires that occurred in the countless wooden buildings now being built in the community. It became obsolete with the Canadian Pacific Railway's conversion to the powerful diesel locomotive in the 1950s, then was dismantled and rebuilt as a granary on a farm north of town, and still stands to this day. The men working on the tracks with wagon teams and heavy equipment in those days had no easy life, facing backbreaking tasks, long hours, sickness (influenza and other maladies), unpredictable conditions, and low wages of just $1.50 per day. Those with teams were paid $2.50 a day and board, while teamsters received $25.00 a month and board in the village. Most camped beside the river as they moved along with the crew, while some stayed in the station with the agent and family, and only a few could afford the $4.00 a week room and board in Ponoka. Early historians claim that during the construction of the railway, a massive stock pile of wooden ties near Morningside stretching half a mile were piled over 50 feet high, with some remnants still remaining to this very day. It wasn't long before three daily trains were arriving in the Ponoka station, quickly setting the daily rhythm of this now bustling town (1904), with a steady influx of freight, mail, and passengers, who may either make this community their new home or move on down the line. While Dick Slater and his dray were delivering supplies throughout the community, freight and grain cars would rest on the siding while they were loaded from elevator row or with livestock from the stock yard. Mail was sorted on board the train, so service was prompt, and passengers could now reach Lacombe in comfort in just 20 minutes. That busy train station was the 'heart of Ponoka' for many decades, the centre of heavy traffic and supplies, a friendly place to pop in and purchase a ticket, and on many occasions the spot where hundreds gathered to greet the arrival of their hockey team, a celebrity, or family and special friends. Rail passenger and local freight traffic would steadily decline as highways improved and car and truck ownership grew. The historical train station was demolished in 1968 to make way for a new Shopping Centre development, while the speedy Calgary/Edmonton day liner service was discontinued several years later. The main C.P.R. line is now very busy day and night with long freight trains hauling every type of cargo, but the fond memories will always remain of those shrill whistles blowing both day and night or of the long plumes of smoke that billowed from those big black steam engines as they lumbered into and through town 24-7 with their precious cargo, always followed very closely by that now long extinct old caboose. http://forthjunction.ca/cpr-stations.htm Wood Combination Station and Freight House (1891) The Calgary & Edmonton Railway was constructed from Calgary to Red Deer in the fall of 1890 and continued on to Edmonton the following spring. Stations were primarily boxcars until, in 1891, the railway built a cookie-cutter combination station and freight house approximately every twenty miles along the route. Each was constructed in about three weeks. They started out virtually identical but over the next several years, modifications were made to each station to make them more functional according to the needs of the community and station master resulting in some distinction but the primary characteristics remained. Besides Red Deer, this design was built south at Innisfail, Olds, Carstairs and Airdrie. North of Red Deer, they were built at Lacombe, Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Leduc and Strathcona. By 1914, the stations at Red Deer, Lacombe, Wetaskiwin and Strathcona were replaced by larger stations and the original stations were relocated and converted to freight sheds that were in use until the 1950s. The stations at Ponoka, Innisfail and Olds remained as the principal station also until the 1950s. The Innisfail and Olds stations were replaced by unimaginative and utilitarian cinder block buildings. South of Calgary, similar stations were built at High River, Claresholm, Okotoks, Nanton, and De Winton. The Calgary & Edmonton Railway (owned partially by railway builders McKenzie and Mann as well as James Ross, a contractor with the CPR) leased the line to the CPR until the CPR purchased it outright. The back of the post card tells us that the Campbell Drug Company of Ponoka was the seller of the card. Check out this website for more history: https://www.ponokanews.com/community/reflections-when-ponoka-got-water-power-and-phone-lines/ The first telephone pole to be installed in Ponoka along the Bell Telephone Company Calgary to Edmonton phone-line was set up across the street from the present Royal Hotel in 1903. A hot item of interest in the Sept. 9, 1906 edition of the Ponoka Herald would report that Bell and the local town council were now involved in a ‘heated scrap’, as the telephone company had gone to work erecting poles on almost every street and back alley of the new town without getting permission from the city fathers. Thankfully this little spat was settled quite amicably and the first telephone office was opened that same year at the back of Dr. Campbell’s Drug Store in the Baadsgaard Building along Chipman Avenue. Sidney Bird pharmacist and property owner in Ponoka, first opened a drug store in Ponoka in 1910, and then took over the Campbell Drug Store in 1916.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
This post card was given to me just this past week by a friend who respects history and its preservation. This post card was sent from one of his ancestoral relatives to another relative back in 1915. I want to respect that history and so I am entering it into my blog this week. There are several more to follow.