Thursday, 23 March 2017


                                                 Historic Kiskatinaw Bridge

The Historic Kiskatinaw Bridge is located about 30 km north of Dawson Creek BC. 
Construction of this historic bridge began in late 1942 by Dow Construction, it was one of 133 permanent bridges constructed to replace temporary crossings used by the US Army to build the pioneer road. This three-span timber truss bridge has an amazing nine-degree curve, designed to accommodate the highway's steep change in grade on the west end and the need to land at a notch in the cliff on the east end. At this time it was the first wooden curved bridge to be built in Canada. In later years the development of the oil and gas industry resulted in the need for a new bridge, to handle wider, heavier and longer loads, as a result the Alaska highway was rerouted in 1978 bypassing about 10 km of the old highway and historic bridge. The bridge is now a promoted tourist attraction due to it's history. wooden deck, scenic setting and unusual design.

Bill Dalton on the right was one of the early pioneers of the Esther District. Bill arrived with his family, William Sr. who was a Congregational Minister, his mother and sisters, Lucy, Evelyn, Ethel and Fanny.
In 1938 Bill was asked to become the Alberta Wheat Pool agent in Esther where he remained for 14 years. In 1939 Bill and Dorothy (Harley) were married. Dorothy and Bill raised their family of two boys and three girls in Esther where they worked in various capacities from store manager to postmaster and mistress. Their oldest son Bill Jr. still lives in Esther with his wife Madge and for many years they also ran the general store and post office. The other gentleman in the photo is Tom Short who lived 5 miles east of Esther, he retired and sold his farm to my Dad. These two gentlemen were pioneers of the great community that I grew up and lived in for many years. 

Sunday, 19 March 2017


                           Oil & Gas Well Site Remediation

It is important for the general public to understand what happens when a gas or oil well is drilled in remote areas.
The wells are typically drilled in the winter time so that the trucks, rigs and other support equipment can get onto the lease with minimum disturbance to the ground. Only the required amount of trees are cut down in order to make room for the lease. It is typically left for a couple years in order to let the trees that have been cut dry out and decay. Once this takes place crews will come in and remediate the lease, add the topsoil back and crunch the trees to use them for both natural fertilizer and prevent soil erosion. The lease is remediated and reseeded with native grasses, then the tree planters will come in and plant trees on the lease except for the area required to use to service the well. The above photos are a lease that I remediated in the Fox Creek, Alberta area in 2007. Picture one shows when we arrived and picture two is the finished product, seeded with native grass

Saturday, 18 March 2017

                                                            Hudson Heights School

Hudson heights School is also in the Esther area, a few miles south of St. Julien. It was opened in 1918 and was strictly for high school. I remember my Mom telling about having to ride a horse to Hudson Heights from the farm where she grew up, it was about 3 miles from school. She would go early in the morning and light the fires in the winter time so the school was warm when the rest of the students arrived. Due to better roads and school buses, the school was closed in 1954, purchased by a local farmer and was turned into grain storage for many years. The school is still standing on its original site and is in reasonable good condition.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

                                                                "John Deere Green"
For every farmer, it is always an exciting day when that first new tractor arrives. One of our neighbors, George Newton, in the picture is sporting his new John Deere D with a big old smile on his face. I remember often going past the Newton farm and the whole lineup of machinery was that beautiful John Deere Green.

Monday, 13 March 2017

                                                          Afternoon Delight.
Sometimes on a summer afternoon, a fella has just got to enjoy the spoils of a new shipment. The gentlemen above are doing just that. Some of these boys lived in the Esther Community and some of their descendants still do. Four that have been identified for me are Angus Bingeman, Joe Blaise, Nelson Bingeman and Allen Mao.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

                                                              Progress on the Prairies.

In 1924, after much deliberation, the AWP decided to build an elevator in Esther, Alberta. The railroad tracks only came as far west as Loverna, Saskatchewan and the elevator was slated to be completed and ready for business in 1925. CNR then started to extend the rail line west of Loverna. Above are a couple of the young locals who worked hard and long at building the track bed with horses, slips and shovels. the two young men in the photo are William Holmes from New Brigden and Ray Muzzy from Esther.