Early Days

In Alix, Alberta on May 3, 2017 at 4:23 PM

From “Early Days” by Jean (Parlby) Bigelow

My earliest memories go back to 1904 as I can remember the surveyor’s tents along what was later to become the right-of-way for the railway. The young men came to Long Valley Ranch, and I can remember one of them covering the canoe with canvas when it leaked. I can also remember when the rails were being laid. Father taking us up to a place below the grade, tieing the team to some willows, and we scrambled up the hillside to watch the big locomotive with the rails coming from the sides, and being laid down by the work gang.

I can also remember the mail bags being brought from Lacombe  along the Old Buffalo Lake Trail, which ran past the Ranch across the slough, as it then was, to Dartmoor.  The mail man used to pick branches of saskatoons, which he left with the mail bags, for us children.  This was before there was an Alix…..

Did you know that ground hockey was played on the lake in the early days?  The snow was tramped down by cattle being tuned out on the lake, and Sundays men and women would meet at the ranches and play hockey.  I remember my mother telling me how people were quite shocked because she had a skirt made which showed her ankles, to enable her to run better….

Polo was the great amusement in the early days, and teams from Pekisko and Cochrane would come to play the Haunted Lakes team.  We children used to like polo days as the ladies tried to outdo eachother in providing scrumptious food for the teas served in the pavilion.

This article is taken from “Early Days”,  published in Gleanings, (the follow-up book to Pioneers and Progress), Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1981. Both books are available for sale at Alix Wagon Wheel Museum, Alix Public Library, and Alix Home Hardware



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