Brief History of Albert Canyon

Approximately half way between Rogers Pass and Revelstoke, was situated the town of Albert Canyon. Little is left of the town it once was. The remains of Albert Canyon are a ghost town situated a short distance south of the present day hot springs pool site.

The village of Albert Canyon, the gorge and the hot springs were all named after Albert Rogers, who undertook many exploration trips in the area, including the discovery of Rogers Pass. Throughout the years of steam locomotives, Albert Canyon was a “pusher station”, with a small roundhouse built in 1916. They built a railway station providing housing for operators, a section gang, and living quarters for the CPR agent upstairs in the station.

The mineral waters of Albert Canyon were allegedly discovered by CPR workmen at the turn of the century. The railway employees dug a pit at the hot springs and lined it with heavy timbers.

The open air "hot tub" was used by visitors and residents for many, many years. Today the Canyon Hot Springs are some distance away, with the water from the hot springs being piped to their pools.

In addition, Albert Canyon had a very active sawmill and logging operation, we can still remember the old WWII truck that used to haul logs to the mill. Nothing remains of the mill now, except our wonderful memories of the times we had there.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Albert Canyon Postmark

March 24, 2018

One of my blog readers has donated the below mail postmark to my blog.  He is a stamp and cover collector... and came across this postmark. "... it seems that a collector got the postmaster there to cancel a new postcard and he never did send it.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Updates to Blog...

August 06 2016 - Added a new photo of Albert Canyon CPR Station and the pusher engine housing buildings. Plus the survey and drafting plans for the CPR railway Wye

July 03 2016 - Added two new pictures of two old homes, now only memories.

July 03 2016 - Correction on the photo showing my grandparents arriving in Halifax, not Albert Canyon.
March 24 2018 -  Added the Albert Canyon mail postmark found and donated to my blog, by one of my blog readers... "Manny"

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 06 2013 - MOVIE TIME!! The following links below will take you through time to 1957 ...a movie of Albert Canyon back in the "good old days" - now a ghost town

Well I finally found a way to upload the movie made by CBC, back in 1957.
The attached links are only parts of the original movie. They only show the life around the Albert Canyon Community.

The link will forward you to the"YouTube movies"

Please click on the link below:

First link shows the original Albert Canyon School; showing morning attendance call

Albert Canyon School 1956

Next link shows a time that Albert Canyon had a social function, following a winter scene in front of the community store.
Albert Canyon Social

The last link shows our Dad hard at work, and then finally another good-bye community function.
Albert Canyon - CPR section worker - Our DAD!

Friday, May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013 - Movie found

Hi all,

Just to let you readers know, that I have been in contact with Mario Iadarola, one of my Albert Canyon classmate, he has a copy of the movie made by CBC during our stay in Albert Canyon. This movie called "Pacific Northwest Adventures: No Other Highway", is a 20 minute documentary showing the difficulties of the CPR railway maintenance crews maintaining the railway during winter times. In addition, it shows the life of the community in Albert Canyon... showing our school, and social events. It shows our friends, classmates, my mum, dad, my brother and I in this film. It was very emotional viewing this film... reinforcing the great memories of those times.

I am not sure how to connect a link to this movies, but will find out. In the meantime, anyone wanted to view this movie, please contact me.

Mario is presently putting together of additional photos of his family during the times in Albert Canyon. Once received, I will change the blog title and add his photographs as well.

Love to hear from any other community members during those times.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18, 2012 - Our Dad's Story...

It is with fond memories and deep admiration of our Mum and Dad's struggle living in Albert Canyon, we present this blog to you...

We were very lucky to have experience living in the "wilderness", with extreme trying times; both Will and I never realized what times our parents when through.

Below is our Dad's account of the memories times we have...
Page 1

Page 2
Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Sunday, December 16, 2012

CPR Railing Station

Some photographs of the CPR Railing Station and the train tracks... the past and the present...
Albert Canyon CPR Railway station, around 1950 or earlier

Hank, Mum and Will standing besides the Albert Canyon train sign, located just before Albert Canyon... coming from the West.
Opa Schut, Oma Schut and Opa Elbertsen arriving at Halifax, leaving to go to Albert Canyon

Oma Schut, Opa Schut, Mum and her Dad Opa Elbertsen standing in front of the Albert Canyon
 train station, and just to the right... the new school under construction

 To the left and below, you have the drawings of the Wye track layout.

plus below you have the pictures showing this layout.

East Leg Wye - looking at pusher sheds
Our photo taken in 1956, of the CPR railing station, note that the water tower
 is still standing. This tower was used to fill up the steam engines.
Will, Mum and Hank, in front of the Albert Canyon CPR Railing station...
waiting for the train going to Revelstoke, photo taken in November 1956.
 My memories of railway station...creosote and musty, hard waiting benches, telegraph operator,
We would walk on the train tracks, to see how far we would get, before we fall off.
 On occasion, we would find a used railway tie nail, special rock, or some other treasure...
 I really miss those times we had.

My brother found a picture showing the pusher engine / repair buildings

Another photo found on the internet:  in front of CRP railway station

A photo found on the internet: looking towards the river, note bunk house, train station and the water tower.
Picture showing the underpass that was right next to our log home.
 The trains would park for many hours at the railway station,
blocking off the access to both sides of Albert Canyon. Needless to
say, this underpass was used a lot. I assume due to Albert Canyon
becoming a "ghost town", the underpass has now been filled in.
Albert Canyon Station - 1899 - by Joseph Heckman

picture showing the tunnel just east of Albert Canyon

The actual survey of the Wye at Albert Canyon

Mum with her parents looking on, sitting on top of the train tunnel.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Albert Canyon Hot Springs

For a school outing, the teacher would take us up to the hot springs for the afternoon. No one seemed to worry about the grizzly bears or wolves in the area.

In addition to the school outing, our parents would take us up there for family picnics.

I can clearly recall the smell of the 26 degree C mineral water, the smell of the trees, the slimy wooden boards holding the water in, the gravel bottom, and best of all the frogs and tadpoles swimming around. Those days are gone, but our memories have still lasted.

Hank, Will, a friend, and mum, having a great time in the original Albert Canyon hot springs. Photo taken in July 1957.

Will sitting by the hot springs with mum looking on.
The water is now reheated and piped to the new "Canyon Hot Springs", to bad in a way, but now everyone can enjoy a piece of our past.
The Smallberge girls, Hank and Will enjoying the hot springs

Photo found on the internet: Left to right, Gordon Jones, Steve Woolsey and friend, taken in 1970.

and now...
What can you say... no more tadpoles or slimy boards... only memories

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ye Old School House

If memory serves me well, I can recall that almost everyone in the school came from different backgrounds and countries, hardly any of the students spoke English. My brother and I were the only students that spoke dutch. The one room school teacher sure had her hands full dealing with so many different languages and customs.

Albert Canyon Class of 1956/7, Hank is on the top left, with Will at the far rear
below is some of the pictures taken...

A picture found on the internet of the original school house

The old Albert Canyon school is on the left side of this picture.

classroom pictures taken in the old school.

Hank, Will and a friend discussing world economics, note the white shirt and tie, plus the old desks stacked in the background
Class hard at with work, with teacher looking on
New Albert Canyon school
Hank is the one in the middle.
Class Christmas play
Hank is the one with shorts and bow tie!
Our grandfathers with the school parents group.

I believe this is the Woolsey family.
The new school around 1964

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The old homestead

When we first arrived in Albert Canyon dad found us a very small, very run down cabin. Dad made is as comfortable as possible, with the resource he had, which were limited.
This was our first home in Albert Canyon; picture taken around 1964. It give you a size of home perspective, basically a cabin.

 Shortly after, we moved into this log home... a big step up. I can still recall many fond memories of all the times we had... family times... Christmas, dinners, looking at the Simpson Sears Christmas catalog, smelling the paper, playing with our train set up in the attic, white gas lanterns, just to name a few times... REAL FAMILY TIMES!
The Schut Family, in front of their new home in Albert Canyon, photo taken in 1957

Mum, Hank and Will sitting on the back porch. After 50 years later, Dad's carpentry skills did not improve much :). But Mum and Dad made this our most memorable home... a family home.

Hank and Will playing in the front yard with mum looking on. We had chickens and rabbits back then; fresh eggs and meat.
One of the neighboring homes
Another neighbor's home

Mum and baby Wendy revisiting our old homestead... I believe this photo was taken around 1966?

Some pictures in winter....

There was a winter, that we could toboggan right down the roof, and we would have to tunnel out of the house.

Dad and Wendy, standing in front of the old "Cook House", with our old log home in the background (1964)
Remains of our neighbours house

This is where are old log house used to be

all that remains is the basement well and what appears to be the furnace.

a photograph showing our water supply about 200 ft from the house.
one of the last of the log cabins.