Cattle now graze on the banks of the Battle River where coal was once mined.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Mining for coal in Alberta has a storied past

Farmers first began digging coal in the early years of the 19th century, and the Diplomat Mine was eventually developed

In central Alberta, near the banks of the Battle River, sit the remains of the Diplomat coal mine. The site was originally the homestead of Austing Bish and his four sons, who arrived in the Forestburg area from Oregon in 1905. The family farmed their homesteads and began to exploit the coal deposits in the […] Read more

The World’s Largest Lamp was built and officially lit in Donalda, Alta., on July 1, 2000. It lights up the sky very evening at dusk.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Alta. community boasts world’s largest lamp

The village received 500 coal-oil lamps from a private collection decades ago, and the rest, as they say, is history


DONALADA, Alta. — People interested in old oil lamps might want to put Donalda, Alta., on their list of places to visit. Situated on the banks of Meeting Creek and the Donalda Badlands east of Ponoka in central Alberta, the community owns more than 1,100 antique lamps. The flagship of the collection is the 42-foot-tall […] Read more

General Motors built a car plant in Regina with plans to produce about 30,000 vehicles a year. Unfortunately, the Great Depression put a stop to this goal.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Remembering Sask. capital’s Motor City past

A visit to the Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ont., reveals a little-known chapter in Canada’s car history

The world’s most significant collection of Canadian built cars is housed in a 1920s former car dealership building in Oshawa, Ont. The Canadian Automotive Museum, which first opened in 1963, emphasizes cars built in various places in Canada. The first car to be designed and constructed in Canada was the Henry Seth Taylor Steam Buggy. […] Read more


Livestock judges discuss their opinions on this Holstein heifer in the show ring. The country’s prime minister was seated in the stands during the livestock show in Bridgetown.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Barbados agriculture more than sugar cane

Sugar is no longer king in this Caribbean Island country and the government has initiated a plan to enhance food security

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The agricultural history of Barbados, an island in the eastern Caribbean about 900 kilometres off the coast of Venezuela, can be traced to the early days of the 16th century. British settlers saw the agricultural potential. Prior to their arrival, the Spanish and Portuguese had driven away the indigenous people and deforested […] Read more

North Pacific Cannery in Prince Rupert, B.C., was built on stilts because the tide waters could be as high as 26 feet twice a day.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Salmon canning once big business in B.C. port

Visitors to Prince Rupert can get a slice of history at the nearby North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site of Canada

Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia is noted for its big grain terminal but the region also has a significant history as a major salmon canning industry. Just south of Prince Rupert is Port Edwards, home of the North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site of Canada at the mouth of the Skeena River, the oldest […] Read more


Gary Folster, wife Heather and son Quenton have brought Christmas merriment to hundreds of people visiting their Christmas light display on their farm near Elfros, Sask., for the last 26 years.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Sask. farm lights up for the holidays

The most popular feature is a working electronic and mechanical candy cane machine, which the family built from scratch 


ELFROS, SASK. — For 26 years, Gary Folster, wife Heather and son Quenton have brought Christmas merriment to hundreds of people visiting their Christmas light display at their home in Elfros. Visitors from all across Western Canada and even England have signed their guest book and made donations in their gift box for the Wadena […] Read more

The town parties on Pizza Night in Rowley, Alta. People come from all over and spend the weekend camping in the town site.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Saturday in Rowley, Alta? Must be pizza night

The ghost town comes alive on the last Saturday night of the month as part of an effort to keep the community relevant

Sam’s Saloon is packed with party goers who came for pizza night in Rowley, Alta. The last Saturday night of each month is set aside for pizza night and people from all over the area travel to Rowley to attend. The rest of the time it is basically uninhabited because Rowley is a historical ghost […] Read more

There was a rumour that the Gronlid elevator was the elevator on the Canadian 1954 one dollar bill. However, it was really the elevator at Fleming, Sask.  | Duane McCartney photo

Sask. village shows no signs of slowing down

A thriving community hall keep Gronlid hopping, and the promise of a diamond mine is making things interesting

GRONLID, Sask. — At the end of the abandoned Canadian Pacific Railway line north of Melfort, Sask., sits Gronlid. The village was established in 1925 with the building of a store, lunch counter and barber shop. The community is named after Pastor H. O. Gronlid, who established the Beaver Creek Lutheran congregation in the district […] Read more


Most of the wood working equipment in the Tyrone Mills shop is powered by this overhead belt and pulley system. |  Duane McCartney photo

Historical water mill still at work in Ontario

The water-powered mill still cuts lumber and grinds flour, but tarts and doughnuts are the main attractions now

TYRONE, Ont. — Like the prairie grain elevators in Western Canada, the grist mill was a main centre of economic interest in the early days of settlement in rural central Ontario. Grist mills or flour mills were situated on or near waterways in the mid-1800s because there was no electricity. On this waterway a dam […] Read more

Connie Westman sorts and prepares bunches of asparagus spears for sale at local markets and the Edgar Country Store.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Alberta farm eager to dish out asparagus

The Edgar family grows 50 acres of asparagus on their farm and opens up to the public three weekends every spring

INNISFAIL, Alta. — It takes courage to be the first and largest asparagus grower in Alberta, but that’s what Doug and Elna Edgar, their daughter, Keri, and her husband, Randy Graham, have done on their sixth generation family farm west of Innsifail. Their farm of 11 quarters raised beef cattle and grain since 1907. “In […] Read more