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Labour Day Weekend Trip to Heritage Park in Calgary, Alberta ~ September 5th, 2005

by Elizabeth Guenzler

My (late) friend, Richard Isles, had long recommended Heritage Park as a worthwhile attraction to visit when in Calgary. This unique Park's attractions and exhibits span Western Canadian history from the 1860's to the 1950's. You will see the vital story of the settlement of the west not only preserved, but presented alive and in great working condition! Ride the authentic steam train, explore a First Nations encampment, savour fresh baked treats from the Alberta Bakery, watch lively street theatre or wander through a gleaming vintage automobile musuem. With over 180 exhibits on 127 acres of land, Canada's largest living history museum offers an authentic experience from four key periods: the 1860s fur trading era and First Nations encampment, 1880s rustic pre-railway settlement, a bustling 1910 prairie railroad town and the 1930s-50s in Gasoline Alley Museum and Heritage Town Square. As an accredited museum, Heritage Park is proud to preserve and share history in a way that lets visitors experience it with all five senses. Costumed interpreters add another dimension to the immersive historical experience and bring the attractions and exhibits to life.

It was therefore with anticipation that Bob and I drove to Heritage Avenue and took part in the Stampede-style breakfast which was offered from 09:00 to 10:00 hrs. each day the park was open. Now that we were well-fortified, our first stop was the roundhouse.

The roundhouse at Heritage Park constructed in 1980.

Canadian Pacific Railway 0-6-0 2018 (ex. Heritage Park 4 2002, exx. Canmore Mines 4 1963, exxx. CPR 6144 1943, nee CPR 2144 1912). Built 1905.

Canadian Pacific Railway Jordan spreader 402829.

Canadian Pacific Railway snow plough 400884 (nee CPR 300894 1911).

Canadian Pacific Railway caboose 6209 (nee CPR wood caboose 436209 1969). Built 1912. We then went outside to ride the steam train.

Canadian Pacific Railway 0-6-0 2024 (ex. private owner 4076 1967, exx. Pacific Coast Terminals 4076 1964, nee US Army 4076 1946). It was painted as CPR 6269 from 1967 to 1969 before being re-numbered as CPR 2024.

CPR 0-6-0 2024 and the train at Shepard Station.

The builder's plate of CPR 0-6-0 2024.

Canadian National Railway observation car 15097 (ex. CNR mountain observation 15097 1974, exx. CNR mountain obs 15097 "Mount Resplendent" 1954, exxx. CNR 1479 "Ogaki" 1929, exxxx. Canadian Government Railways "Ogaki" 1920, exxxxx. Pullman "Ramillies" 1916, nee Wagner 12-1 sleeper "Laconia" 1900.

Morrissey, Fernie and Michel Railway coach 63 (ex. Morissey, Fernie & Michel Railway 63 1964, nee Eastern British Columbia Railway 63 1885).

Morrissey, Fernie and Michel Railway coach 62 (ex. Morissey, Fernie & Michel Railway 62 1964, nee Eastern British Columbia Railway 62 1885). We boarded the train and were soon on our way around Heritage Park.

Canadian Pacific 0-6-0 2024 rounding a curve as it leaves Shepard Station.

Rounding the bend beside the horse pasture at Heritage Park.

Under steam as we make our way around Heritage Park.

The Shepard station.

The semaphore signal of the Midnapore Station.

The Midnapore Station. We rode to Laggan then de-boarded to look around and photograph the next train at the wig-wag signal.

Morrissey, Fernie and Michel Railway coach 62 passing over the crossing near Midnapore Station.

The wig-wag signal at Heritage Park.

The steam engine crosses the road, protected by the wig-wag signal.

The Calgary Car Company jitney soon came by.

The sand house and water tower on display.

Explanation and diagram of how the sand house worked.

Explanation of railway water tanks.

It was then time to have a ride on the S.S. Moyie sternwheeler, a replica of the original, which was docking at Glenmore Reservoir.

I was very happy to see the Union Jack being flown!

Views of the Glenmore Reservoir aboard the S.S. Moyie. What better way to finish off a day at Heritage Park than an ice cream cone?

As we left, we caught Calgary Municipal Streetcar 14 replica which is used to transport visitors to and from the 14th Street parking lot.

Canadian Pacific Railway S-2 7019 (nee CPR 7019 1985) and Canadian Pacific caboose 4347358 (nee CP 437358 1987) on display together at the 14th Street entrance to Heritage Park.

Canadian Pacific 2-10-4 5931 on display at Heritage Park. We drove to the airport, returned the rental car, then I flew back to Victoria.

It had been an absolutely fantastic day at Heritage Park and I heartily recommend a visit here.