Sep 28, 2012

Kin Coulee Park

Located centrally in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Kin Coulee Park is an area with over 100 acres of open space, a toboggan hill in the winter, a ball diamond, volleyball and basketball courts, playgrounds, walking paths, fire pits and picnic tables, and a band shelter.  For years it also been home to the local Canada Day festivities every July 1.  

One of the defining features of the park is that it's nestled within the cliffs that make up most of the surrounding topography, making it feel rather secluded despite the fact that it's right in the city.  The Seven Persons Creek also winds through the park, adding to the scenery and creating a popular place for the local wildlife to hangout.

One of the most photographed parts of Kin Coulee Park, from an artistic perspective anyway, has to be the pedestrian tunnel underneath the Trans-Canada Highway.  Part of the creek runs through the tunnel, which not only makes it look unique, but sound unique also.  I've seen numerous photographers use this area for portraits, and I agree that it is a captivating backdrop.

In general, the fall makes for beautiful pictures.  The changing colors and textures seem to give everything a bit more depth and I like how it seems special because everything is fading.  Each day there's a bit less, the colors start to disappear, and before you know it it's winter.  In that way, you begin to appreciate that these otherwise common focal points will actually all look slightly different next year.  Best to enjoy it while you can.

Sep 26, 2012

Standing Around

My feet have unwittingly become a standard cutaway during a lot of my photo shoots this year.  With a focus on capturing details, I liked the idea of showing that I was actually standing in these places and casually pulling myself into the scene.  After reviewing my sets I realized just how much I was doing this, and wanted to put together a collage of some of my favorites.  It's kind of a cool way of summing up my summer.

Here's the rundown on where each of these were shot and links to the photo sets:

1.  Concrete whale in Central Park.
2.  Vintage train cars at Medalta Potteries.
3.  Red Rock Coulee
4.  Horse Thief Canyon in the Canadian Badlands.
5.  Echo Dale Park Farm
6.  Echo Dale Park Beach
7.  Kicking Horse Pass, British Columbia.
8.  Downtown Regina, Saskatchewan.
9.  Walkway at the Ewart-Duggan house

10.  Grounds of St. Patrick's Church.
11.  Sidewalk at Towne Theatre.
12.  Train tracks at Hycroft Factory.
13.  Fire escape of the Dairy Building.
14.  Rosedale Suspension Bridge near Drumheller.
15.  Inside the Saskatchewan Legislative Building.
16.  Riverbank at Police Point Park.
17.  Bench in Riverside Park.
18.  With my siblings at our Grandma's funeral.
19.  Curb at Elm Street School.
20.  Red Rock Coulee
21.  Steps of St. Barnabas Church.

Sep 25, 2012

Five Roses Flour Mill

Established in 1901 as the Medicine Hat Milling Company, the building more commonly known today as the old flour mill was one of the first industries established in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Brands such as Prairie Pride, Big Loaf, Eclipse and Fourex Flours as well as Wheatlets and Wheat Gems cereals were produced at the site.

Lake of the Woods Milling Company purchased the Medicine Hat Milling Company in 1914. The mill then began producing the Five Roses Flour product line, an operation that would last until the mid-1950s. According to Archives Canada, the plant was expanded in 1916, which may have been when the elevator (as it's seen today) doubled in size from what was originally constructed - although the mill did start out as a wooden structure.

five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta

Ogilvie Flour Company purchased this mill in 1954 and ran it until closing in 1957. It was briefly functional in the 1960s, but for the most part it remained vacant until it was sold in the 1970s. The warehouse was then reduced in size (notice that upper floors were removed) and in 1976 it became the Inn at the Old Mill before becoming the Silver Buckle Inn.

Today the location is better recognized for the Silver Buckle bar, which is still a relatively busy place. The elevator, in part at least, is being used as a garage/junkyard for a surprisingly large collection of vintage trucks. A few detailed shots of the elevator reveal that it's in rough shape, however it remains a notable landmark because of its size and visibility from the highly trafficked overpass spanning the train tracks.

Of the various sites that I've documented around Medicine Hat, this one was interesting to me because despite it being recognizable, the history of the original site isn't common knowledge. Until looking through archival images, I had no idea the original warehouse used to be twice as tall, or that the elevator was once just 2 columns wide and later expanded to 5. Because the area is still heavily trafficked (I even go by it on my commute everyday) it's fascinating to see how the area has changed, especially with the overpass being constructed next to it in the 1960s. That said, it's unfortunate that the archival images I did find were undated, so you have to try and link them based on the information provided. 

UPDATE: More information about the mill here.

five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta
five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta

five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta

five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta

five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta

Ghosting image of my 2012 shot merged with an archival one.

five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta
five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta
five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta

five roses flour mill medicine hat alberta