|Yellow is my farm // Alsask is the blue marker on the far left, the white line is the Sask/Alberta border|
In terms of photos, Alsask is the most interesting as it is an abandoned Canadian Forces Detachment. It was opened in 1963 as part of the NORAD Pinetree Line (a full list of sites is here) during the Cold War. The base comprised of three radar towers, a school, pool, barracks and mobile homes, and a rec centre with a bowling alley, snack shop, arcade and beauty parlor - among other things. The detachment was disbanded in 1987 and the radar tower became a designated historical site in 2002.
When the base was active, it was huge. The base had it's own school for a while, but when my dad went to school (the same as me, in Marengo) in the 70s, the base kids went to Westcliffe (and dad said they were pretty cliquey). Actually, I think all the towns in the school area were pretty big - my dad's graduating class in the 70s had about 30 kids, compared to my graduating class of 6.
Alsask itself as a hamlet of the R.M. still exists with homes and a church and a few businesses (like the best Chinese food I have ever had!) but all that remains at the base are a few buildings, all abandoned with a very creepy, distopian aura. I worked at the Gopher Dip Pool (which I think is closed now due to a boiler fire but I'm not 100% sure) and I hated being the last one to lock up at night. It was so creepy being there in day, let alone at night (but I'm a scardey-cat).
When I was home for the weekend I took the time to stop in Alsask to take some photos of the base before carrying on into Alberta. I would love to go in the buildings to do photos like what you would see on How To Be A Retronaut but I would want to be accompanied by someone who knows about the base (and I'd need permission from the R.M. too).
|The Gopher Dip Pool|
|Back of the pool, radar tower in the distance|
|Recreation Centre with bowling alley, snack shack etc.|
|One of a few mobile homes still standing|
|Driveway to nowhere.|
|the Retirement Villa|
|Craft centre / baseball diamond|
|The Radar Tower|