Postcards from the Past, PC 1224
I’ve just gotten back from my vacation during which I indulged my passion for all things railroad. I walked part of the Trans Canada Trail on Vancouver Island to the magnificent Kinsol Trestle. The railroad holds a special place in my heart – my family came out west to B.C. to work for the railways; working first as labourers in the building of the Kettle Valley railway, then as trainmen, driving those same rails.
So, when I was casting about for a suitable topic for this blog I thought about trains. We have a lot of very lovely postcards of trains, stations, tunnels, bridges, even train wrecks. The one in this entry is of a train crossing the Lethbridge Viaduct Bridge (or High Level Bridge). If you would like to read about this bridge, we have a book in our collection about it: The C.P. Rail High Level Bridge at Lethbridge.
The railroad was very important to the settlement of the west. The transcontinental railway made access to the lands of what would become Alberta and Saskatchewan much easier. The Canadian Pacific Railway, granted 25 million acres of prairie land as part of the deal to build the railway, encouraged settlers to come out and purchase some of that land. They also realized that tourism to the scenic Rocky Mountains was another way to generate revenue and they began a campaign to promote the travel to the Banff area. They sent photographers to capture the wonders of the area, and many of these photos were turned into postcards, some of which can be viewed in the Community Heritage and Family History digital library. (Use ‘banff’ as the search term.)
Banff Springs Hotel
Postcards from the Past, PC 976