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Eamon's Bungalow Camp

by Christine H - 2 Comment(s)

Eamon

Eamon's Bungalow Camp, 10220 Crowchild Tr. NW

From "Discover Historic Calgary"

We had a great time at the Heritage Matters program on Thursday night. Our mayor gave a talk about the importance of heritage and then answered questions from the audience. What was most interesting was the mayor’s perspective on what heritage means. We have tended, in the past, to view heritage as a concern of those with the leisure to contemplate the value of 100 year old, sandstone edifices. What Mayor Nenshi suggested is that Calgary’s heritage is a much broader concept, concerning all Calgarians in their infinite variety and looking at all places with a view to their value, not just as architectural monuments, but as signifiers of the history of the people of this city.

Two sites were mentioned that have garnered some press in the last little while, Eamon’s Bungalow Camp and the Barron Building. I have written a blog on the Barron Building, which is an example of a site which has significance beyond its structure. Eamon’s Camp is one of those sites which to many of us, who grew up in the middle part of the last century, seem merely “old fashioned” as they were once a common sight. There was a Royalite station in the neighbourhood I grew up in that looked much the same. These are the buildings that are most at risk – they are a part of my childhood, how can they be heritage?! But Eamon’s is one of the last examples still standing of the mid-century commercial architecture that was once ubiquitous. The city owns the site it is on and needs to build a C-Train station and parking there. While the sign is going to be preserved, many have expressed concern about the building itself. Because of citizen concern, plans for the site may be revisited.

The story of Roy Eamon and his “one –stop tourist service centre” is fascinating. Eamon was an entrepreneur of the real Calgary type – he had businesses galore and an ability to bounce back from disaster. It is rumoured that he made and lost several fortunes. But for many years, his drive-in, service station, motel was the place to stop on the way to Banff. You could buy gas, eat lunch (in the restaurant or in the car from a tray hooked to the window – does anyone remember that?) and have your car washed all at the same place. It was a beacon to travelers until the new Trans-Canada highway came through. If you’re interested in Eamon’s you can find a very detailed history on the City of Calgary database “Discover Historic Calgary”. It has also been discussed on the Calgary Heritage Initiative website as well as in the Calgary Herald (which you can read through Newspaper Direct Press Display in our e-library - under Newspapers and Magazines)

Comments

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by Anonymous

Had a look at the sign today, Oct/4/12 preparing bid to restore this iconic sign but need old color photos.

by Bob Everett
I was the previous owner of the Eamons Station and I got to know Roy Eamon at the age of ninety nine and spent all the time I could with him until he died at the age of a hundred and three. He was a great man and he told me many stories of his past and the Eamons Camp. He seemed to be reborn as we worked toward restoring the Station and a part of his dream. This site is truly magical and means a lot to many people.Roy Had his 100th birthday in the Station with a lot of his old friends including the original Architect and his Treasury Branch Banker . The City of Calgary can not be allowed to destroy or move this " World Class Treasure" . I am doing everything I can prevent this from happening and I know others are too but we need speak up loudly and make City Hall know once and for all they are managing this City for the people that live here and unforgivable bad political decisions will be remembered.I want Roy Eamon to be remembered every time I drive by the Eamons LRT Station that features a completely restore Gas Station and Sign. Please help this cause.Bob Everett

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