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Driving from Dawson Creek to Edmonton in 1948





   

    The photos below were shot in late September 1948 by a couple that we only know as "Sarge" and Lorrie. They lived in central Missouri, drove to Alaska early in 1948, and spent the summer exploring the territory. These photos were shot on Kodachrome slides film during their drive home - 160 slides covering their trip from Anchorage to Edmonton, are in the ExploreNorth collection.



Part 1: Driving Alaska's Glenn Highway in 1948 (22 photos)

Part 2: Driving the Alaska Highway in 1948 (38 photos)

Part 3: Dawson Creek in 1948 (7 photos)




Muddy road south of Dawson Creek, BC, in 1948
The roads between Dawson Creek and Edmonton were notoriously bad at that time. If you've driven on roads like this, you'll understand the caption on this slide: "Merry widow waltz".


Dawson Creek, BC, in 1948
The "odd cloud formation" noted in the caption on this slide was apparently the reason for this photo-stop.


Dawson Creek, BC, in 1948
"Talking to God" apparently didn't help them once they got "Gussie", their 1941 Pontiac, high-centred on these ruts.


Dawson Creek, BC, in 1948
Captioned "Help", this slide may show a group of travellers who helped each other across this bad section.


Dawson Creek, BC, in 1948
Captioned "Prosperity", this was the last photo from September 22nd. The community name isn't legible on any of the elevators, but one of my readers quickly let me know that it's Hythe, Alberta.


Dawson Creek, BC, in 1948
September 23rd seems to have not gone well judging by the slide captioned "S.O.S.". This is the only photo from that day.


Edmonton, Alberta, in 1948
In downtown Edmonton on September 24, 1948, major work was being done on the Hudson's Bay Company store. I thought that it was a new store being built, but according to the Edmonton Historical Board, this, the third and final phase of the store, opened on November 14, 1939.


Edmonton, Alberta, in 1948
The 213.1 meter long (699 feet) Low Level Bridge, built in 1900, crosses the North Saskatchewan River. Wikipedia states that "in 1948 a twin span was added to the south of the original span", but there's only a single span in this photo. The Edmonton Names database states that "In the 1940s, it became apparent that the traffic volume was too much for the bridge. City engineer, A.W. Haddow, suggested the bridge be twinned, and a new bridge, based on the original plans with a wider bridge deck, was built next to the existing Low Level in 1949." The Edmonton Historical Board plaque next to the bridge says that construction was started in 1948 and completed in 1949.


Edmonton, Alberta, in 1948
A residential area of Edmonton - the Cloverdale district at the south-east end of the Low Level Bridge, I think.


Edmonton, Alberta, in 1948
The provincial Parliament building is on the left, the Hotel Macdonald is the largest building on the right. The Hotel Macdonald, now a Fairmont, was built by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway between 1911 and 1915. Below and to the right of the Parliament building is a coal-fired power plant - railway cars hauling coal to it can be seen to its left. Among other buildings visible are the old library (to the left of the Hotel Macdonald), the Marshall Wells Building, First Presbyterian Church and McKay Avenue School.


Dawson Creek, BC, in 1948
A grain train, taken on September 26, 1948.


Dawson Creek, BC, in 1948
This was a new concrete silo in an unknown community, but again, one of my readers let me know that it's the grain terminal in Lethbridge. This is the final photo in the part of the collection that I own.