Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 22, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Before they rolled up the land Grassy Lake was sky and grass Thursday, July 11, 1971 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD By KATHERINE MacDONALD Contributing Writer GRASSY LAKE Grassy Lake in 1893! Can you imagine what it was like? I can tell you, because it was ray home for a year in those far-off days: monotonous and beautiful, like other prairie railway stations or whistle stops. It was a vast canvas of grass and sky, encompassed by a golden frame of holy quiet and peaceful vacuum. Grass was thickly abundant, and not that short curly fuzz, either; but the shallow depres- sion t'other side of the railroad track that passed for a grew lovely billows and rushes that rose and fell in the breeze, and turned to bay in the fall. honey-colored A prominent and curious pink and gray rock perched nearby and resembled an overstuffed armchair or primitive throne. It was the subject of much con- jecture. The funny little narrow-gauge railroad that snaked its way across the prairie from Dun- more to Lethbridge was the one outstanding sign of the inva- sion by the east. The original planner of this busy little rail- road was toe Norfb-West Coa and Navigation Co., succeeded in time by the Alberta Rail- way and Coal Co. John J. Devine, seeking hot, dry climate, gathered up his little family and belongings left his job as station master at an obscure point in lovely Nova Scotia: "Johnsons' Cross so well named, (but now it is called and ar rived one hot summer day in 1893, to spend one whole year as section foreman of a ganj of men tearing up, and putting down, rails and ties on the nar row-gauge railroad. At the time of arrival there were no Indians or their tee- pees in sight to intrigue the newcomers nothing but vas stretches of waving grass, with a couple, or tnree, aois 01 uuuu-ings stabbing the stillness like exclamation tUlU unreal a ciuivji iiunt across the border or the surrounding Alberta districts. These were the of these names became section house, square and familiar and the bearers y looking, painted the recognizable, after valent red-brown; a Devines left Grassy Lake wilding housing bunks for crew of section men, and the bleak plains of Montana. Later hi the year a family of similar shack, much pitched their teepee o contain the telegraph distance from the house ment so necessary in that near the tracks. Indian women were very The telegrapher was a as to how She house was young man named Firth. I by the plump young Mary ieve his first name A busy woman always George. He spoke often about among her pots most importantly about pans and various enticing er but more dominant to the kitchen, to be called Gleichen, located by the two laughing where south-east of and held firmly in her Devine was a hard while they patted the but being of Irish descent had a streak of humor that stood arms. They even pinched the waist of the in good stead and cheered woman and depart- lis family. Also, there was laughing. That was just occasional visiting cowboy, mounted of course, Mary Devine surmised: that she was the joke, and huge to locate stray critters for well! However, before the outfit. In time, the left, the youngsters came to know of such outfitted and delightec as the Conrad Brothers, W. two pairs of very sporty beaded moccsains. Conrad of Montana, were the days when Harris, Tom Luce of Boom de Aye. The Union forms NATAL (HNS) to act on the execu Local No. 7292, United along with the newly-elect- Workers of America, met officers are Pete Wiat, Johr the Union Hall recently Rick Ganter an fare. the loci or the tact phoning' HASSOCKS BAR CABINET RECORD CABINET Priced to CLEAR at Savings up to Open Til 9 p.m. Tonight and Friday! Convenient Budget Terms Available!