A Piece of the Line

It is great what neighbours and friends of Countess share with us. This intriguing piece of history is literally out of the Royal Line (the train line that connected Bassano to Empress, and went through Countess, Duchess, Rosemary, Gem and Patricia).

countess rail tie

Keep the stories and pictures coming via our submission button!


Silver Dollars, Royal Rumbles

silver dollar

Say What? Dollars and rumbles? Are these the Saloon Doors that would take Marshall Dillon to Miss Kitty (for those who unfortunately do not know the great Gunsmoke, listen to to Toby Keith’s Should’ve Been a Cowboy). Nope, these doors though took one to the action…Wrasslin’ and bowlin’ that is.

They are the saloon doors to Frank Sisson’s Silver Dollar Action Centre (now the Century Casino) which was once part of the landscape in Calgary, AB. As a kid, I knew of it, due to bowling and, like I said, wrasslin’ (the kind of Stampede, not WWE). Stampede Wrestling had just been bought out but the local 2&7 television station still had a Saturday afternoon contract open for a show, and Mr. Sisson was a fan…enter Canadian Wrestling Alliance which ran out of the Silver Dollar in 1990 on Friday Nights live (it concluded it’s run in 2013 through other venues), with the edited show on Saturday’ at 1 p.m. Later in the 1990’s the saloon would be open to all ages during WWF (now WWE) pay-per-view events.

Image result for Frank Sisson's Silver Dollar action centre

But what does this have to do with the Royal Line History and Countess, AB in particular you may ask?

The answer is simple, it all started at a Bassano rodeo…with a won Silver Dollar…

(On July 27, 2019 a wind storm wiped out our storage huts for the Countess Country Museum, we are still unsure how many of the artifacts were lost).


Royal Line Gone with the Wind


Living in the County of Newell and on the Royal Line, one thing you get used to is the wind. What you do not expect upon returning from a day-cation is that you have entered the MGM wonderful Wizard of Oz and be Aunty Em’s farm. This is what the reality of Wayne and Sherry’s return from Maple Creek, SK to Countess Country Museum.

The Prairie History start-up was blown away by the wind. Any Albertan can share that this summer has been a cycle of heat-severe thunderstorms- tornado warnings…to windstorms. On July 27, 2019 the weather had the heat of 30 degrees, and thunderstorm warnings rolled through Southern Alberta. But a picture is worth a thousand words:


Carriage & Stage Coach post wind

At this point we are unsure of the damage as we attempt to get the carriage and stage coach free, but there is damage.

For more information or to help, please contact Wayne (403-701-0775) or Sherry (403-701-0778) as we rebuild and renew the history of the Royal Line, with all the bumps, hiccups, and challenges of the prairie pioneers along the way.

Please Share the story….




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Blown across the fence to next farm

Sharing Our Stories

For some this weekend is Epiphany, in Orthodox churches (Ukranian, Greek, Russian) it is a Christmas celebration of food and family. We have just come back from a potluck in our own church where many shared their memories of celebrating Christmases when they were young, for one it was farm life in Saskatchewan, another in the Netherlands, and another in Venezuala. Sharing stories, food and song.
It felt like a very Prairie night of learning about one another. This is what we are hoping to have in Countess, and on this Facebook page. What we are already seeing happen.
Neighbours and those who have grown up around the area sharing their stories, snippets of pictures or journals or news clippings. It is what we have found on the web, in archives, and from memoirs. Memoirs are a great resource, it is not just for the powerful or rich and famous, but to share one’s story, their family history, so it is set down.
As we enter into 2019, I encourage everyone to take time to share about the life they have lived, how things were, how things are and the dreams for the future. For is that not the true gift of history and Our stories within history, the foundational building blocks for the next generation?
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