The Home of Heartland
Still struggling through the winter that would not end, Day 2 of our drive through Alberta’s history found us scratching destinations like Waterton National Park off of our list. What to do, what to do. We loaded up the car without a firm plan but knowing we wanted to spend another day enjoying the sites around our beautiful province.
EJ and I decided to head south and see what the roads were like. Playing it by ear is often needed during the spring in Alberta. You never know what you might find around the next curve in the road.
As luck would have it, the day was clear and we made our first stop in High River for a bite to eat at another You Gotta Eat Here featured diners. This time we visited Evelyn’s Memory Lane Diner in the historic downtown area.
Not one to stray too far in my diner food choices, I decided on the turkey club croissant with a bowl of their delicious butternut squash soup. The young man decided on mac and cheese with his chocolate milkshake this day (they sprinkle the top with green onions so if you have a picky child…I think you understand.) Anyway, once the offending onions had made their way into my soup, all was good. The “kid size” milkshake was HUGE and (I am told) absolutely delicious.)
You’ll see from our photos that we couldn’t resist finishing off our meal with a yummy piece of the homemade cherry pie.
Sadly, by the time we had finished our lunch, the wind had come up again and the sun wasn’t doing much to warm up the air or melt the snow so we decided to take a look around some of the set of the CBC show, Heartland. This might seem odd in a post about driving through Alberta’s history but movies and television have played a role in our province for many years, from the filming of Superman to Unforgiven and several more.
I once ran into Brad Pitt while volunteering at our local historical village. He was filming the Jesse James movie there and I stepped out the back door of the general store at the same time he had stepped into the alley to take a phone call. (An no, I didn’t ask him for his autograph!)
I know there are several homeschool families who love watching Heartland and we thought it would be neat to share a couple of the pictures we took.
The Maggie’s Diner isn’t really a diner but you can peek through the windows when they aren’t filming. (It is directly behind Evelyn’s Diner though, it appeared in Caityn’s Way, another TV series shot in the area.)
The sideview of Maggie’s.
Maggie’s from around back (where it shares the alley with Evelyn’s.)
Since it was getting colder (and the snow was pretty deep) we decided to drive the few blocks to George Lane Park (another spot made famous by Heartland – the Town of High River actually has a map of Famous People and Places.)
Who was George Lane and why did they name a park after him you ask? Well, he was one of the Big Four who established the Calgary Stampede. He owned the Bar U Ranch (a small part of it is a National Historic Site now) where “the Sundance Kid” was once a horse breaker (before he became an outlaw) and where Charles M. Russell painted a series of paintings. This was also the ranch the Edward, Prince of Wales visited, inspiring him to purchase a ranch of his own in the area.
There is still more to learn in this prairie town. Did you know a former Canadian Prime Minister was born here? Charles Joseph Clark, Canada’s 16th Prime Minister (and the youngest ever) was born in High River where his father owned the local newspaper.
And you thought visiting a diner in a little town wouldn’t lead to a history lesson. As EJ says, Mama can find history anywhere! Sometimes you just have to know where to look.
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