A chimney stands ghostly silent and alone amidst a pile of rubble. As you look at it, you wonder does it too remember the history now gone by? The history you remember as you pay solemn tribute while standing and watching.
The day - April 30, 1983. A match is lit to the Canadian Pacific Railway Train Station, brought here originally from Kipp. Mixed memories come to mind as the flames build themselves higher and higher.
Many stories have been told since history research started about this building. Stories of people having to switch trains at Coalhurst, people rushing in and out of the station, a hub of busy activity. You can almost visualize them standing there and watching the building disintegrate.
Freight was also unloaded for Coalhurst, or maybe removed in many other methods. We can't mention years of people probably muttering at having to wait at the train crossing, and of people coming to and from work.
The building has weathered a lot. Winter blizzards, summer heat, the boom times with the opening of the mine, the bad times with mine closure and the almost ghostly appearance of the town itself. It has seen it all.
But like most things that happen there is also a good side to be seen also. The station burning was a controlled exercise by the volunteer fire department, who did a splendid job. They were able to save the tree that stood behind the building for so many years. Congratulations to Fire Chief Bruce Look, Deputy Chief Doug McNabb, Phil Bartol, Rick DeJong, Pat Drader, Bruce Gould, Don Humphreys, Marcel Lemire, Joe Lumley, Diane Amos, Murray Peters, Melvin (Moe) Roth, Bill Takacs and Robin Soenen.
The fire was put out and started again many times as part of their learning program, and only after many hours was it allowed to die a slow death.
With the wind blowing smoke and flames across the track, a long C.P.R. train passed slowly through as though paying silent tribute. Hours later, a second train rocketed by, as if there was no past to slow it down.
Many who have lived in Coalhurst a long time, and all who live here now - treasure the memories, they'll always be there for you to look back on. The future is ahead of us, the station is gone - but it will always be a part of our history to cherish.
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