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Date Range From
1980
Date Range To
2010
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, INK
Catalogue Number
P20140032001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1980
Date Range To
2010
Materials
WOOD, INK
No. Pieces
1
Height
8.9
Length
90.7
Width
2.5
Description
RECTANGULAR WOODEN SIGN WITH THE RIGHT EDGE COMING TO A POINT AT END (LIKE AN ARROW). "BELLY RIVER STATION' PAINTED IN BLACK, BLOCK LETTERS. LETTERS ARE SLIGHTLY RAISED FROM SURFACE. THE WOOD IS WEATHERED AND GREY IN COLOUR. APPROX. 8 NAIL HOLES AT CENTER WITH SEVERAL OTHER, SMALLER HOLES AND NOTCHES OVER THE SURFACE OF SIGN. CONDITION: NAIL HOLES ARE RUST-STAINED. DIRT STAINS ON BOTTOM CENTER. SECTION OF WHITE PAINT ON BACK. BLACK PAINTED LETTERS HAVE MODERATE TO SEVERE FADING.
Subjects
VISUAL COMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
TRANSPORTATION
History
A NOTE WRITTEN BY THE DONOR, FRANK LIGHTBOUND, AND PROVIDED TO THE MUSEUM AT THE TIME OF DONATION STATES: “[SIGN] DISCOVERED AT THE JUNCTION OF TWO OLD TRAILS IN THE PIKE HAVEN AREA SOUTHWEST OF CARDSTON ADJACENT TO WATERTON PARK. THIS AREA WAS AT ONE TIME PART OF WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK. AT THE TIME OF DISCOVERY, EARLY 1980S, I WAS EMPLOYED AS A RANGER WITH THE ALBERTA FOREST SERVICE IN THE CROWSNEST FOREST. HAVING WORKED ON A TRAIL CREW AND A SEASON MANNING THE SOFA MTN. FIRE LOOKOUT IN THE EARLY 1950S, I WAS FAMILIAR WITH THE OLD WARDEN STATION AND THE BELLY RIVER DISTRICT. THE STATION AND THE LOOKOUT NO LONGER EXIST.” ON 22 MARCH 2017, GALT COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED LIGHTBOUND ABOUT HIS DONATION OF THE SIGN. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THE INTERVIEW: LIGHTBOUND EXPLAINED THAT THE ARTIFACT WAS IN HIS POSSESSION FOR “PROBABLY 30 YEARS, [WHERE] IT WAS DISPLAYED IN [MY] LIVING ROOM IN FRONT OF THE FIRE PLACE.” ABOUT HOW HE CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE SIGN, LIGHTBOUND SAID, “WELL, I HAD SPENT SOME TIME WORKING IN WATERTON PARK, AND AT ONE POINT I SPENT A SUMMER ON THE SOFA MOUNTAIN LOOKOUT WHICH IS IN THE BELLY RIVER DISTRICT. AT THE TIME I CAME ACROSS THIS SIGN I WAS WITH THE ALBERTA FOREST SERVICE, DOING SOME WORK IN THE POLL HAVEN REGION SOUTHWEST OF CARDSTON." "AT ONE TIME, I THINK BACK IN THE EARLY 1900S, THAT POLL HAVEN AREA WAS INCLUDED INSIDE OF THE WATERTON PARK BOUNDARIES—IT WAS PART OF THE PARK. I WAS DOING SOME WORK IN THERE, AND I CAME TO AN OLD TRAIL WHERE THERE WAS ALL WINDFALL AND TREES DOWN ALL OVER IT, AND I NOTICED ONE TREE HAD A SIGN ATTACHED TO IT. IT WAS FACING DOWN, I GOT CURIOUS AND I WENT OVER THERE AND PRIED IT OFF THE TREE. HERE IT WAS AN OLD SIGN POINTING THE TRAIL TO THE BELLY RIVER RANGER STATION. AT THAT POINT, THEY WERE MAKING USE OF TRAILS IN THE POLL HAVEN AREA WHICH WAS, AS I SAID, PART OF WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK AND THIS WAS POINTING TO THE NEAREST WARDEN STATION, [WHICH WAS ACTIVE] AT THE TIME… I GOT THE SIGN. [BUT THE TRAIL] WAS OBLITERATED.” LATER IN THE INTERVIEW, LIGHTBOUND STATED HE CAME ACROSS THE SIGN “PROBABLY IN THE EARLY ’80S.” A FOOTNOTE WRITTEN BY THE TRANSCRIBER AND WATERTON HISTORIAN, CHRIS MORRISON, STATES: “POLL HAVEN, A 16-SQUARE MILE PARCEL OF LAND, WAS LOCATED ON THE EXTREME EASTERN EDGE OF THE PARK. IT WAS PART OF THE GOVERNMENT’S 1914 ENLARGEMENT OF WATERTON. IT WAS WITHDRAWN FROM PARK BOUNDARIES IN 1947 BY ACT OF PARLIAMENT TO PERMIT A LAND EXCHANGE WITH THE PROVINCE OF ALBERTA TO ALLOW THE EXPANSION [OF] ELK ISLAND NATIONAL PARK TO THE NORTH. THE NAME POLL HAVEN IS STILL IN USE AND IS A COMMUNITY PASTURE FOR LOCAL RANCHERS.” LIGHTBOUND DESCRIBED HIS JOB ACTIVITIES BY SAYING, “[IN THE] FOREST SERVICE, THERE’S NUMEROUS ACTIVITIES GOING ON IN DIFFERENT DISTRICTS AND AT THAT POINT… I WAS... CHECKING THE TIMBER PERMITS AND THE GRAZING ACTIVITY. BUT ALSO, THERE’S FIRE CONTROL OF COURSE, YOU’RE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SMOKE POPPING OUT SOMEWHERE. WE WERE ASSISTING FISH AND WILDLIFE AND THAT PRETTY WELL COVERS THAT AREA DOWN IN THERE. I WAS POSTED IN BLAIRMORE IN THE CROWSNEST PASS AT THE TIME, SO I DIDN’T GO OUT THERE VERY OFTEN… I DROVE OUT THERE FROM BLAIRMORE OF COURSE AND I PARKED THE TRUCK AND WAS ON FOOT AFTER THAT… " WHEN ASKED IF HE ENJOYED HIS JOB, LIGHTBOUND REPLIED, “OH I SURE DID! ... [I ENJOYED] BEING OUTDOORS MOST OF THE TIME, AND THE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND QUITE OFTEN YOU’RE A LONG WAYS FROM THE OFFICE, SO NOBODY WAS TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO… I STARTED BACK IN THE EARLY ’50S, AND I WAS STILL THERE IN 1985.” LIGHTBOUND SPOKE TO WHY HE CHOOSE TO COLLECT THE SIGN FROM THE TREE, “WELL, I KNEW WHY IT WAS THERE, WHY IT HAD BEEN PUT THERE, AND IT MEANT SOMETHING TO ME. I THOUGHT IF I DON’T RESCUE THIS SIGN, IT’LL JUST BE THERE UNTIL IT ROTS, BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE IS GOING TO CLAMBER THROUGH ALL THIS DEADFALL LOOKING FOR IT… IT WAS KIND OF A REMINDER OR SOUVENIR OF MY DAYS OUT THERE.” THINKING ABOUT THE HISTORY WITH THE SIGN, LIGHTBOUND CONTINUED, “WELL, I WONDERED HOW LONG IT HAD BEEN THERE. I KNEW THAT THE POLL HAVEN AREA HAD BEEN INCLUDED IN THE PARK AT ONE TIME ALTHOUGH I WASN’T AWARE OF THE DATES. AND IT CROSSED MY MIND TOO, I WONDERED HOW MANY TRAVELERS HAD COME ALONG ON HORSEBACK OR WITH THEIR PACKHORSES AND WHAT HAVE YOU, HEADING FOR WATERTON LAKES PARK AND WONDERING WHEN THEY’D COME ACROSS A LITTLE BIT OF CIVILIZATION. AND HERE WAS SOMETHING TO ENCOURAGE THEM.” ON THE HISTORY OF BELLY RIVER STATION, MORRISON NOTED, “THE FIRST BELLY RIVER WARDEN STATION WAS BUILT IN 1917 AND WAS CONNECTED TO PARK HEADQUARTERS BY TELEPHONE. A WARDEN STATION CONTINUED TO SERVE THE AREA THROUGH TO THE EARLY 1970 WHEN OUTLYING WARDEN RESIDENCES WERE DISCONTINUED AND WARDENS WERE MOVED INTO THE TOWN SITE. THE DATES OF THE TRAILS TO THIS SITE IS NOT RECORDED IN THE WLNP [WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK] ARCHIVES SPECIFICALLY BUT THE TRAILS WOULD HAVE BEEN BUILT (OR IMPROVED) AROUND 1917 FOR ACCESS TO THE STATION AND TO HAUL SUPPLIES FOR HUMANS AND HORSES. A ROUGH TOTE ROAD HAD BEEN BUILT NORTH TO MOUNTAIN VIEW YEARS BEFORE (NO DATE AVAILABLE) AND WAS USED AS A ROUTE TO GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA." PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL, ANNOTATED INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND DONOR’S NOTE.
Catalogue Number
P20140032001
Acquisition Date
2014-08
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail