There is so much to see and do in the Canadian Badlands you could plan a full two week vacation, (we definitely recommend you do) and there would still be plenty left for another visit! Best known for the amazing dinosaur bone-beds, hoodoos, interesting topography, the very famous Royal Tyrell Museum and a little less known for it's ghost towns, the Badlands are a popular vacation destination. Over the next few months leading up to the Best of the Bad Mega Event we'll highlight some of the many POI's worth seeing during your stay in this beautiful region of western Canada.
In Starland County, at the heart of the Canadian Badlands and nestled in the Red Deer River Valley, lies the picturesque ghost town of Dorothy, Alberta. Just a few miles south-east of Drumheller, Dorothy was named for the daughter of Jack Wilson, one of the hamlet's early settlers at the turn of the 20th century. When Arthur Peake, another area pioneer, first arrived, he had to dismantle equipment and wagons and lower it all down the banks of the river using ropes as there were no roads. He built his log cabin just one mile west of Dorothy in 1906. Although never expanding beyond 100 residents the hamlet saw growth after the post office was established in 1908 and it's greatest prosperity came after the arrival of the railway lines in the 1920's. With the "boom" in population, Dorothy became a popular social centre for the first half of the 20th century. The hamlet's United and Catholic churches were the focal point for the entire area's social events. By 1944, the hamlet had the two churches, a post office, a school, three grain elevators, a butcher's shop, pool room, a grocery shop, a telephone office, restaurant and a machine agency.
Today, Dorothy, Alberta is home to just a handful of residents. Both churches, the Peake family's original log cabin, a grain elevator and a community hall, which the area residents still use, are still standing. There are many interesting sites, lots of photo ops and a small museum for visitors to learn more about the fascinating history of this area. And of course, we can't forget we're geocachers. There are several caches en route (and just off route) from Drumheller and right in town you'll find "Valley Ghost Town", GCWAWJ.
We're looking forward to sharing more of this unique region and the awesome caches located throughout. If you've travelled and cached here please don't hesitate to share some of your favourites in the comments area!
227 Days and counting to Western Canada's Baddest Mega Event! Don't forget to log your "will attend" at GC2GA1J.
The photo link at the top of this blog was taken by our very own Westrock-Bob just outside of Dorothy, Alberta.