As you climb our historic steps and pass through the massive old door from early Quebec, stop a moment, look around and listen carefully. If your imagination is working, you might just feel the presence of High River history in this building.
It’s a rare grand old building, built by the federal government in the cash-strapped “Dirty Thirties” and it was the town’s main Post Office from 1931 to 1972. In 1930 while excavating for the building’s foundation, a “frontier grave” was discovered. In the 1940’s it shared space with the RCMP and for a time it was the Town Office. In the 70’s, it was taken over by the Town Of High river and became their Town Office. In days gone by, the Post Office was a place to get your mail, meet friends and catch up on the news. In this one, you might have seen Joe Clark, one of Canada’s Prime Ministers or W.O. Mitchell, the author of “Who Has Seen The Wind” and “Jake And The Kid. Mr. Mitchell liked to sit on the front steps where he had a better chance to talk with everyone.
The building sat empty and neglected from 2001 up to 2005 when it was purchased by Don and Brenda Carlson who renovated it with an eye toward preserving as many heritage type aspects as possible. Salvaged flooring from an old apartment building in Lethbridge, fir timbers from an aircraft hangar in Fort Macleod, Granite steps from the post office in Claresholm and pieces of an old iron bridge were some of the item used in the rebuilding effort. Upstairs, there is a stylish loft style living space. With many years of history running through its hallways, visitors get a special feeling from this old brick building. History lives here!
Today, you enter a stately space featuring a bistro, cappuccino & wine bar, a gallery of art, and one of Canada’s finest (small) live music venues. Posters tell the story of great concerts, past and future. Be part of the history, come on in and stay awhile.
All above images courtesy Bill Fowler