Saturday, September 15, 2012

Warman Senior Center

The Senior Drop In Center located in Warman Saskatchewan is anything but boring. This location is not only a senior drop in center but also a historic site. This location is actually an old railway station that has been saved and converted but still holds original architecture of the old station. Here is some history...

"The heritage value of the Warman Senior Drop-In Centre lies in its association with the development of the railway and the establishment of Warman. The community, located approximately 25 kilometres north of Saskatoon, exists due to its strategic location at the intersection of the north-south Canadian Pacific Railway and the east-west Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) line established in 1904 (which became part of Canadian National Railway (CNR) after 1919). The station was used by CNR until 1942 when it was moved from its original location near the intersection of the two rail lines.

The heritage value of the building also lies in its architecture. The building is an example of CNR’s standard plan for a third class railway station. When the CNR developed its rail transportation network across Canada at the turn of the century it developed a set of architectural plans for first, second and third class stations. Third class stations were very common throughout the prairies, acting as both freight depots and passenger stations. The upper half-storey of the building was designed specifically as a living space for the station agents and their families. This station is slightly different from most third class stations since a major addition to the storage section was built shortly after the structure was constructed.

The heritage significance of the Warman Senior Drop-In Centre also lies in the building’s adaptive re-use as a community centre. Since the station was closed in the 1980s, the community of Warman moved the building to its current location, renovated the interior and restored the exterior so that it could be used as a senior citizens' drop-in centre.

Town of Warman Bylaw No. 2004-10.

Not only is this the most unique drop in center in the province but it is hiding some secrets from its past. This location is well known as being haunted. When you enter this building you will immediately feel uncomfortable, a sense of being watched. It is an uncomfortable place and it is obvious that you are not alone in the building. Not only is there activity inside but people have seen activity from just walking by this location. There are claims of green lights coming through the windows, a white circle of light on the upper level window and shadows of people inside when you know it is empty. This location has lots of history and it is clear that not every residents or past worker of this location has left. But don't take my word for it, why not drop in?


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Jewish Cemetery

I have decided to make a post about a very unique historic cemetery in the province. It is a Jewish Cemetery and what makes it unique is the "grave houses." The cemetery features many old graves dating back to 1902 and has about 60 graves. Some of these graves have grave houses which are rare for Saskatchewan Jewish cemeteries.  This style of graves reflect an Eastern European traditional influence.

When I first found this cemetery I was intrigued at first by the houses. I had never seen anything like it and could not believe how many there were and different styles. Some were even updated to modern metal siding. The Jewish families have all moved away in the last 100 years leaving this cemetery the only remains of their settlement.

So why grave houses? Well some believe that they were built to keep animals and livestock away, keep the rain off, provide shade, comfort to the dead spirit and providing a home for the spirit of the dead are just some theories. Whatever the case may be they are not common in Saskatchewan .

The cemetery also features a shed that has information and artifacts from the graveyard. The grave houses are each individually unique and most headstones have Hebrew on them. This is by far the most interesting graveyard I have been to in the province.

If this graveyard is haunted, how do the spirits feel about these houses?