Thursday, October 27, 2011

What a Ghost Town Says

Crumbling walls, gaping frames, and empty door frames are the only remains of the Lower Bankshead Lamphouse near Banff, Alberta. The ghost town has a crunchy coal pathway winding through what once was a thriving coal mining operation. A couple of coal cars sit frozen on a piece of track. Glimpses of foundation walls poke through prairie grass. History leaves her ugliest secrets silently buried here, but proudly flaunts the good that happened.  

Upper Bankshead was the village where the miner's families lived. Only the steps to the community church remain. The weathered sign says that these isolated families of several different ethnic and religious backgrounds sat and worshipped together in this place. Peacefully.

The lamp house is where I spent most of my time. It haunted me. The plaque read: 

I wish every community of any kind had a lamp house

Sometimes a person's light goes out, but there is no one to go searching for the missing owner of the lamp. No one knows. No one cares. The empty spot on the shelf goes unnoticed. Lord, forgive us. 


Louise Gallagher said...

Kathleen!!! Does this mean you are here? In Alberta? Banff? You are only miles away if you are!!! And it would be so cool to get together....

Maureen said...


I love your comment about the lamps. It really touches me.

Anonymous said...

Yes it was a haunting place, you put it beautifully.
So glad we shared that trip.
Love you

Anonymous said...

i have been to places, like an old fort larmie in is a bit haunting there, i felt it in the officers quarters. a kind of connection of some kind.