Posted on 14-06-2008
Filed Under (Calgary 1960s, CPR, Many Jobs and Trades) by Broken Rail

Here I’ve posted a photograph showing the Ogden Station, which looks to me not much more than a sectionmen’s bunkhouse with a train order signal on the roof. There is also an excellent view of the old Beanery and Apprentice School and that became the main gate into the shops. When I first started hanging out in Ogden we walked down the CPR’s main line a little further north from where this picture was taken and still standing was a derelict roadmaster’s house.

Ogden hotel. 1912

In the second picture I have posted shows a view of the Ogden Hotel under construction, with two floors showing. The building was finished with a third-floor and became a popular place to stay for people living in doing business in the Ogden area. During World War I, the hotel was donated for the war effort and became a convalescent hospital bill about 1919. It then reverted back to a hotel owned by the Calgary Brewery who owned many hotels in Alberta to distribute their product. In 1935, the building was taken over by the Alberta Government and became a Single Men’s Hostel until around 1969 when a new Hostel was opened downtown, and the building was sold. It was then renamed Alyth Lodge and rented out rooms by the month; there was a pool hall on the main floor, with a restaurant in the back run by a woman named Mabel.

A funny thing happened at the sandblast:

Here is a funny story I must tell you a couple of friends of mine worked at Ogden in the 1970s they were Jim Fielding and Dwight Mazie. They had a job sandblasting the interiors of hopper cars; this was done outside the South of the No. 2 Coachshop. They had to climb into the top of the cars through a hatchway on the roof. There was a ladder that descended into the bottom of the car down there they would drag a hose with a steel nozzle on the end and open a valve to sandblast the interior surface of the car that would be coated with the residue of the product they carried, such as cement and fertilizer. One would sandblast, and the other one would stay out side to feed sand into the compressor. They would take turns doing this during their shift, changing off every two hours, one day Dwight had a brilliant idea, why not tie the hose down at the top of the ladder turn on the nozzle, start up the compressor and let the hose do all the work. They tried it out the hose was swaying around like a serpent possessed, it worked great the two of them could then have a nap as they worked unsupervised and as long as their quota of cars were done for the day who cared. Then one afternoon, they awoke from their nap to find sand shooting out of the side of the car they were working on. The covered hopper car was made of steel 3/8 of an inch thick, what had happened was the hose got stuck in one of the rungs of the ladder and for two hours the sand was sprayed on the same spot, which eventually wore a hole through the steel. This was their last shift at Ogden.

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