Waskasoo’s past

A neighbour just sent me these wonderful photos of the Waskasoo neighbourhood, curated by Red Deer and District Archives. These are quite large images, so click on each one to see more detail.

waskasoo motor drive
Not sure where this was taken but I suspect it is somewhere along our street, Waskasoo Crescent. There seems to be much more poplar than there is now.
early waskasoo crescent
A very early photo of Waskasoo Crescent, predating paved roads and even concrete sidewalks! I don’t know quite where this house was, but it no longer exists.
looking west
This is an aerial view looking west over Waskasoo, probably taken during World War II. The long buildings to the right are army barracks and other military buildings. In the centre, married quarters (some still under construction) which still form a large part of our community. In the foreground are two square buildings. I think the closer one is the present day Memorial Centre. The agricultural land across the river is now a light industrial park.
looking east
This aerial photo, looking northeast, also probably dates to WWII. The arc of Waskasoo Crescent is in the foreground. One house on Waskasoo is almost  completely ringed with mature spruce. Our house was built on the right hand (south) side of this lot and three of those trees still survive in our front yard.  At the upper right corner is First Gaetz Lake, an oxbow lake created by the meanders of Red Deer River (left side). It’s now part of a migratory bird  preserve. Much of the bare plain between the lake and the river is now treed. Nothing remains of the military camp except the small houses east of Waskasoo Crescent.
This is perhaps my favorite photo of the set, shot near dusk looking west over the confluence of Waskasoo Creek and the Red Deer River, and quite close to our house. The exact merging of these two bodies of water has changed significantly since this photo was taken some eighty years ago or so and there is now a small footbridge over the creek at this point.  I first saw this photo on the cover of Aspenland II: On Women’s Lives and Work in Central Alberta, edited by  my friend David Ridley.

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