Castle Camp

Castle Camp (HM224O)

Location: Castle Junction, Alberta T0L Division No. 15
Country: Canada
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N 51° 17.48', W 115° 58.068'

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Internment in Banff National Park

End of the RoadOn the night of July 14, 1915 sixty prisoners were marshalled off a Canadian Pacific train just west of here and escorted to a barbed wire compound at the end of the unfinished Banff-Laggan (now Lake Louise) road. So began the first internment camp operation in Canada's national parks.Camp LifeCamp life was hard. Clearing and grubbing roadbeds with axes, picks and wheelbarrows was backbreaking work made worse by the sometimes brutal treatment levied by the guards. The daily routine called for eight hours of labour but the march to and from the work site sometimes turned this into a thirteen-hour day. Escape attempts were frequent.Rest came on Sundays or when extreme cold, rain or snow made the work too difficult or the security of the prisoners too risky. The demands of the war effort and the remoteness of the site often interrupted the delivery of supplies, making life more desperate for all.Legacy of their LabourBetween 1915 and 1917 more than six hundred men toiled to build roads and bridges in the national park including some ten Kilometres of the road you are standing on. They also constructed part of the original Banff Springs golf course.Beginning in 1916, an economic recovery and the war's insatiable appetite for men led to a labour
shortage and many prisoners were paroled to fill this void. Some returned to the same job they had before the 1913 depression and war took their toll. On July 15, 1917 the remaining prisoners were moved to the internment camp in Kapuskasing, Ontario.For Canada, it has remained a little known story of indignities and hardships imposed on new immigrants. For many internees, it remained an untold story of their past. Some never recovered. Others returned to their homeland. But most overcame this experience to build a new life in Canada.
HM NumberHM224O
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 16th, 2017 at 7:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11U E 571973 N 5682728
Decimal Degrees51.29133333, -115.96780000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 51° 17.48', W 115° 58.068'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds51° 17' 28.8" N, 115° 58' 4.0799999999999" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near AB-1A, Castle Junction Alberta T0L, CA
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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