Famous Cardston

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Flag of Canada  ,
Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Off to Cardston today, just 15 miles north of the USA border - best not drive too far :) As you approach you catch sight of its first claim to fame; a huge white granite Mormon Temple. This town was built as the Mormons traveled north from Utah to escape persecution. Well it's a big building, shimmering in the cool October sunshine, a tribute to the builders who took ten years to complete the structure. Downtown there is the log cabin built by the founder of Cardston in 1887, Zena Young Card, daughter of Brigham Young and wife of Charles Ora Card.


The second claim to fame is a carriage museum http://www.remingtoncarriagemuseum.com/ and that's big too. We thought we may while away an hour or two checking out a few old wagons, turned out we whiled away 5 hours. This is an amazing place, set up by one man, Don Remington who started a bit of a collection, now, taken over by the province, it houses over 250 vehicles.


I was in my element as we found out how they were built and maintained, we even got a personal tour round the restoration workshops. 

 Val told us he had worked there for 17 years (the last 7 as a "retired" volunteer). Every vehicle had its own story to tell and we were immersed in a completely different way of life and we had our picture taken riding the stagecoach. Actually this is a replica built by Don Remington and it has been used in a number of Hollywood films including Shanghai Noon - Jackie Chan and Tom Selleck in Crossfire Trail.

We even found out that the early settlers who tried sheep farming used some of the first RV's (not sure if they were called "snowbirds" though). I worked out how todays' 5th wheel trailers got the name. Look at the steering arrangement for the front axle of a carriage - it looks like a horizontal wheel, so it got called the 5th wheel - I made the connection. Right or wrong I am happy with this and so yet another mystery has been solved :)

Betsy was happy reading about the history of the people using the vehicles. All in all a great 5 hours.
Back in the town centre we visited another of Cardston's claims to fame - the Fay Wray Fountain. Fay Wray was the girl in the hand of the gorilla on top of the Empire State Building, yes, the actress in King Kong. Let's just say the fountain was dry :(

So were we, so off home for a cuppa...
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