It Began with a Bang

Nothing Happened in Coronation


I lived in Coronation until I was 18. 


It Began with a Bang

Coronation was the result of a sexual act.

Edward VII exercised his connubial rights with Alexandra of Denmark on or about September 4th of 1864.

George V of England popped out of his mummy’s belly in June of the following year.


Edward VII died in 1910 and George V, 16, became Emperor King of the entire friggin’ British Empire.

A year later they held a coronation for George V.

About that time the Canadian Pacific Railway was building a railway through Alberta and one of the divisional points was named Coronation in honor of George V.

A small town with a great future had begun with a royal bang.

Following is what the town of Coronation looked like in 1911.

Pretend you are a gopher watching humans build stuff. That is what you would see.

When I lived there in 1950 we had 9,409 gophers for each person.


The edge of the town.


The main street.


If you were a gopher, you would

have seen many sod houses like this.


The Canadian Pacific Railway – 1912.

At the edge of Coronation.


Main street – 1912


And here is what the world was like in

the big city of Calgary in 1910 in

a Coronation Parade.


Read what things were like in 1904 —

+ The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.

+ Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

+ Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

+ A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.

+ T here were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.

+ The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.


+ Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.

+ With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

+ The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!


+ The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour. The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

+ A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

+ More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

+ Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as “substandard.”


+ Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

+ Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

+ Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.


+ The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:  1. Pneumonia and influenza 2. Tuberculosis 3. Diarrhea 4. Heart disease 5. Stroke

+ The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.

+ The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30.


+ Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented.

+ Two of 10 U.S. adults couldn’t read or write.

+ Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

+ Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”

+ Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

+ There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.

From huge crowds things kind of went downhill in Coronation.

This is 1945.


Even though Coronation had an auspicious beginning in the early 1900s, stuff went wrong.

I like to think my family and I were part of what made Coronation fail in later years.



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