Can history be considered to have social traits? I mean, it mixes and mingles with the best of them. It provides a sense of belonging, lets you look back at the path we’ve traveled, and influences who we are.
The history of this house and my family seem to have come together unexpectedly. The house has been in the valley for over one-hundred years. My family, not quite that long, but close to it.
My great-grandparents lived here and farmed close by. Immigrants or children of immigrants, they had kids, stayed close, more children, still here, and then me. Here, gone, and back.
My great-grandfather and grandfather on my mom’s side worked at the Newcastle Mine, which Jessie Gouge, the original owner of the house, opened and owned. Imagine, 70 or more years ago, a miner being told that his grandson would live in the house of the mine owner. I doubt he would have believed it.
My grandfather owned a gas station in Carbon, just down the road. He was a mechanic and eventually opened the John Deere dealership in town. My dad worked there and sold AMC and Jeeps vehicles. I grew up playing in the parts room, wondering at the old safe in the office, and playing on tractors or in cars that were left open.
We collected fossils and built forts, explored abandoned miner’s shacks and rode our bikes everywhere. My grandmother lived down the street when we were close to Riverside, and my other grandmother lived down the street in Newcastle. We cut yards, raided gardens, and played kick the can in the street.
Drumheller is home, and my history is here, in Newcastle and Riverside, in the cemetery and buildings I pass. Long ago I realized I felt most comfortable surrounded by hills or mountains. The effects of growing up in a valley.
While you’re at The Tyrannosaurus Rest, my intention is that you feel the history and comfort of Drumheller during your stay. It’s a remarkable place. An oasis on the prairie.