At the heart of Alberta’s wheat country is Vulcan, a town named for the Roman God of Fire and the Forge. Today, in honour of the nation-wide initiative of Culture Days, On This Spot is featuring its historic self-guided walking tour of this thriving prairie town, along with our virtual tour of the Vulcan Museum. The 16-stop walking tour and 360 degree virtual tour are both available for free online and through the On This Spot app.
Vulcan was incorporated as a village in 1912 and quickly grew into a major grain shipping point, boasting nine iconic grain elevators—the so-called ‘9 in a line’—more than any other town west of Winnipeg. A huge tornado ripped through Vulcan in 1927, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. During the Second World War an airbase was established just southwest of town, bringing an influx of airmen from across the Commonwealth for a time.
Today, all but one of the grain elevators have been demolished, but the town continues to serve as the service hub for Vulcan County. The tight-knit community has created murals and public art around town and erected attractions like Solar Park—the first of its kind in Alberta. Vulcan also happens to share its name with the logical, pointy-eared race in Star Trek. This has drawn many fans of the TV show to Vulcan, and Spock has become something of a local mascot, with the visitor centre designed to look like a miniature Starship Enterprise.
Our self-guided tour takes a short walk around downtown Vulcan, exploring places that were key to the town’s history. You’ll learn about the coming of the railway, the importance of agriculture to Vulcan, and the town’s contributions to war efforts during the Second World War. You’ll also learn about some buildings that are long gone and witness the dramatic changes that have shaped Vulcan. Our virtual tour, meanwhile, allows app users to explore the Vulcan and District Historical Society Museum and Archives in 360 degrees from the comfort of their computers or phones.