This must be a Route 66 hotel, right? A hotel borne of car culture, a lonely stop among the cacti on the most famous two lane highway through the American southwest. Right?
Actually, it’s not. It’s about as far from Route 66 as you can imagine. This is the Cadillac Hotel, also known as the Range Line Tavern, in Cadillac, Saskatchewan. I’m not sure of the present status, but at one time, it was for sale with an asking price of $175,000 (Canadian), and a lot of details are included in the listing: The main floor is a complete bar with a full-commercial kitchen, and there are twelve hotel rooms on the upper floor.
From a pure appearance standpoint, I was fascinated with this place when I discovered it on Google Street View. I was desperate to get this shot of the front of the establishment because it spoke to me as a place out-of-place… a boarding house that belonged in the high desert, but instead materialized on the Canadian prairie. You can order a fine art print of the Cadillac Hotel here.
Unfortunately, just as I arrived in Cadillac, a gentleman in a white truck parked right in front of the door, which prevented me from getting the shot I wanted. So, instead, I photographed a few other places around Cadillac, then went down the road and photographed Admiral, Saskatchewan, and an abandoned 6-arch bridge, and when I traveled back through Cadillac a little later in the day, the man in the white truck was just driving away, and I was able to get the shot I had been hoping for.
Cadillac’s main deserted place is the former Cadillac School. The memorial plaque on the front is dated 1930–1966, and there was a class reunion in 1995.
I’m just guessing, but it looks like the school that served Cadillac before the big brick one is the little white one out back.
Cadillac is in southern Saskatchewan, about 240 kilometers southwest of Regina, or about 215 kilometers southeast of Medicine Hat, Alberta. It is along Highway 13, also known as the Red Coat Trail–the approximate route taken by the North-West Mounted Police in 1874 during their campaign to bring law and order to the Canadian west.
A decaying Buick waits in the tall grass of Cadillac.
Cadillac is also along another historic route known as the “Ghost Town Trail.” The presence of a number of ghost towns and abandoned places along the route is what drew my interest, initially. Visitors should not misunderstand, though. Even with the presence of a number of impressive deserted places, Cadillac, Saskatchewan has a population reportedly around 100 and is not a ghost town.
The sign on the front says “PrairieGirlz Grocery.”
Our Lady of Confidence Roman Catholic Parish holds mass Sunday mornings at 8:00 am.
Photos by Troy Larson, copyright © 2017, Sonic Tremor Media