Glen Carlson asks us to help him figure out whether the Bay store downtown really used to have a Christmas train on the rooftop.
There’s a lot riding on the answer, because Glen’s wife, friends, and most of his family – pretty much everyone he knows – think he made it up.
Listen first! For real, don’t scroll down below the spoiler tag until you’ve heard the episode.
Our journey started at the City of Edmonton Archives, since it seemed like the kind of thing that might be captured in a photograph or a newspaper article. Archivist Melissa McCarthy helped us start looking there.
Glen was born in 1952, so we started digging there.
Christmas displays were a big deal at the Bay, just like they were at other big department stores downtown at the time.
We found a hilarious article from the Edmonton Bulletin on Christmas Eve, 1908, where the writer seems to have fallen asleep near the end.
After a lot of scrolling through microfilm and flipping through clipping files for the Bay and for Christmas, we struck gold.