A Work in Progress: The Root Cellar
The Root Cellar: "Belly of the Bar U" © Parks Canada
Gaze through the fence at the entrance to root cellar this summer as part of your visit to the Bar U Ranch.
The rest of the root cellar will be restored by the Mountain Parks Restoration at the end of the operating season. The root cellar is part of the “belly of the Bar U”, which also includes the cookhouse and garden. The cellar was complex with a network of passages and built in wood shelving.
The cellar stored food year-round for up to two dozen people. It may not seem a big deal to have a functioning root cellar, but consider that in the 1920s, there was no grocery store nearby, and Calgary was a couple of days away on horseback.
The root cellar was state of the art technology for root cellars, probably built in 1917 and used right through 1950.
Because it was built on level ground, it lasted longer than previous root cellars. C.E.Miller, most likely the construction foreman, and a cowboy known as Charlie, left his name on one of the stone walls.