Finding Classic Neon Signs In The Gas City

In 1907, Rudyard Kipling took a train across Canada. When he arrived in Medicine Hat, he had a rather eye opening quote to describe the place.

This part of the country seems to have all hell for a basement, and the only trap door appears to be in Medicine Hat.

He was describing the booming natural gas economy in the town that proudly wore “The Gas City” nickname.

3 years later, the city would look to find a new name, wanting to move on from Medicine Hat finding it awkward and not descriptive of the bustling gas town. They looked to Kipling, who urged them to leave it as is.

To my mind, the name of Medicine Hat echoes the old Cree and Blackfoot tradition of red mystery and romance that once filled the prairies. Also it hints at the magic that underlies the city in the shape of your natural gas. Believe me, the very name is an asset, and as years go on will become more and more of an asset.

So Medicine Hat stayed Medicine Hat and their “The Gas City” moniker also remained. While natural gas is what made the place famous, it easily could have been famous for pottery, or neon.

There are some remarkable old signs in Medicine Hat. Just cruise around the city of 60 000 and you’ll see them everywhere. From the highway to downtown, to around random corners, here are some of the neon gas signs to try and find when you visit The Gas City:

Ranchmen Motel

Ranchmen Motel - Medicine Hat - Buzz Bishop

Sattelite Motel

Sattelite Motel - Medicine Hat - Buzz Bishop

Sattelite Motel - Medicine Hat - Buzz Bishop

Sattelite Motel - Medicine Hat - Buzz Bishop

Bel-Aire Motel

Bel Aire Motel - Medicine Hat - Buzz Bishop

Bel Aire Motel - Medicine Hat - Buzz Bishop

Hat Motel

Hat Motel - Medicine Hat - Buzz Bishop

Assiniboia Inn

Assiniboia Inn - Medicine Hat - Buzz Bishop

Knowles Electric

Knowles Electric - Medicine Hat - Buzz Bishop

Then there are other classic signs, not neon, but still wonderful to seek and find.

There’s old vintage brick signs all over downtown.

2015-04 Medicine Hat Signs - 14

2015-04 Medicine Hat Signs - 16

The Monarch Theatre has a wonderful art deco style font.

2015-04 Medicine Hat Signs - 15

And I only wish I hadn’t eaten so much already on my visit (having done 5 courses in the Saamis Teepee and an early lunch at Skinny’s Smoke House) because Tino’s looked absolutely wonderful.

2015-04 Medicine Hat Signs - 17

Next time you go to Medicine Hat, take a wander and see if you can find more wonderful signs.The Blog According to Buzz

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