Notes left at Maggie’s Diner

Posted on Jul 23, 2015

Ever since the Museum of the Highwood (just one short block from Maggie's Diner in High River) started their Heartland display a couple of weeks ago, fans of the series have been dropping by and admiring props and photos and costumes from television's favourite family drama. I'm told visitors from not only Alberta, but from all across Canada and around the world are stopping by Maggie's in High River - the town that doubles for Heartland's Town of Hudson.

That's not really a surprise.

A few years ago... well, more than a few to be honest, CBC ran a half-hour dramatic series from 1972 to 1990 titled "The Beachcombers." The series was filmed in Gibsons, British Columbia, and there was a cafe in it called Molly's Reach. Just like Maggie's it was a focal point for visitors who were fans of the series; they would travel from all over the globe to be close to a filming location of their favourite show (The Beachcombers was very popular in Australia, the UK and New Zealand, to name a few). And also just like Maggie's it was only a set. Today it is an actual cafe, but it never was open to the public during the years when the Beachcombers was filmed there.

Today Maggie's Diner is there in downtown High River, patiently waiting for fans to have their photo taken in front of it. Although Heartland does not film as much at Maggie's as the Beachcombers did at Molly's, it is still a very important part of the series and is the only set where fans can actually visit and photograph. All other sets of the series stand on private land.

The Town of High River still has the motto - High River Home of Heartland - and if you drop by and buy something at a local store or take in some of the restaurants in the town or even just fuel up at a local gas station you will be helping High River, which is still recovering from the flood of June, 2013. Of course you will probably want to visit the museum; it's free and you'll get to see things from Amy's iconic red jacket to the ranch doll house Jack and Tim built to a Hudson Derby saddle to a Maggie's waitress outfit. Check it out next time you visit.

Now something that has started happening is that fans are feeling compelled to write notes and tack them on the bulletin board below the chalkboard by the main entrance of Maggie's. People seem to be increasingly compelled to write on any piece of paper they can find and put them up for all visitors to see.

When I was sent a pile of these I read them and was touched by the comments and the sentiments of so many fans who so love this television series. So, being the Blog Whisperer that I am, I photographed a pile of them and have displayed them here for all Heartlanders to read. I have removed email addresses and telephone numbers and I know some may be difficult to read in their entirety, but you can get an idea of the overall feelings that fans of this series have.

I've written this before and here it is again: Heartland has the best fans in the world that any television series could ask for. The fact that people are making Alberta and High River a vacation destination from not just Edmonton and Vancouver, but from the east coast of Canada, from states thousands of miles away and from France, Germany, Austria, Ireland and others too numerous to mention underlines what Heartland means to so many people.

So once again, from the bottom of this Blog Whisperer's heart - an awesome THANK YOU to all of you. It's you fans that keep the series going, and trust me - with season 9 coming Sunday, October 4, 2015 it is going very, very well.

By my count that's 73 days away! And like most fractions of time it will come and go before you know it. Meanwhile I'll try to keep you occupied with these Thursday blogs and now on Tuesdays you'll be getting some Heartland Memories, the first of which ran two days ago.

That's all I have today - a little "in praise of Heartlanders" blog. Next week I'll have some more production news for you from set and I will have some shots from the gallery photo shoot, which is taking place over the next week.

Until then I shall remain, as always, obediently yours.