Saturday, July 28, 2018

Sage Hill Writing named for a cold war radar station

Photo from C and E museum

During the Cold War era, Canada and the US established the DEW (distant early warning) Line. This row of radar station resembled a bead necklace strung across the throat of the Far North. It was backed up by two further lines, the Mid-Canada and the Pinetree Line. The idea was to have advance warning in case Soviet aircraft flew over North America.

Part of the Pinetree Line, Canadian Forces Station Dana was also known as Sage Hill. Established by NORAD in 1962, it was decommissioned in the mid-eighties. It stood idle until being turned to service as a conference centre that hosted earlier incarnations of the Sage Hill writing experience. Larry Gasper, a Saskatchewan writer who attended Sage Hill there, remembers the bat guano that filled the abandoned tower.


  1. I was a Cold Warrior from 1970 to 2016, in uniform until 1996, then as a contractor until retirement. These radars were for detecting aircraft not missiles. Missile warning radars were located in Clear (AK), Thule (GL), and Fylingdales (UK), and later submarine-launched ballistic missile detection radars were set up on Cape Cod (MA), Robins (GA), Eldorado (TX), and Beale AFB (CA). An anti-ballistic missile radar at Concrete (ND) was integrated into the network as well. You can see maps of both air and missile radar networks at: and

  2. Thanks for the correction (made) and added info, Lenny C