Fonds 155 Bezanson Family fonds

fonds-123

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1906-[ca. 1920]. — 0.3 cm of textual records — 183 photographs


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Biographical Sketch

Ancel Maynard Bezanson, born near Halifax in 1878, began his love affair with the Peace Country in 1906. That year he traveled throughout the Peace with a camera and a notebook, and shortly thereafter published “The Peace River Trails” to promote the Peace River Country as a place to settle. He was convinced of the agricultural potential of the area, and returned for another scouting trip in 1907, and then to settle with his bride, Dorothy Robillard, in 1908. That winter, Dorothy died in childbirth, but her child (Frank) survived. In 1910, Bezanson married Dorothy’s sister Lois and the couple returned to the Peace Country. The couple lost twin girls and had one more son who survived (Jim).

The Bezanson Ranch was called Teepee Ranch, but Bezanson also kept herds of cattle at Saskatoon Lake. When the C.N.R. Survey came through Teepee Ranch in 1908, Bezanson began to promote a townsite “along the railway” on a bench above the Smoky River. In 1913, Bezanson drove the first car over the Edson Trail. Accompanying him was A.J. Davidson, a real estate dealer from Edmonton, who supported Bezanson’s vision of a railroad and town.

In 1914 Bezanson published “Looking Ahead in the Peace Country—Building of a City’ with a detailed map of the Bezanson townsite. However, when the railroad finally came in 1916, it came to Grande Prairie. Bitterly disappointed, Bezanson left the area and finally settled at Pouce Coupe in 1931. His sons, Frank and Jim, also made their homes in British Columbia.

Custodial History

The first donation of photographs were brought to the Peace Country by the Bezanson Family at the time the Old Bezanson Townsite was declared a historical site ca. 1986. They were left in the care of Janet Sarmaga, who later deposited them with the Grande Prairie Museum. In 2000 the records were transferred to the Grande Prairie Regional Archives.

In 2003, an accrual was donated to Grande Prairie Regional Archives by Mack Prentiss, son of Marion Prentiss and Mary Sheer. These photographs had been preserved by a cousin in Seattle who ran a rooming house. When an old man there died, she was asked to forward anything of value to his next of kin, and destroy the rest. She found the Bezanson pictures, and since they referred to Grande Prairie, she sent them to her cousin Mack Prentiss. They were copied by both the Daily Herald Tribune and the Provincial Archives of Alberta, but the originals were donated to this Archives in 2003.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of a collection of photographs donated by the Bezanson family when the Bezanson Townsite became an historical site ca. 1986; and a collection found in a Seattle rooming house in the 1970s. There is some duplication in the collection. They include photographs of Bezanson’s first trip into the Peace Country in 1906, their homestead on the Smoky River from 1908-1913, his 1913 trip over the Edson Trail in a 1912 Cadillac with an Edmonton Realtor named Davidson, the creation of the hamlet of Bezanson at the junction of the Smoky and Simonette Rivers, and a collection of Peace Country scenes dating from 1910 to 1930.

Notes

Title based on the contents of the fonds.
Imposed order based on Bezanson’s publications and activities.
Related records: Library reference books: The Peace River Trail, 1907; and Sodbusters Invade the Peace, 1954.

Table of Contents

Series 155.01Bezanson Townsite collection
Series 155.02Bezanson’s First Trip to the Peace
Series 155.03A.M. Bezanson Homestead
Series 155.04Car Trip over the Edson Trail
Series 155.05Peace Country Scenes

Series 155.01Bezanson Townsite collection. — 1906-1920. — 0.3 cm of textual records — 125 photographs.

The series consists of 125 photographs portraying A.M. Bezanson’s first trip into the Peace Country in 1906, Teepee Ranch and all the activities there starting in 1908, Walter McFarlane’s survey crews which arrived in 1909, Bezanson’s trip into the Peace by automobile with A.J. Davidson in 1913, the making of the roads and townsite of Bezanson, activities on the Smoky River, The Beaver riverboat, the McFarlane family at Buffalo Lakes, and scenes from across the south Peace. There is also a copy of the booklet, “Looking Ahead in the Peace River Country to the Building of a City”, written by Bezanson ca. 1914.

Settlers surveying the grande prairie, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A. M. Bezanson and party look over the grande prairie for likely homesteading sites.
Location: 1990.30.001
Grande Prairie City, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A view of Grande Prairie City, as it appeared in 1913.
Location: 1990.30.002
Grande Prairie, Alberta, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A distant view of hamlet of Grande Prairie in 1911.
Location: 1990.30.003
An Automobile at Grande Prairie, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson with his automobile at Grande Prairie, Alberta in 1913.
Location: 1990.30.004
First Crop, Smith & Sons, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
First grain crop grown on the grande prairie. These grain stacks are on Smith & Sons farm.
Location: 1990.30.005
Tea Party on the Grande Prairie, 1911 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A party of the first white women in Grande Prairie celebrating around an improvised tea table includes Lois Bezanson at far left.
Location: 1990.30.006
Grande Prairie, Alberta, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
In 1910, Grande Prairie was called Bear Creek and the only buildings were a “hotel” and a mission.
Location: 1990.30.007
Make-shift Camp, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A party of settlers or surveyors having lunch at make-shift camp beside an abandoned log cabin.
Location: 1990.30.008
Grande Prairie Before Settlement, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A. M. Bezanson and party standing on a sweep of the “grande prairie” before settlement c, 1910.
Location: 1990.30.009
Aboriginal Teepee, Lesser Slave Lake, 1906
3 photographs; b & w; 3 x 5
An aboriginal woman and her baby standing in doorway of a teepee at Lesser Slave Lake.
Location: 1990.30.010
Crossing Slave River in Winter, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The Bezanson party with teams and covered sleighs crossing Slave Lake in the winter of 1908
Location: 1990.30.011
Crossing Slave River, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 6 x 3
John Revillion and Bill Short push their loaded canoe across Slave River in 1906.
Location: 1990.30.012
On the Banks of Lesser Slave River, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
John Revillion and Bill Short with their loaded canoe resting on the banks of Lesser Slave River in 1906.
Location: 1990.30.013
First Car on the Edson Trail, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
The first car on the Edson Trail in December, 1913.
Location: 1990.30.015
Starting From Edson by Automobile, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Loaded car starting down the Edson trail on Dec. 9, 1913 from in front of the Edson Grocery Company.
Location: 1990.30.016
On the Edson Trail, 1913
3 photographs; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson, in a coonskin coat, with the Cadillac he drove over the Edson Trail in 1913. The man on the right was the owner of the Cadillac.
Location: 1990.30.017
North of House River on the Edson Trail, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson’s loaded car on the Edson Trail, 6 miles north of the House River.
Location: 1990.30.018
120 Miles Down the Edson Trail, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A.M. Bezanson and his automobile at mile 120 on the Edson Trail.
Location: 1990.30.019
Driving The Edson Trail, 1913
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson enroute with the Cadillac he drove over the Edson Trail in 1913.
Location: 1990.30.020
Edson Trail by Automobile, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Loaded car on the Edson Trail in 1913.
Location: 1990.30.021
” Indian Winter Road”, 1913
4 prints, postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson driving his cadillac to Grouard over the “Indian Winter Road” in December 1913.
Location: 1990.30.022
Bezanson Cabin on the Big Smoky River, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 6 x 3.5
Photograph of the Bezanson cabin on the banks of the Big Smoky in 1908.
Location: 1990.30.023
Lars Crossing the Smoky River, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Lars crossing the Smoky River by boat.
Location: 1990.30.024
Fishing in the Big Smoky, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
A.M. Bezanson with the “Dolly Varden” he caught in the Big Smoky in 1908.
Location: 1990.30.025
Bezanson Homestead, Big Smoky, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
The Big Smoky River in front of the Bezanson homestead.
Location: 1990.30.026
Horses Crossing the Big Smoky, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A herd of horses cross the Big Smoky River near the Bezanson homestead.
Location: 1990.30.027
Confluence of the Smoky & Simonette Rivers, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
The confluence of the Smoky & Simmonette rivers near the Bezanson homestead.
Location: 1990.30.028
Big Smoky River above Bezanson Homestead, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
The ice-covered Big Smoky River above the Bezanson homestead.
Location: 1990.30.029
Big Smoky at Teepee Ranch, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
The Big Smoky River in front of Teepee Ranch, the Bezanson’s homestead.
Location: 1990.30.030
Boat Built by A.M. Bezanson, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A.M. Bezanson’s boat on the Big Smoky in 1910. The bear shown was shot while the man was standing in the boat going through rapids.
Location: 1990.30.031
Bear Killed near Mouth of Little Smoky, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Photograph of a bear shot near the mouth of the Little Smoky River in 1910 or 1911.
Location: 1990.30.032
Ferrying Across the Athabasca River, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Ferrying a team of horses across the Athabasca river in Dec. 1913.
Location: 1990.30.033
Winter Road to Grouard, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Bezanson’s automobile navigates the snow covered road to Grouard in 1913.
Location: 1990.30.034
North Side of the Big Smoky Ferry, 1913 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A.M. Bezanson and his automobile on the snow covered north bank of the Big Smoky River.
Location: 1990.30.035
C.N.R. Survey Party, Teepee Ranch, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A herd of horses belonging to the Canadian National Railway Survey party corralled at Teepee Ranch in 1908.
Location: 1990.30.036
Settler’s Caboose at Teepee Ranch, 1911-1912
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Settler’s cabooses stopped at Teepee Ranch in the winter of 1911-12.
Location: 1990.30.037
Enroute to Teepee Ranch, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Bezanson family traveling by caboose to Teepee Ranch in the winter of 1908.
Location: 1990.30.038
First Crop, Teepee Ranch, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson and his son on a horse-drawn mower, cutting the first crop on Teepee Ranch in 1909.
Location: 1990.30.039
Dog Sledding, 1910-1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Malcolm Campbell and some companions with their dog teams in the winter of 1910-11.
Location: 1990.30.040
Settlers Enroute through Teepee Ranch, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Settlers traveling by caboose through Teepee Ranch, enroute to the Grande Prairie c. 1910.
Location: 1990.30.041
Teepee Ranch Cabin, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Photograph of a sod-roofed log cabin at Teepee Ranch.
Location: 1990.30.042
Teepee Ranch Cabin, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Photograph of a sod-roofed log cabin at Teepee Ranch.
Location: 1990.30.043
Teepee Ranch Cabin, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Side view of Teepee Ranch Cabin and yard showing fenced play area for children and flower garden.
Location: 1990.30.044
Crossing Sturgeon Lake by Caboose, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 6 x 3.5
Bezanson party with several horse drawn sleighs crossing Sturgeon Lake in the winter of 1910.
Location: 1990.30.045
Indian Girls’ School, Sturgeon Lake, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3.5
Aboriginal students at Sturgeon Lake Mission witnessing the first car in the area, in December 1913.
Location: 1990.30.046
On the Sturgeon Lake Trail, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3
A.M Bezanson automobile at a stopping place on the Sturgeon Lake-Grouard Trail.
Location: 1990.30.047
Town Of Lake Saskatoon, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Photograph of the town of Lake Saskatoon in 1911 with the lake in the background.
Location: 1990.30.048
Bezanson Cattle at Lake Saskatoon, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3
Beef cattle belonging to A.M. Bezanson at Lake Saskatoon in 1909.
Location: 1990.30.049
Cattle at Lake Saskatoon, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A.M. Bezanson cattle grazing on the prairie at Lake Saskatoon c. 1910.
Location: 1990.30.050
Bezanson cattle near Hudson’s Bay Post, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A.M. Bezanson cattle being rounded up near the Hudson’s Bay Post at Lake Saskatoon in 1910.
Location: 1990.30.051
Sports Day, Lake Saskatoon, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A horse race during one of the first sports at Lake Saskatoon.
Location: 1990.30.052
Gathering at Lake Saskatoon, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3.5
Settlers gathering at the Sports Grounds at Lake Saskatoon in 1909.
Location: 1990.30.053
Coming Down the Wapiti River, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x x3
A settler identified as Webb traveling to the Bezanson homestead on a raft, by way of the Wapiti River.
Location: 1990.30.054
The Bezanson Family, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson with his wife Lois and his sons, Frank and Jim.
Location: 1990.30.055
A.M. Bezanson & Sons, 1913 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A.M. Bezanson his two young sons at a Golf Course in Edmonton c. 1913.
Location: 1990.30.056
Bezanson’s Garden, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
The flower and vegetable garden at Teepee Ranch, with farmyard buildings in the background.
Location: 1990.30.057
Frank Bezanson, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Frank Bezanson was born on Dec. 25, 1908, the first non-aboriginal boy born in the Grande Prairie area.
Location: 1990.30.058
Effie Flint, Bezanson, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4
Effie Flint poses on a swing at Bezanson’s homestead.
Location: 1990.30.059
Bezanson’s Office and Store Room, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A log building served as Bezanson’s office and storeroom in 1914.
Location: 1990.30.060
Bezanson’s Office & Storeroom, 1914
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson’s office and store room contains rope, equipment and boxes.
Location: 1990.30.060
Moving the Outhouse, 1916
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Bezanson uses his automobile to skid the outhouse to a new site.
Location: 1990.30.061
The Bezanson Cattle, 1914 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Bezanson’s herd of cattle at Teepee Ranch.
Location: 1990.30.062
A.M. Bezanson & Son, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 2.5 x 4
A. M. Bezanson walking with his six-year-old son Frank.
Location: 1990.30.063
Down A New Road, 1914 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
The new road through the valley leads to the townsite of Bezanson.
Location: 1990.30.064
The Bezanson Home, 1915
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
The corner of the Bezanson home in 1915.
Location: 1990.30.065
First Store in Bezanson, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Leonard’s first store at Bezanson in 1914.
Location: 1990.30.066
Bezanson In The Raw, 1914 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A view of the townsite of Bezanson from high up on the bank.
Location: 1990.30.067
Simonette River Near Bezanson, 1914 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A view of the Simonette River from high on the bank near the townsite of Bezanson.
Location: 1990.30.068
One Corner of the Town Site, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Marking one corner of the Bezanson town site, from where the Smoky River is visible below.
Location: 1990.30.069
Road Building Crew, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
Crew stopped for a lunch break while building the road to the Bezanson townsite in 1914.
Location: 1990.30.070
A.M. Bezanson on The Saskatchewan River, 1907
1 photograph; b & w; 3.5 x 5
A. M. Bezanson with his dogs on the banks of the Saskatchewan River in 1907.
Location: 1990.30.071
Another Corner of the Town Site, 1915
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson showing another corner of the townsite of Bezanson.
Location: 1990.30.072
Frank Bezanson, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Frank Bezanson was born on Dec. 25, 1908, the first non-aboriginal boy born in the Grande Prairie area.
Location: 1990.30.073
Frank Bezanson, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Frank Bezanson at 18 months of age at the Bezanson homestead.
Location: 1990.30.074
A Garden Plot of Turnips, 1914 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3
A very large plot of turnips served for cattle feed as well as kitchen produce.
Location: 1990.30.075
The Bezanson Home, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A .M. Bezanson’s home the first winter after it was built. The outbuilding behind the house is the ice house.
Location: 1990.30.076
Bezanson’s First Crop of Oats, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The first crop of oats was harvested from the Bezanson homestead in 1909.
Location: 1990.30.077
Frank & Jim Bezanson, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Frank and Jim Bezanson at San Diego in 1913.
Location: 1990.30.078
The Bezanson Family Model T, 1915
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson, wife Lois, sons Frank and Jim enroute home in the Model T, across a bench on the Smoky River.
Location: 1990.30.079
Frank & Jim Bezanson, 1915 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Frank and Jim Bezanson in the swing at the Bezanson homestead.
Location: 1990.30.080
Lois Bezanson & child, 1918
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Mrs. Lois Bezanson on board the Princess Louise with son Jim.
Location: 1990.30.081
Bezanson Farm, 1915 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A. M. Bezanson’s farm, two miles below Bezanson’s town site.
Location: 1990.30.082
Town Of Bezanson, 1919
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The town of Bezanson was planned and promoted by A.M. Bezanson, but doomed to decline when the ferry was put in at Goodwin Crossing instead of Bezanson Crossing.
Location: 1990.30.083
The New Bezanson Home, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Starting construction on the new Bezanson home.
Location: 1990.30.084
Ferry Landing At Bezanson, 1915
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The ferry landing below Bezanson, at which the “Beaver” is docking with a large crowd of people on deck.
Location: 1990.30.085
The “Beaver” Landing at Bezanson, 1915
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Passengers at Bezanson disembarking from the “Beaver,” a long narrow river boat which operated on the Smoky.
Location: 1990.30.086
Making a Road to the River, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The road from the Bezanson townsite down to the ferry landing on the Big Smoky River under construction in 1914.
Location: 1990.30.087
Disembarking from the Ferry, 1915
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Passengers at Bezanson disembarking from the “Beaver,” a long narrow river boat which operated on the Smoky.
Location: 1990.30.088
Making a Road to the River, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Making a road from the ferry landing on the Big Smoky river to the townsite at Bezanson.
Location: 1990.30.089
Road Builders at Bezanson, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Road-building crew stopped for lunch while building the road to the Bezanson townsite in 1914.
Location: 1990.30.090
Road Building at Bezanson, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Clearing the right of way for the road at Bezanson.
Location: 1990.30.091
A.M. Bezanson, 1907
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Portrait of A Maynard Bezanson taken in 1907.
Location: 1990.30.092
Dunvegan on the Peace River, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3.5
The Hudson’s Bay Company and other buildings at Dunvegan in 1909.
Location: 1990.30.093
St. Charles Mission, Dunvegan, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3.5
St. Charles Catholic Church and Mission at Dunvegan, complete with its outbuildings in 1909.
Location: 1990.30.094
Grande Prairie, Alberta, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Buildings at Grande Prairie in 1910.
Location: 1990.30.095
Dunvegan on the Peace River, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3
Aboriginal women at Dunvegan in 1909, in a photo taken by W. G. McFarlane, land surveyor.
Location: 1990.30.096
McFarlane Survey Horses, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3
Horses from the McFarlane Survey outfit gather around the mosquito smudge.
Location: 1990.30.097
Survey Crew Soccer Game, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Soccer game being played by members of Walter McFarlane’s survey crew.
Location: 1990.30.098
Survey Crew Rafting the Wapiti, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Walter McFarlane survey crew rafting on the Wapiti River.
Location: 1990.30.099
Horses Swimming the Wapiti, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3.5
Horses from the Walter McFarlane survey crew swimming across the Wapiti River in 1909.
Location: 1990.30.100
McFarlane Survey Crew, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 3.5
Part of the Walter McFarlane survey crew in 1910.
Location: 1990.30.101
Survey Crew Raft at Rolla, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Walter McFarlane survey crew on the Peace River near Rolla in 1911.
Location: 1990.30.102
Fanny and Her Colt, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3
Fanny and her colt at the McFarlane farm near Buffalo Lake.
Location: 1990.30.103
Indian Men’s Race, Lake Saskatoon, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3
Horse race at the first Lake Saskatoon Sports in 1910.
Location: 1990.30.104
Indian Girls Pony Race, Lake Saskatoon, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Girls’ pony race at first Lake Saskatoon Sports in 1910.
Location: 1990.30.105a
Indian Girls Pony Race, Lake Saskatoon, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3
Girls’ pony race at first Lake Saskatoon Sports in 1910.
Location: 1990.30.105b
Ox Team Racing, Lake Saskatoon, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3
Ox team racing at first Lake Saskatoon Sports in 1910.
Location: 1990.30.106
Congregating For Sports Day, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 5.5 x 3
Aboriginals and settlers congregating for Sports Day at Lake Saskatoon in 1910.
Location: 1990.30.107
Cow & Calf, McFarlane’s Farm, 1912
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Registered Holstein cow & newborn calf on McFarlane’s Farm in 1912.
Location: 1990.30.108
McFarlane Farm, Cutbank Lake, 1912 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Jim McFarlane’s homestead buildings at Cutbank Lake.
Location: 1990.30.109
A. M. Bezanson Fishing, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A. Maynard Bezanson with a large trout he pulled from the Smoky River. The Bezansons lived at the junction of the Smoky River.
Location: 1990.30.110
Clifford Homestead, Flying Shot Lake, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Clifford’s homesite at Flying Shot Lake in 1910. Mrs. Clifford was the “midwife” for early Grande Prairie babies.
Location: 1990.30.111
Lake Saskatoon Sports, 1916
1 photographs; b & w; 3 x 5
Spectator stands at Lake Saskatoon Sports, Mrs. W. McFarlane with Doris, Lorna, Graham & Lillian lower left in stands.
Location: 1990.30.112
Lake Saskatoon Sports, 1916
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
“Some Race:” A horse and light buggy are pitted against a small pony and two children in a cart at the Lake Saskatoon Sports in 1916.
Location: 1990.30.113
Threshing at McFarlane’s Farm, 1929
3 photographs; b & w; 3 x 5
The men are taking a coffee break while the women help unload the wagon. The Ganzeveld & Jazzard Threshing crew are at McFarlane’s Farm at Buffalo Lake around 1929.
Location: 1990.30.114
Snow Cruiser, 1933
1 photograph; b & w; 2.5 x 4
Harry Horte’s snow cruiser – automobile out down to run on a sleigh track.
Location: 1990.30.115
W. McFarlane Barn, 1930 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Ganzeveld & Jazzard threshing in front of the W. McFarlane Barn.
Location: 1990.30.116
McFarlane Survey Crew, 1912
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The Walter McFarlane survey crew which surveyed the south Peace.
Location: 1990.30.117
Picking Saskatoons, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Walter McFarlane picking saskatoons for his survey crew c. 1910.
Location: 1990.30.118
W. McFarlane Survey Crew, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The Walter McFarlane survey crew in 1910.
Location: 1990.30.119
Doing Laundry on Survey, 1912 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Bill Muir doing the laundry while on a survey crew in the south Peace.
Location: 1990.30.120
Graham McFarlane, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Graham McFarlane, son of Walter McFarlane, in 1913.
Location: 1990.30.121
Bob Williams & Doris McFarlane, 1927
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Bob Williams and Doris, daughter of Walter McFarlane, in 1927.
Location: 1990.30.122
St. John’s Anglican Church, 1918
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
St. John’s Anglican Church in Buffalo Lake, c. 1918.
Location: 1990.30.123
Mrs. Spread, 1920 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Mrs. Spread at the Bob Williams home in Bear Lake.
Location: 1990.30.124
The McFarlane Children, 1920 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The McFarlane children playing at keeping store.
Location: 1990.30.125
Looking Ahead in the Peace Country to the Building of a City, 1914 c.
Booklet
Booklet by A.M. Bezanson presenting the reasons for the rapid development of the Peace River Country and arguing for the inevitable trend of this development to lead to the establishment of important trade centers.
Location: 0155.01.01a
Looking Ahead in the Peace Country to the Building of a City, [1914]
booklet
Booklet by A.M. Bezanson presenting the reasons for the rapid development of the Peace River Country and arguing for the inevitable trend of this development to lead to the establishment of important trade centers.
Location: 0155.01.01b
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Series 155.02Bezanson’s First Trip to the Peace. — 1906. — 16 photographs.

In 1906, Ancel Maynard Bezanson made his first trip into the Peace River Country. “Equipped with notebook and camera, he travelled up the Athabasca and Slave Rivers to Lesser Slave Lake to the village now known as Grouard. From there he continued by saddle to Peace River Crossing, to Dunvegan and on to Fort St. John and Hudson Hope.” He portaged the rapids above Hudson Hope and paddled on to the Ne Parle Pas Rapids, then returned down the Peace River. Bezanson was so impressed with the potential of the area that in 1907 he published The Peace River Trail, using many of the photographs taken on that trip.

The series consists of 16 photographs of scenes along the route Bezanson traveled, starting at Edmonton and proceeding overland to Athabasca Landing, up the Lesser Slave River and up to Peace River Landing. Photographs are of boats on the river, settlers traveling into the Peace, existing homesteads, posts and missions, and one of a first nations teepee.

Edmonton, Gateway to the Peace, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Edmonton, the gateway to the Peace Country, from Fifth Street and Jasper Ave.
Location: 0155.02.01
Peace River Bound, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Party of settlers heading for the Peace Country with covered wagons and sleighs.
Location: 0155.02.02
On the Way to Peace River, 1907
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Party of settlers heading for the Peace Country with covered wagons and sleighs. On the Peace River Trail, March 20, 1907.
Location: 0155.02.03
Exploration Trip in the Peace Country, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson’s party of explorers stopping for lunch en route to the Peace Country.
Location: 0155.02.04
Frontier Homestead, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Eggie’s homestead 50 miles north of Edmonton, as viewed by A.M. Bezanson.
Location: 0155.02.05
Athabasca Landing, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
End of the trail at Athabasca. By here A.M. Bezanson went by boat into the Peace Country.
Location: 0155.02.06
The Noon Hour, Athabasca River, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
York Boats were used to transport furs to market. On their return, they would bring in supplies and trade goods. To go upstream, sails or paddles were used, or a rope was passed to the shore and the boat towed by manpower.
Location: 0155.02.07
Companions Enroute, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Companions enroute up the Slave River with their loaded canoe.
Location: 0155.02.08
Up Lesser Slave River, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Loaded canoe going up the Lesser Slave River. “A tenderfoot navigating his own boat is likely to get his feet wet.”
Location: 0155.02.09
On Lesser Slave River, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Pulling into shore for the evening stop on Lesser Slave River.
Location: 0155.02.10
Tom Lyllac’s Homestead, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Tom Lyllac’s homestead or stopping place at the mouth of Slave Lake.
Location: 0155.02.11
Northern Light Steamer, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The “Northern Light” Steamboat aground in the Slave River in 1906.
Location: 0155.02.12
Roman Catholic Mission, Lesser Slave Lake, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The Church (on the left) and the Monastery at the Roman Catholic Mission at Lesser Slave Lake. “These buildings were built entirely from material manufactured right on the ground by the missionaries themselves.
Location: 0155.02.13
Roman Catholic Mission, Lesser Slave Lake, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The School (on the right) and the Convent at the Roman Catholic Mission in Lesser Slave Lake. “These buildings were built entirely from material manufactured right on the ground by the missionaries themselves.”
Location: 0155.02.14
Hudson’s Bay Company Garden, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Flowers in the Hudson’s Bay Company garden at Peace River Landing on September 15, 1906.
Location: 0155.02.15
Awaiting Her Lord’s Return, 1906
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Aboriginal woman and child at the door of a teepee on the prairie.
Location: 0155.02.16
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Series 155.03A.M. Bezanson Homestead. — 1908-[1915]. — 11 photographs.

In 1908, Bezanson married Dorothy Robillard and brought her in to the Peace River Country. With them came Dorothy’s sister Lois. The Bezansons called their homestead on the banks of the Smoky River “Teepee Creek Ranch.” That Christmas, Dorothy gave birth to a son but died in childbirth, and Ancel sent Lois and the infant Frank 35 miles by sleigh in 30 degrees below weather to the Clifford homestead where there was help. In 1910, Bezanson married Lois and they continued to live on the homestead. It was at this site that Bezanson proposed to build the town of Bezanson. To promote the town, in 1914 he wrote Looking Ahead In the Peace River Country to the Building of a City.

The series consists of 11 photographs of the trip over the Long Trail by horse and caboose, the homestead and the area it was located in including photos of The Beaver riverboat which plied the Smoky, Lois Robillard and young Frank Bezanson, and the first crops harvested on the homestead.

Enroute to the Homestead, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson family caboose on the Athabasca River enroute to their homestead in the Peace Country, 525 miles from railway.
Location: 0155.03.01
Enroute to the Homestead, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson and his bride, Dorothy Robillard Bezanson, enroute to their homestead in 1908.
Location: 0155.03.02
Peace River Country, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Hill-top view of the Smoky River in the Peace Country, just below where the Bezansons built their homestead.
Location: 0155.03.03
Big Smoky River, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Hill-top view of the Smoky River in the Peace Country, along which the Bezansons built their homestead.
Location: 0155.03.04
Wading Across Big Smoky, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Pack of horses crossing the Big Smoky River near the Bezanson’s homestead.
Location: 0155.03.05
Bezanson’s Homestead, 1908
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson’s first home on the banks of the Smoky, a sod-roofed log home.
Location: 0155.03.06
Back to the Primitive, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson and William Rae, M.P., hauling goods with a team of oxen on the Bezanson Homestead.
Location: 0155.03.07
First Oat Crop, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
A.M. Bezanson cutting the first oat crop on the Bezanson Ranch in 1909.
Location: 0155.03.08
Peace and Plenty, 1909
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Lois Robillard with young Frank Bezanson and the first oat crop in the background.
Location: 0155.03.09
Passengers on the “Beaver”, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
“The Beaver,” a long narrow river boat which plied the Smoky River.
Location: 0155.03.10
“The Boat’s In!”, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Passengers disembarking from “The Beaver” at the ferry landing below the Bezanson homestead.
Location: 0155.03.11
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Series 155.04Car Trip over the Edson Trail. — 1913. — 8 photographs.

Another promotional tactic Bezanson employed was to prove that the Peace Country was accessible by vehicle. In December 1913, Bezanson and Mr. Davidson (of Roberts and Davidson, Edmonton Realtors) drove a 1912 Cadillac over the Edson Trail from Edson to Grande Prairie, then continued on to Lake Saskatoon, Beaverlodge, Dunvegan, Peace River and Grouard. The actual driving time over the Edson Trail was 20 hours, and they crossed the Athabasca River by raft and the Big Smoky on the ice.

The series consists of 8 photographs of the car on the Edson Trail, at Dunvegan, at the Catholic Mission near Peace River Landing, and one unidentified site which could be the Sturgeon Lake Mission.

On the Edson Trail, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The first automobile driven over the Edson Trail was a 1912 Cadillac sponsored by a Real Estate developer, Mr. Davidson, and A.M. Bezanson, shown here with A.H. McQuarrie, engineer of the Edson Trail.
Location: 0155.04.1
First Automobile on Edson Trail, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Mr. Davidson–of Robertson and Davidson, Edmonton Realtors–at the wheel of the 1912 Cadillac he drove over the Edson Trail.
Location: 0155.04.2
First Automobile at Peace River, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The 1912 Cadillac, driven by Mr. Davidson and Mr. Bezanson into the Peace Country from Edson, on the banks of the Peace River.
Location: 0155.04.3
“The Devil Wagon”, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
First nations children at the Peace River Mission School view the first automobile in the Peace Country.
Location: 0155.04.4
Mission School at Peace River, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
First nations children at the Peace River Mission School view the first automobile in the Peace Country in December 1913.
Location: 0155.04.5
Hudson’s Bay Company, Dunvegan, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Davidson’s 1912 cadillac at Dunvegan after driving over the Edson Trail.
Location: 0155.04.6
Mission School, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
First nations children at an unidentified mission school line up to see their first automobile.
Location: 0155.04.7
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Series 155.05Peace Country Scenes. — 1910-1914. — 21 photographs.

The series consists of landscape and activity scenes from across the Peace Country: the Grande Prairie, Lake Saskatoon, Swan Lake, Moberly Lake, Lesser Slave River and Athabasca River.

The Grande Prairie, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
One of the Boyd brothers viewing the land known as the Grande Prairie, accompanied by T.E. Cooke’s hounds.
Location: 0155.05.01
Typical Grande Prairie Country, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
One of the Boyd brothers viewing typical Grande Prairie country before settlement.
Location: 0155.05.02
Cattle at Bear Lake, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
This herd of cattle on the shores of Bear Lake was typical of some early ranches on the Grande Prairie.
Location: 0155.05.03
Grande Prairie Homestead, 1910
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Homestead on the Grande Prairie, most likely that of Clyde Smith, who also had a butcher shop.
Location: 0155.05.04
Horses in the Corral, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Herd of horses in a log corral on an unidentified homestead.
Location: 0155.05.05
Camp on Moberly Lake, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Traveler with tent, horses and mosquito smudge on the shores of Moberly Lake.
Location: 0155.05.06
Teepee on Moberly Lake, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
First nations family with teepees and drying racks on the shores of Moberly Lake.
Location: 0155.05.07
One Hour’s Grouse Hunting, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Hunter with one hour’s grouse hunting results in front of “Buffalo Lodge,” a sod-roofed log cabin.
Location: 0155.05.08
Crossing Sturgeon Lake, 1911 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Settlers, with loaded wagons and cabooses, crossing frozen Sturgeon Lake enroute to the Peace Country.
Location: 0155.05.09
Dominion Day Sports, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
First nations and settlers watching pony races at the 1911 Lake Saskatoon Sports.
Location: 0155.05.10
Breaking in a Bronco, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Cowboy riding a bucking bronco on the open prairie. Often it was first nations young men who caught and broke wild horses for re-sale to settlers.
Location: 0155.05.11
Grande Prairie, Alberta, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
First buildings in the town of Grande Prairie, with Billy Salmond’s Hotel on the left and Patterson & Son’s Store on the right.
Location: 0155.05.12
First Bank in the Peace Country, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The first bank in the Peace Country was the Union Bank at Grande Prairie, located in Patterson & Son’s Store.
Location: 0155.05.13
Borden’s Garden, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Ellis Borden in his garden on the shores of Swan Lake, inside the British Columbia border.
Location: 0155.05.14
Garden Vegetable at Borden’s, 1911
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Ellis Borden in his garden on the shores of Swan Lake, inside the British Columbia border.
Location: 0155.05.15
Lesser Slave River, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Lesser Slave River just below the lake.
Location: 0155.05.16
Mouth of Slave Lake, 1912
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
River barge loading or delivering cord wood at the mouth of Slave Lake in 1912.
Location: 0155.05.17
Village of Grande Prairie, 1912
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Looking south east, the tallest building is Patterson’s Store with log barn adjoining. Slightly to the right is the Lands Office.
Location: 0155.05.18
Crossing Athabasca River, 1913
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Settlers crossing Athabasca River during freeze-up in December 1913.
Location: 0155.05.19
Lake Saskatoon, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
The village of Lake Saskatoon on the south-west shore of Saskatoon Lake in 1914.
Location: 0155.05.20
Lake Saskatoon, 1914
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Double exposure of men and horse in front of the village of Lake Saskatoon viewed from the west in 1914.
Location: 0155.05.21
At Fort McLeod, 1910 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Party of men and women at Fort McLeod, presumably with A.M. Bezanson, just before he left for the Peace Country.
Location: 0155.05.22
Hudson’s Bay Reserve, Edmonton, 1912
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
J. B. Oliver in line-up for the opening of the Hudson’s Bay Reserve at Edmonton. He stayed in the line-up all night to save his place.
Location: 0155.05.23
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