During the month of December, the Archives will be open limited holiday hours. During this time, there may be a delay in services. These limited hours allow our staff and volunteers to celebrate the holiday season with their families. It also allows our team to perform essential behind-the-scenes tasks to meet our mission and mandate. Thank you for your patience and happy holidays from the Archives.
The Remembrance Tree has now been taken down. Thank you to all who participated.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles and the conclusion of the First World War. To commemorate this important anniversary, the South Peace Regional Archives has partnered with the Grande Prairie Museum on an interactive exhibit. The Remembrance tree contains identification tags (“dog tags”) of local veterans from the conflict. Visit the museum to collect a tag from the tree and then visit the Archives’ online Soldier’s Memorial to learn more about your veteran and thousands of others from our region.
The South Peace River country of Alberta supplied thousands of recruits for both the World Wars. The South Peace Regional Archives is creating an online memorial to the veterans from the South Peace area who were involved in these conflicts. We have over 1,100 WWI soldiers and over 2,300 WWII soldiers listed on the site so far, and the list is growing. As we gather information about each soldier, it will be added to the memorial.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming edition of Telling Our Stories all about the Old West! This magazine will feature articles about women in the rodeo, wild horses, Treaty Eight, the Sturgeon Lake Games, the Lake Saskatoon Games, and the Peace Country Land Settlement database. The Old West edition will come out in early September so keep your eye on the website to find the digital copy, or become a member to have the physical copy mailed to you!
The “Explore the History” series in Telling Our Stories focuses on rural communities that were once more than what they are today. In this age of increasing urbanization and centralization, it is easy to forget that the much of the history of the South Peace Region is found in these places. Settlers arriving through the first half of the twentieth century settled largely in the countryside. They made their living farming or utilizing the natural resources the region offered. Distance, time, and poor roads were often obstacles to travel so, once arrived, people tended to work and play locally. As transportation improved and services centralized, many of these small communities faded into fond memories of their former selves.
Ready to start exploring? Pick a tour, grab your sunscreen (and bug spray), and join us as we explore the history of the South Peace!
Last month, the South Peace Regional Archives received provincial recognition for Telling Our Stories magazine. The Archives Society of Alberta (ASA) presented the Alan D. Ridge Award of Merit (Print) to this “high-quality publication,” published by the South Peace Regional Archives. The nomination stated that Telling Our Stories is “an inspiration to the other heritage institutions in our Network and is what many aspire to achieve.” ASA Board Member Carson Murphy formally presented the award to Archives staff on Friday, May 31st.
Alan D. Ridge Publications Award
Each year, the Archives Society of Alberta “recognizes excellence in the form of research, opinion, analysis, etc. on some aspect of archives studies, records management, the use of records, archival institutions, or the archival profession.” The Alan D. Ridge Award of Merit (Print) recognizes these contributions via print resources such as books, pamphlets, brochures, peer-reviewed articles, etc.
The award is named in honour of Alan D. Ridge, Provincial Archivist of Alberta from 1968-1984. His active involvement in archives and records management in England, Canada, and the United States has provided leadership and stimulation to the archival community in Alberta and beyond.
Telling Our Stories Magazine
Telling Our Stories is a quarterly magazine, published by the South Peace Regional Archives. The magazine highlights content and resources from the Archives’ collections and includes submissions from Archives’ staff, volunteers, and members of the public. First published in 2009, Telling Our Stories began as a newsletter before transitioning to a magazine format in the fall of 2017. Issues in 2018 highlighted “Timeless Love: Weddings of the South Peace” (March), “National Indigenous History Month” (June), “South Peace Fish & Game” (September), and “International Travels” (December). Telling Our Stories is available to the public, free of charge, at the Archives or through our website. Members of the Archives’ Society receive print copies via mail.
ASA Board Member Carson Murphy formally presents the Alan D. Ridge Award of Merit (Print) to Archives staff Alyssa Currie (Executive Director) and Josephine Sallis (Archivist), 31 May 2019.
The Kentucky Derby hasn’t got anything on these ladies! New clothes for Easter had been a tradition for many families for years. The Just-A-Mere-Ladies Club took that a little bit further with their annual Easter bonnet creations. Seems like something we might to revive.
La Glace Just-A-Mere-Ladies Club group photo featuring their specially made hats. Ladies present include Isabelle Christiansen, Mabel Hagen, Alice Wartenbe, Gloria Cavanough, Glady Maple?, Jean Haakstad
We’re sorry to announce that we are closed for Easter Monday. Here’s a little Easter joy to alleviate the inconvenience.
Cards and postcards are wonderful bits of personal correspondence that can shed bits of light on personal history. These two Easter postcards from the Grimm-Vader Family fonds are an example. The first has no correspondence, suggesting good intentions but perhaps a bit of forgetfulness or procrastination on the part of a young man (Ora Grimm). The second was sent to Mr. Ora Grim while he was visiting family in Venus, Nebraska.
“Raven, Nebraska, April 21, 1916
As we got a letter from Ralph telling us you was here from Canada, would be glad to have you Boys both come up or I make up a visit. We are all well. It has been cold and windy now for some time. Drop us a line. With Best Wishes from Aunt Celia & family, Raven, Nebraska, Brown, Co.”
This short piece of correspondence helps us build a picture of an extended family with a foothold in two countries. Luckily, we have more than this to go on for the Grimm-Vader family. Processing for this fonds is nearing completion and will soon be ready for researchers. It includes almost a thousand photographs, postcards, and two extensive family histories.
We are very grateful to Nora and Ray Grimm for sharing their family history with the Archives. It will be a wonderful treasure for years to come.
Image: some of the technology we use to help preserve and make media records accessible at the South Peace Regional Archives.
The South Peace Regional Archives collects a wide variety of documentary materials as part of our mandate to acquire, preserve, and make accessible historical records related to families and organizations in the South Peace Region. A collection of relevant older media technology is an important component of the “make accessible” part of our mandate.
Older (working) media technology makes it possible for us to digitize reel-to-reel film, cassettes, beta tapes, and VHS. For those items not yet digitized, the old VCRs, cassette, players, and beta machines allow researchers to view and listen to stories they would not have the opportunity enjoy.
We have a good collection of film projectors and even a couple of beta machines that help us make film, video, and audio recordings accessible to researchers. Oddly enough, we have no working VCRs or cassette players. If you have one of these precious media gems gathering dust in your abode, we would love to hear from you. The SPRA has a growing collection of VCR materials that document several families and organizations in the South Peace Region. You and your old machine can help make those records accessible.
While Beth Sheehan collected history and photographs from the Peace River Country, she also collected physical objects, including samples of wood. In her collection here at the archives, we have a story and photographs of wood samples collected by Beth in the local area and in her travels. In 1954, her husband Everett gave her a wooden Valentine he made while camping on the desert in Arizona. She thought it so lovely that together they made more. Everett made boards approximately 1/4 inch thick with a band saw. Beth traced heart shapes on the boards, then cut them out with a coping saw. She filed and sanded them meticulously, making them into three-dimensional hearts. Oiling brought out the natural beauty and grain of the wood. On the back of each heart was noted the name of the wood, where it was from, the year, and in some cases, who gave it to her. She didn’t make duplicates. She also took pictures of polished wood and some wooden jewelry. Arthritis in 1985 made it too difficult to hold and work on the small pieces, and no more were made, though many pieces had been prepared.