Fonds 437 J. B. Oliver Funeral Home collection

J. B. Oliver Funeral Home collection. — 1908-1982. — 1 cm of textual records. — 25 maps.


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Biographical Sketch

James Bowes Oliver first visited the Peace Country (by car!) with three friends in 1914, getting as far as Peace River from Edmonton via Athabasca. In 1915 he opened a store for the Crummy Bros at the “end of steel” which at that time was Pruden’s Crossing on the Smoky River, but by the fall had moved on to Grande Prairie to work in the Crummy Bros store there. Not long after Mr. Oliver arrived, he established a furniture store which quickly evolved into a funeral home. Since the furniture store made the coffins, and he had a flat-bed vehicle (drawn by horses), he was also commissioned to take the coffins to the cemetery, and often to act as an ambulance by taking patients to hospital.

In 1917, James signed up for World War I, so was absent when the Spanish Flu epidemic began. Town council petitioned the military to release Oliver to assist with burying the dead from the flu, but were refused, so it was business-man Frank Donald who took over the task. Arriving back in Canada, Mr. Oliver stopped to take a two-month course in stone cutting in Hamilton, Ontario, but was back in the Peace River Country in 1919 and resumed the furniture and undertaking business. He married Ann Partlow in 1920 and the couple raised four daughters in Grande Prairie.

About 1930 J.B. built a fine new furniture store on the main intersection in town, right beside the Imperial Bank on the corner of 100 Avenue and 100 Street. It was called J.B. Oliver Furniture, but the undertaking service still operated from this base. Finally, in 1951 a separate building was constructed for the funeral business at 10130-101 Avenue, but it continued to act as the ambulance service until 1961 when a van was purchased by the City for ambulance use only.

Mr. Oliver was active in the community as the First Master of the first Masonic Lodge in Grande Prairie in 1917, president of the Old Timers’ Association, Grande Prairie School Board, and United Church Board. He was instrumental in the creation of the Wapiti Park, which was later re-named O’Brien Park.

Mr. Oliver passed away October 21, 1967 and is buried in the Grande Prairie Cemetery. After he passed away, the funeral home was operated by his son-in-law Laurie Little (who had joined him in busines in 1952) and by other partners. In 1971, a larger funeral home was built at 10212-102 Street with garage space for the hearses and a larger gathering place for family and mourners.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of eleven maps related to the settlement of the area, dating from 1908-1981; ten plans for cemeteries in the County of Grande Prairie; two architectural plans for an expansion of the funeral home on 102 Street; and correspondence and plans for the creation of Wapiti Park ca. 1938.

Notes

 

Table of Contents

Series 437.01Land Development Maps
Series 437.02Cemetery Maps
Series 437.03Oliver Funeral Home Plans
Series 437.04Wapiti Park

 

 

Series 437.01Land Development Maps. — 1908-1981. — 11 maps.The series consists of maps showing the Flying Shot Lake Settlement, showing the Metis houses around the lake in 1908, surveyed land in Northern Alberta in 1930, the City of Grande Prairie in 1958 and 1977, the Municipal District of Spirit River in 1961 and 1965, the County of Grande Prairie in 1969, and Flying Shot Lake Subdivision in 1981.
 
Flyingshot Lake Settlement, 1908
1 survey plan; 24 x 36 in.
Plan of Flying Shot Lake Settlement in Township 71, Range 6, West of the Sixth Meridian in the Province of Alberta, produced by the Department of the Interior and compiled from official surveys by J.B. St. Cyr, DLS, on August 20, 1907. The plan shows lots, location of houses and stables, including the buildings of Harry & Maude Clifford on the west side of the lake.
Location: 0437.01.01
Surveyed Land in Northern Alberta, 1930
1 map; 48 x 56 in.
Map of the Province of Alberta, Canada, created by the Alberta Department of Public Works under the Hon. O.L. McPherson, Minister, and J.D. Robertson, Deputy Minister, in 1930. The map shows surveyed lands in Northern Alberta, railways,
Location: 0437.01.02
City of Grande Prairie, 1958
1 diazo plan; 30 x 46 in.
City of Grande Prairie map up to date as of January 10, 1958, covering the area occupied by the City, from 88th to 116th Avenues, and from 92nd to 108th Streets. The map shows the registered plan numbers, the highway commercial land outside of the city boundary to the north, the stock car race track on the west end, and the names of businesses along the railway in the downtown core.
Location: 0437.01.03
Municipal District of Spirit River No. 133, 1961
1 diazo plan; 28 x 46 in.
Map of the M.D. of Spirit River showing creeks and rivers, towns, roads and road allowances, railways and land owners in 1961. A list on the side gives all the owners of river lots (which are too small to fit names on).
Location: 0437.01.04
Municipal District of Spirit River No. 133, 1965
1 diazo plan; 36 x 48 in.
1965 map of the M.D. of Spirit River showing divisional boundaries, separate school district boundary, farmsteads, schools, community centres, churches, cemeteries and land owners.
Location: 0437.01.05
County of Grande Prairie, 1969
1 diazo plan; 48 x 60 in.
County of Grande Prairie map showing railroads, roads, schools, hamlets, community halls, municipalities, parks and land owners as of February 1969.
Location: 0437.01.06
Flying Shot Lake Subdivision, 1981
1 diazo plan; 24 x 36 in.
Survey plan for Flying Shot Lake Subdivision, which was the name given to the small area of land between the cemetery and Highway 40 in the County of Grande Prairie. The plan was created by Alberta Power and shows location of power lines.
Location: 0437.01.07
City of Grande Prairie, 1977
1 diazo plan; 24 x 36 in.
City of Grande Prairie Standard Sheet No. 4 showing sanitary sewers, storm sewers and watermains in the area around the Grande Prairie Municipal Cemetery.
Location: 0437.01.08
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Series 437.02Cemetery Maps. — 1922-1969. — 10 maps.The series consists of plans for the following cemeteries in the City and County of Grande Prairie showing blocks and plot numbers: Grande Prairie Municipal Cemetery, Scenic Heights Cemetery, Spring Creek Cemetery, Lake Saskatoon Cemetery, and Teepee Creek Cemetery. There is also a letter from the County of Grande Prairie, dated April 19, 1974, enquiring about cemeteries on the SW 10-71-7-6 and SW 16-71-7-6.
 
Flyingshot Lake Cemetery, 1922
1 3 plans; 18 x 24 in.
Three plans for the cemetery at Flying Shot Lake, showing subdivision of south half of cemetery in Lot 7, Flying Shot Lake Settlement, in Township 71, Range 6, West of the 6th Meridian in July 1922. The plan was surveyed by N.H. Bradley, D & ALS, and signed by J.A. Gorman, Town Engineer. Of the three versions of the map, one is a diazo plan which shows blocks 1-7 and blocks 20-26 as current, the second is a linen plan with the same details, and the third is a very warn map showing blocks 1-7, 9, 13, and 15-26 as current. This last plan was coloured at a later date to show which lots were occupied and which sold.
Location: 0437.02.01a-c
Flyingshot Lake Cemetery, [1935]
1 hand-drawn plan; 18 x 48 in.
Working sheet for Block 19, the baby plots, in the Flyingshot Lake Cemetery, giving the size of the graves and the number of plots to each block. The plan is hand-drawn on a roll of brown paper, and there are names written on some of the plots. Some of the names are different than the record compiled by the Alberta Genealogical Society from the Grande Prairie cemetery records.
Location: 0437.02.02
Scenic Heights Cemetery, [1930]
1 diazo plan; 13 x 14 in.
Survey plan for Scenic Heights Cemetery, located on 2 acres in the southwest corner of SW 1/4 Section 15, Township 73, Range 8, West of the 6th Meridian.The plan shows 72 blocks, and there appear to be 8 plots in a block. The map is not dated, and there are are no names of burials.
Location: 0437.02.03
Glen Leslie Cemetery, [1930]
1 diazo plan; 16 x 20 in.
Linen backed survey plan for Glen Leslie Cemetery, located on 4 acres in the southwest corner of SW 1/4 Section 6, Township 72, Range 3, West of the 6th Meridian.The plan shows 65 blocks of different sizes. The map is not dated, and there are are no names of burials.
Location: 0437.02.04
Spring Lake Cemetery, [1930]
1 linen plan; 11 x 18 in.
Linen backed survey plan for Spring Lake Cemetery, located on 5 acres in the southwest corner of Section 16, Township 71, Range 7, West of the 6th Meridian.The plan shows 70 blocks. The map is not dated, and there are are no names of burials.
Location: 0437.02.05
Lake Saskatoon Cemetery, [1930]
1 diazo plan; 17 x 19 in.
Survey Plan for Lake Saskatoon Cemetery, located on 5 acres in the southeast corner of NE 1/4 of Section 34, Township 71, Range 8, West of the 6th Meridian. The plan shows 92 blocks and the drives in between the blocks. The plan is not dated, and there are no names of burials.
Location: 0437.02.06
Teepee Creek Cemetery, 1932
1 diazo plan; 14 x 16 in.
Survey plan for Teepee Creek Cemetery in the NW 1/4 of Section 9, Township 74, Range 3, West of the 6th Meridian, dated August 25, 1932. The plan shows 720 blocks, and there appear to be 8 plots in a block. There are are no names of burials.
Location: 0437.02.07
Grande Prairie Cemetery, 1969
1 diazo plan; 36 x 48 in.
Survey Plan for the City of Grande Prairie Cemetery in Lot 7, Flying Shot Lake, in Township 71, Range 6, West of the 6th Meridian. This plan was redrawn for the Parks & Recreation Dept of the City of Grande Prairie in January 1969, by Parks Superintendant J. Kluyt. It shows the size of adult and child graves and the redesign of Block 39 from child to adult grave plots.
Location: 0437.02.08
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Series 437.03Oliver Funeral Home Plans. — 1975-1982. — 2 maps.The series consists of a lot plan for the Oliver Funeral home on 102 Street, and a plan for the expansion of the building ca. 1975.
 
Oliver Funeral Home Alterations, 1975
1 diazo plan; 18 x 24 in.
Architectural plans for alterations to the show room floor plan at Oliver’s Funeral Home located on 102 Street between 102 and 103 Avenue.
Location: 0437.03.01
Oliver Funeral Home Landscape Proposal, 1982
1 diazo plan; 24 x 36 in.
Landscape Plan for Oliver Funeral Home site on 102nd Street designed by Celia M in August 1982. Plan includes plant key and planting schedule.
Location: 0437.03.02
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Series 437.04Wapiti Park. — 1935-1948. — 2 maps.The series consists of a map showing the route for a new road down to the Wapiti in 1938, correspondence between Mr. Oliver and the Provincial Parks Board regardomg the creation of Wapiti Park in 1948, a plan for a concrete stove for the campgrounds, and a circular titled General Regulations re: Provincial Parks.
 
Road to Wapiti Park, 1938
1 diazo plan; 36 x 48 in.
Plan showing survey of new road in Sections 14, 15, 23, 26, 27, Township 70, Range 6, West of the Sixth Meridian. The plan shows the new road to be constructed down to Wapiti Park (border drawn in red) on the south side of the Wapiti River. Details include the location of the ferry towers on each side of the river.
Location: 0437.04.01
Wapiti Park Concrete Stove, 1935
1 diazo plan; 17 x 19 in.
Generic “Design for Concrete Stove for Camp Grounds” distributed by the Government of the Province of Alberta Department of Public Works. On the back a handwritten note designates it for “Wapiti” Park. The plan is dated May 1935, but would probably have been used at a later date.
Location: 0437.04.02
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