Wanham (South Slope) School District 3543 fonds. — 1932-1997. — 131 cm of textual records.
The South Slope School District 3545 was formed in 1917. The first classes, grades 1-8, were taught by Mrs. Duncan Cameron in a bachelor’s cabin belonging to Eli Barrett. The School Board was made up of three bachelors: A. St Pierre, Louis Tansem, and Hans Mortensen. The first students were Jim and Kathleen Murphy, Bert Grey, Art, Vera and Ray Tansem, Iva Gilmour. Iva Gilmour lived five miles east of the school but rode her pony the distance in order that the school could open with the required seven students. The site for a school, one mile south of the settlement, was cleared in 1918 and the one-room school ready for use in 1919. Lumber was purchased from Mc Crimmon’s mill and Hans Mortensen signed a $100 note so that the School Board could buy lumber. The school was built by C. Olson with volunteer labor. Miss Gracia Grey was hired to teach in the newly built school and Ross Archibald taught in the early 1920s. The school was the center of social life; one box social held in 1923 raised money to buy a radio for the school. The school operated in one room with one teacher until 1936 when an additional classroom for grades 7-9 was found in the Frontier Lumber office.
In 1939, by selling debentures mainly to Frontier Lumber Company, the school board was able to finance the building of a two-room school which, along with the old school allowed for three student groups: grades 1-3, grades 4-8 and grades 9-11. The principal was W.S. Jones, the intermediate teacher, Miss Horne and the primary teacher, Miss Grace Whishart.
By 1946, South Slope had become the centralized school, drawing in students from Steele School and Royal Winner, so expanded by adding two classrooms, a library, and a science lab.
The records were preserved and given to the Spirit River School Division No. 47 sometime after it was formed in 1940. Peace Wapiti School Division assumed responsibility for this division in 1994 and the records were deposited in the Grande Prairie Regional Archives in 2003.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of Daily Register from 1932-1997.