Fonds 610 Jack & Betty Lowe fonds

Jack & Betty Lowe fonds. — 36 photographs. — 10 postcards.

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Biographical Sketch

In 1929, John “Jack” and Betty Lowe and their eight-year old daughter Dorothy made a trip by car into the Peace River Country. They were living near Vegreville at the time, but a number of their family members had recently moved to the South Peace.
Jack’s family, the Jacob Lowes, had come west from Huntsville, Ontario with fourteen children to the Stony Plain area in 1909. Jack was one of the oldest. Two of his brothers, Maurice and Chester, served in World War I, while Jack stayed and helped on the farm. After the mother (Prudence Lowe) died in 1924, the family moved to Vegreville, and in 1926, Maurice and Chester made a trip north to the Peace Country by car. Chester homesteaded in the Beaverlodge area, marrying Thelma Chandler, and only returned to Vegreville after serving again in World War II. Maurice stayed for the remainder of his life. Esther Lowe married Bert Cunningham, from Vegreville, and they also moved to Beaverlodge, taking with them Joseph, the youngest Lowe child, and later the father, Jacob P. Lowe. Susan Lowe married Peter Whelan and they farmed at Prestville, east of Rycroft.
Betty’s father, Amiel Ziegler, had also scouted out the Peace Country. This was in 1912, when he was 19 years old, and the route was over the Edson Trail. He decided not to stay and returned to his family in Spruce Grove. In 1913-1914 he and his wife bought Section 9 in the Park Grove District near Vegreville. This is where Betty grew up and where she married Jack Lowe. Jack himself had visited the Peace River Country looking for land in 1927, but also made the decision to return to the Vegreville area.
With this background of interest in the Peace Country, and the family connections already there, it is not surprising that Jack and Betty Lowe would make this trip by car. They started their trip north from Edmonton on October 10th, 1929, at 6:00 a.m., taking the road to Athabasca, then to Smith, where they took a ferry over the Athabasca River. From the north shore of Slave Lake, they followed the main road to Peace River, then down to Dunvegan and over the Peace River on the Dunvegan Ferry. From Dunvegan they traveled south to Sexsmith and Grande Prairie, then west to Beaverlodge and Hythe. At each of these places they took or purchased photographs to document their trip.
Along the way they stopped and visited family. At Prestville they photographed the P.J. Whalen family sawing up their winter wood supply, then on to Beaverlodge where they photographed Chester & Thelma Lowe’s home and Bert & Esther Cunningham’s farm. Finally they arrived in the Hythe area where Chester Lowe was building a house on his homestead. The roads must have been in good condition for they reached Hythe on October 16th, only 6 days after they had left Edmonton.
After their visit to the Peace Country, Jack & Betty Lowe returned to farm in the Vegreville area, where Jack passed away in 1974, and Betty in 1988.

Custodial History

The album was preserved by Elizabeth (Lowe) Durie, the youngest daughter of Jack and Betty Lowe, who had purchased the family farm and found the album in the farmhouse. After Elizabeth passed away, her family gave the album to her long-time friend, Enid (Timanson) Theophile. Because the photographs were mainly from the Grande Prairie area, she in turn passed it on to her brother D.M. (Mort) Timanson who lived in Grande Prairie. Mr. Timanson donated the album to South Peace Regional Archives in December 2014.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of 36 photographs and 5 postcards collected by Jack and Betty Lowe on their trip into the Peace Country in 1929, on Jack’s trip to the Peace in 1927, and from the trip of Betty’s father (Mr. Zeigler) into the Peace Country in 1913. The photographs are glued into a 6 x 8 in. black album, and some are identified with accompanying notes.

Notes

Title based on the contents of the fonds.

Biographical notes taken from a letter written by Mort Timanson which accompanied the donation of the album; Jack Chandler story (Chester Lowe married Thelma Chandler), p. 11, Beaverlodge to the Rockies; Bert and Esther (Lowe) Cunningham story, p. 13, Beaverlodge to the Rockies; Maurice and Lena Lowe story, p. 246, Beaverlodge to the Rockies; Peter and Susan (Lowe) Whelan story, p. 560, Wheatfields and Wildflowers; Chester and Thelma Lowe story, p. 641, History of Vegreville, Volume Two; Lowe and Zeigler family stories, Park Grove Echoes pp. 97-98, 179-180; and History of Vegreville, Volume I p. 397-398.

Highway Near Athabasca, Alberta, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
The first photograph in Jack & Betty Lowe’s 1929 album of a trip up to the Peace Country is identified as the highway near Athabasca, Alberta. A handwritten note in the album says, “We started for the north from Edmonton October 10, Thursday morning, six o’clock.”
Location: 610.01.01
Athabasca Landing, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Athabasca Landing in 1929, with the United Church and Grand Union Hotel to the left and grain elevator to the right.
Location: 610.01.02
Grand Union Hotel, Athabasca, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
The Grand Union Hotel at Athabasca, Alberta in 1929.
Location: 610.01.03
United Church, Athabasca, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
The United Church at Athabasca, Alberta in 1929.
Location: 610.01.04
Smith Ferry on the Athabasca River, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Jack and Betty Lowe’s car leaving the Smith ferry after the trip down the Athabasca River.
Location: 610.01.05
Aspen Glen, Alberta, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
A large sign beside a log building advertises “Aspen Glen: Meals, Home Baking, Cabins for Rent, Quick Lunch, and Refreshments. There are also signs for a store and ice cream. The note beside this photo says, “Aspen Glen is a small stopping place along Slave Lake.”
Location: 610.01.06
Dunvegan Ferry, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Jack and Betty Lowe’s car on the ferry at Dunvegan.
Location: 610.01.07
St. Charles Mission at Dunvegan, 1929
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Catholic Church and Mission House at Dunvegan on the Peace River in 1929. The ferry tower is central in the image.
Location: 610.01.08
Hudson’s Bay Post at Dunvegan, 1929
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Hudson’s Bay Post at Dunvegan on the Peace River in 1929, west of St. Charles Mission.
Location: 610.01.09
Sexsmith, Alberta, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Sexmith, Alberta in 1929, showing six grain elevators, the first railway station, and horses, cars and signs on main street.
Location: 610.01.10
Sexsmith, Alberta, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Bird’s eye view of Sexmith from the north, taken in 1929 from the top of one of the elevators.
Location: 610.01.11
Sexsmith, Alberta, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Bird’s eye view of Sexmith from the west, taken in 1929 from the top of one of the elevators. Identified businesses include Halvor Gaara Farm Lands, and The Leader Stores Ltd.
Location: 610.01.12
Aerial of Grande Prairie, Alberta, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Aerial of Grande Prairie taken from the south west in 1929.
Location: 610.01.13
Main Street, Grande Prairie, Alberta, 1929
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Bird’s eye view of the north side of the 100 and 101 Street blocks of Richmond Avenue in 1929. The Imperial Bank of Canadais the first building visible on the right, then a dentist, D.W. Pratt’s insurance office, and Lanctot’s store.
Location: 610.01.14
Grande Prairie Railway Station, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Grande Prairie Railway Station, taken from the south-west and showing barns and homes north of the station. In 1929, this would have been the Northern Alberta Railways Station.
Location: 610.01.15
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Trains, Grande Prairie, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Trains in Grande Prairie in 1929.
Location: 610.01.16
Court House, Grande Prairie, 1929
1 postcard; b & 2; 3 x 5 in.
Grande Prairie Court House, built ca. 1925 on the corner of 99th Street and 101 Avenue.
Location: 610.01.17
Grande Prairie Hospital, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Grande Prairie Municipal Hospital, newly opened in 1929. A note under the photo reads, “Cornerstone laid November 9, 1928, the day Pat Whalen was born in the hospital to the left.”
Location: 610.01.18
Beaverlodge, Alberta, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
View from the south of the six grain elevators at the town of Beaverlodge, Alberta, with the NAR train steaming south in front of the Gillespie Grain Co., the Alberta Pacific Grain Co., the United Grain Growers, and the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevators.
Location: 610.01.19
Hythe, Alberta, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Bird’s eye view of Hythe, Alberta seen from the south-west in 1929. The Donald Hotel is on the far right.
Location: 610.01.20
Donald Hotel, Hythe, AB, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
The Donald Hotel was one of a chain of hotels built by Frank Donald in Grande Prairie, Hythe, and Dawson Creek.
Location: 610.01.21
P.J. Whalen Farm, Prestville, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
The Whalen family in front of their farm home at Prestville, south-east of Rycroft. A note above the photo reads, “We arrived at P.J. Whalen’s place at Prestville Friday, October 11, 7 o’clock in the evening.”
Location: 610.01.22
Banks of the Beaverlodge River, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
View of the banks of the Beaverlodge River.
Location: 610.01.23
The Red Willow River, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
View of the Halcourt bridge in the Red Willow River valley.
Location: 610.01.24
Chester Lowe’s Homestead, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
A note says, “Camping out on Chester Lowe’s homestead near Hythe.”
Location: 610.01.25
Chester Lowe’s Homestead, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
A note says, “building Chester’s house on his homestead Wednesday, October 16”. People in the photo are identified as Chester, Maurice, Jack, and Thelma.
Location: 610.01.26
Chester Lowe’s Home in Beaverlodge, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Group beside Jack and Betty Lowe’s car are identified as Betty, Thelma, Louis Beisel, John Seeder, Annie Beisel, Clifford Beisel, and Bert Cunningham. A note above the phota reads, “Chester’s home in Beaverlodge.”
Location: 610.01.27
Canyon at Hudson’s Hope, 1929
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Postcard showing Canyon at Hudson’s Hope.
Location: 610.01.28
Flood on the Peace River, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Presumably the Peace River near Hudson’s Hope.
Location: 610.01.29
Flood on the Peace River, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Presumably the Peace River near Hudson’s Hope, showing a number of river boats tied up near the shore.
Location: 610.01.30
Unidentified “Ranch”, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Four neat log cabins behind a ranch-gate style entrance on the side of the road.
Location: 610.01.31
Peace River Country, 1929
2 photographs; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Two photos of a log house at the bottom of a hill. Note reads, “Jack went up in the Peace River Country looking for land in 1927.”
Location: 610.01.32-33
Hills along the Peace River, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Unidentified location, assumed to be the hills along the Peace River.
Location: 610.01.34
Breaking Land, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Four horse team pulling a plow breaking up prairie in the Peace Country.
Location: 610.01.35
Annual Sports Day, 1929
2 photographs; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Two photogrpahs of an unidentified event, but assumed to be an annual sports day because of the number of vehicles and people. There is a baseball game is in progress.
Location: 610.01.36-37
Cunningham Home, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Note reads, “Bert & Esther Cunningham lived here in 1929. Beaverlodge, AB.
Location: 610.01.38
Cunningham Farm, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Barn, house and windmill on the Cunningham farm. Note reads, “Bert & Esther’s home in 1929.”
Location: 610.01.39
First Car, 1916
1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 3 in.
Copy of a 1916 photograph showing “the first car to make the trip from Edmonton to Peace River”.
Location: 610.01.40
Summer of 1924, 1924
1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 4 in.
Copy of a 1924 photograph showing a group of five people eating a meal in a lean-to with a sign saying “Free Camp Kitchen”.
Location: 610.01.41
Edson Trail Postcards, 1913
5 postcards; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
A group of five postcards brought back by Betty Lowe’s father, Mr. Zeigler in 1913. A note on the first card reads, “These 5 cards Dad brought back when he made a trip up to the Peace River Country in 1913. He went up looking for land, came back and came down to Vegreville, where he bought section 9 in the Park Grove district in 1914. The postcards are labeled “Freighter, Edson to Grande Prairie, Alta.; Sturgeon Lake; Pack Train, Edson, Alta.; Morris Creek, Jasper Park, near Edson, Alta.; and Ferry on the Big Smoky.
Location: 610.01.42-46