Fonds 646 Fran Moore fonds

Fran Moore fonds. — [1912-2011]. — 65 cm of textual records. — 21 photographs.

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Biographical Sketch

Fran Moore was born on her grandfather’s homestead in Valleyview, Alberta to parents Eunice & Graham Bodeker. Growing up on a farm southwest of town she attended Smoky Valley, Calais & Sun Valley, and later St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Grande Prairie boarding at Saint Joseph’s Academy. Fran finished grade 12 when staying with her grandparents in Nanaimo, BC. In 1957 she graduated from St Joseph’s Business College, and later while working as a book keeper for a service station in Valleyview, she met her future husband Marv.

Marv Moore was born in Grande Prairie to parents Winnie & Charlie Moore. He grew up in DeBolt, attending both Edson Trail & Harper Creek schools. Marv later went to Grande Prairie High School rooming at the Wapiti Lodge during that time.

Marv and Fran were married February 20, 1959 in Valleyview and lived in DeBolt where they built and ran the Esso Service Station. They had three children Kerry, Lonny and Bernice. As well as owning and acquiring land, Marv started a Massey Ferguson franchise called Marv’s Farm Service. Marv soon became involved in politics, it all started when he was on the ID 16 Advisory Board representing the DeBolt/Crooked Creek area. Then when he was elected in 1971, with the Lougheed Government in his first term as MLA he was on the Agriculture Committee. In subsequent elections he served as Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Hospitals and Medical Care as well as a stint as Solicitor General. In 1989 Marv changed his focus from politics back to the farm.

Fran kept herself busy while Marv was away politicking, raising their children and as a ‘secretary’ to Marv, as there was no funding in the early years to have a Constituency Office and hired secretary. With a keen interest in giving back to the community over the years Fran has joined numerous societies and committees as a volunteer. Fran has also spearheaded countless events and created committees when needed.

Fran battled cancer in 1976 and in the early 1980’s she heard of a support program called CanSurmount, and she brought the program to the Peace, to a meeting in Grande Prairie. Fran was asked after that if she would become the CanSurmount Trainer in the Peace. Fran agreed but wanted there to be two people involved and she asked Lou Hrushka to take the training with her. Over the next 8 or 9 years, one or 2 workshops were held somewhere in the Peace each year which was a great support program for cancer patients and families. They would show films and have speakers on three subjects: medical, psycho/social, and communications. Fran even flew to Yellowknife, NWT to do a workshop for CanSurmount there. Fran also served as the Provincial Coordinator.

One of Fran’s passions has been the development of the DeBolt & District Pioneer Museum. She has been Curator of the museum since 1975, when it was first incorporated, and has also been chair of the society for the past ten years. In recent years they have been able to apply for grants and have hired staff two days a week as well as a summer student. Before that Fran and other dedicated volunteers did everything gratis. The DeBolt & District Museum, is a surprise to some visitors, for such a small community, but the area represented covers 5 original communities from the Smoky River to Sturgeon Lake. It was through her work with the Museum that Fran became Editor of the following books: Edson to Grande Prairie Trail; Across the Smoky; Bridges to the Past; Edson Trail Centennial Celebrations; DeBolt Country Club & Agricultural Society.

A few of the other places that has benefited from Fran’s involvement are: Canadian Cancer Society; Brush Bunnies Art Club (started in 1975 with Ellen Nichols); DeBolt U.C.W.; Grande Prairie Genealogy Society, as historian; DeBolt & District Agricultural Society; Dunvegan Advisory Committee; Edson Trail Centennial and creator of Spirit of the Peace to name a few.

When Marv left politics he changed his focus back to the farm and volunteering, annual meetings. He was Provincial Campaign Manager for four elections, working for Ralph Klein. He became Chairman of the Alberta Cancer Board, he was Chairman of the DeBolt & District Agricultural Society, which included his installing grass greens at the DeBolt Golf Course. He was Chairman & Bison Director for the Peace Country Classic. He was Chairman of the Bison Producers of Alberta for a few years, and was a board member of the National Bison Assoc. of U.S.A. representing Canadian interests for a few years and attended their annual meetings in Denver, Colorado. Marv continued on the farm where he operated and worked in both field crops and KLB Bison Ranch until 2014, when he sold his field crop equipment to auction. Marv and Fran still have their cow/calf bison operation and hay fields, although they closed down feed lot.

Fran and Marv still volunteer for many organizations and are well-known for their community service.

Custodial History

The records were collected by Fran Moore who donated them to the archives February 27, 2013.

Scope and Content

The fonds consist of records of the Fort Dunvegan Advisory Committee, the Edson Trail Celebrations and Peace Country stories.


Table of Contents

Series 646.01 Dunvegan Advisory Board
Series 646.02 Edson Trail Centennial Celebrations
Series 646.03 Research and Stories on the Peace Country
Series 646.01 Dunvegan Advisory Board. — [1974-1993]. — 8 cm of textual records. — 9 photographs.

The Fort Dunvegan Historical Society was formed January 29, 1965 with the purpose to restore, preserve and promote the Historical Site of Dunvegan one of Alberta’s earliest trading posts. The first members of the society resided across the Peace region including Fairview, Spirit River, Grande Prairie, Peace River, Rycroft and Wanham. The initial executive consisted of Dr. John Powlovich President, J. Glameck Vice-President, Harold Nicholson Treasurer and Peter Weston Secretary. The society was given a donation by Bea Bailey in memory of her husband Bert, which was used to help purchase land located on the south side of the Peace belonging to the Sorely family. This land contained a gravel pit which helped to provide the society with funds. After a few years the society disbanded due to disappointments and waning interest. People were still intersted in continuing to develop this site and the society reformed on August 12, 1970. The new board consisted of Stan Ollis. H.R. Nicholson, Otto Boytinck, Jack McIntosh, Leon Martin, Steve Lazoruk, Fred White, Hon. A.O. Fimrite and Lloyd Rosser. In 1982 Fran Moore joined the Advisory Board for Historic Dunvegan and their first meeting was held March 9, 1983 as well that year discovery digging was begun at Dunvegan to find where other buildings had stood. With the governments help the board had the factors house stabilized for future restoration. In 1984 the society committed to donate money in order to refurbish the Factors House and shortly thereafter the Alberta Government purchased the Marusiak land consisting of 27.72 acres on NE 7-80-4 W6 and 22.46 acres on NE 7-80-4 W6. A historic resource development booklet was completed by the Historic Dunvegan Advisory Board with a proposal for three phases of development. The first phase included the restoration of St. Charles Church, the rectory and factor’s house. Phase two was for the reconstruction of the Hudson Bay Company Post to the 1890s time period and the third phase was for the construction of a visitors centre. Included in the quest of getting the buildings to period the society pursed acquiring artefacts pertaining to Dunvegan. Fran attended many meetings along-side the Fort Dunvegan Historical Society in the planning stages of restoring the buildings. Fran also had a personal interest in Fort Dunvegan, her grandparents Mr. & Mrs. Ben Bodeker were the last Factors to run the Hudsons Bay Company store until its closing in 1918. In December 1990 Fran’s term on the board ended, and much of what was planned by the society had been accomplished. Dunvegan Provincial Park is now a very popular tourist location running school programs, tours, a garden shop and a busy campground. Website – It is thanks to the hard work of the Historical Society and the Advisory Board that Dunvegan stands as a tourist destination for people locally and further afield. Source: Dunvegan Provincial Park website – Website –

The series consists of meeting minutes, discussion of land to be purchased by the government from the Marusiak family, news clippings, Dunvegan Resource Proposal, and a paper called The Spirit & Terms of Treat 8 by Richard Daniels, nine photographs and three posters.

Old Dunvegan, ca.1970
Creator: Poster
An older poster mentioning the hand-hewn timbers of the Old Grouard Mission.
Location: 0646.01.10
Historic Dunvegan Poster, ca.1980
Creator: Poster
An Alberta Culture poster titled Historic Dunvegan showing the builings and activities that are offered there.
Location: 0646.01.11
Fort Dunvegan Poster, c.1985
Creator: Poster
A poster of Historic Dunvegan the front picture depicts St. Charles Church and Rectory and the rback of the poster contains photographs of the area, the early inhabitants and the buildings.
Location: 0646.01.12
Old Catholic Church in Dunvegan, ca. 1890
1 phptograph; b & w; 13 x 18 cm
A Glenbow photograph of the sign at Fort Dunvegan that explained “The Maples” – This site is the property of the Anglican Church. The site of the first Protestant Mission. These Maples were planted three quarters of a century ago. Parishers are welcome to use the grounds but we of St. Helen’s Chi-Rho ask you to respect its historical and sacred aspects. Kindly dispose of all refuse and keep it respectable.
Location: 0646.01.01
The Maples, ca.1955
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 8 cm
A Glenbow photograph of the sign at Fort Dunvegan that explained “The Maples” – This site is the property of the Anglican Church. The site of the first Protestant Mission. These Maples were planted three quarters of a century ago. Parishers are welcome to use the grounds but we of St. Helen’s Chi-Rho ask you to respect its historical and sacred aspects. Kindly dispose of all refuse and keep it respectable.
Location: 0646.01.02
A View of Dunvegan, ca.1985
1 photograph; colour; 4 x 6 in.
A view of Dunvegan from across the road, including the bridge that was taken by Fran Moore.
Location: 0646.01.03
The Grounds and Buildings of Dunvegan, 1987
6 photographs; colour; 4 x 6 in.
A series of photographs of the grounds and buildings of Dunvegan including the statue of Our Lady of Peace.
Location: 0646.01.04 – .09
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Series 646.02 Edson Trail Centennial Celebrations. — 1912, [ca.1976-2013]. — 22 cm of textual records. — 12 photographs.

The history of the Edson Trail is the history of early white settlers arriving into the peace country area. Many books and stories have been written about the experiences, hardships and wonder of people traveling over the trail which was the only means to arrive at the grand prairie, other than the ‘long trail’, via Lesser Slave Lake and Grouard. DeBolt & District Pioneer Museum Society undertook the collection and printing stories and printed a book on the ‘Edson to Grande Prairie Trail’, that they published in 1988. Researched, collected, typed, edited by Fran Moore. 2011 would mark one hunderd years and the start of the arrival and with that in mind meetings were held to organize a celebration. The first official meeting was January 10, 2010 and attended by Fran Moore, Garry Peterson, Don Gourlay, Wanda Zenner, Irene Gitzel, Mary Head, Henry Morgan, Bruce McDonald, Pat Wearmouth, Ray Boyer, Campbell Ross, Janet L. Peterson, Don Logson and Trenton Perrott at the Grande Prairie Museum. Fran Moore ended up as chairperson, and Irene Gitzel as treasurer. The Edson Trail Historical Society in Valleyview, who produced and filmed the Edson Trail Video, was approached with the hopes of forming a partnership between the two groups. The Historical Society agreed to allow the Centennial Committee to operate under them in order to apply for grants as well they gave some funding to help them get started. The new Edson Trail Centennial Celebration Committee went to work and did five different projects over the next two years. 1) an exhibit at H.D.C. (involved were Shirley Fredrickson, Wanda Zenner and Irene Gitzel). 2) Edson Trail Rock Cairn built at Kleskun Hills Park, (Henry Morgan, Irene Gitzel & Wands Zenner involved) 3) Edson to Grande Prairie Trail Ride (involved – Doug Spry, Maxine Maxwell, Mavis Breitkreutz), 4) Edson Trail Centennial Celebration at the Tec Centre, Evergreen Park and 5) Collection and Research of new book on the trail called, “Edson Trail Centennial Celebration, 1911 – 2011”

The series consists of meeting minutes, financial records, book orders, grants, a guest book, photographs, posters, advertising, news clippings, incorportation and bylaws of the Edson Trail Historical Society, Edson Trail Book material documentary, and Edson Trail Stories.

Edson Trail Poster, 2011
Creator: Poster
A poster with a map of the Edson Trail and photographs for the Edson Trail Centennial.
Location: 0646.02.13
Oldtimers Association Edson Trail Poster, 2011
Creator: Poster
The Oldtimers 2011 banquet poster celebrating the Edson Trail.
Location: 0646.02.14
Johnson Family on the Edson Trail, ca.1912
1 photograph; b & w; 15 x 19 cm
A photocopy of a photograph of the Johnson family traveling on the Edson Trail; Jim on horse, Roy on wagon wheel, Marie, Walter and Elsie in wagon and Vic and Soren standing beside the oxen.
Location: 0646.02.01
Athabasca Landing, ca.1912
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
A copy of a a photograph of people and horses at a log shack at Athabasca Landing. Used in a May 15, 1985 article for the Western People.
Location: 0646.02.02
Rev. Harry Coates, ca.1912
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Rev. Harry Coates was a Methodist Missionary who was stationed at Dunvegan 1911-1912. He travelled by horseback during the day and often slept on the prairie at night.
Location: 0646.02.03
Dunvegan Bridge Opening, ca.1912
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
A line up of motor vehicles waiting to cross the newly constructed Dunvegan Bridge.
Location: 0646.02.04
Foy Family on the Trail, ca.1912
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
A horse and wagon on a hill over-looking the land, the driver has his head turned towards the photographer.
Location: 0646.02.05
Ole Melsness Family, ca.1928
1 photograph; sepia; 15.5 x 19.5 cm
The Melsness family in a row. L-R Ole, Harold, Anthon, Elenor, Dolores, Agnes, Inez, Anne, Bert and Harriet.
Location: 0646.02.06
Bob Patterson, ca. 2010
1 photograph; colour; 4 x 6 in.
Bob Patterson standing beside on old winter caboose.
Location: 0646.02.07
Stain Glass Window of Pioneers, ca. 2010
1 photograph; colour; 12 x 14.5 cm
Stain glass hanging depicting pioneers and created by Lawrence Moon for the Grande Prairie Museum. Used on page 259 of the Edson Trail Centennial Celebration book.
Location: 0646.02.09
Bloom – Neilson Rock Cairn, ca. 2010
2 photographs; colour; 4 x 6 in.
Brady Neilson, Harvey Neilson, Janis Bloom and Helen Kabat standing beside the rock cairn that is commemorating 100 years in the peace country. Pg. 263
Location: 0646.02.10, 11
Foy Family, ca. 2012
1 photograph; colour; 5 x 7 in.
Hubert Foy with Tracy Leishman and her children Reid and Thomas. pg. 259.
Location: 0646.02.12
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Series 646.03 Research and Stories on the Peace Country. — ca.1980s. — 30 cm of textual records.

The series consists of copies of diaries, memoirs, stories, and a thesis collected by Fran Moore in researching the various projects that she is a part of in the peace region. The stories include: A Lumberjack Remebers, by Phil Nilsson; The Edson to Grande Prairie Trail, a copy of a diary written by W. Gilmour PAA Accession 82.38/1 & Pioneer’s of the Peace by Mary Moschenross PAA Access. 91.437 File SE; Land of the Weitgo, By Dave T. Williamson; Teepee Fires Burn Brightly Still, By Dave T. Willliamson; Mary Walters Story, memories of her childhood under pen name Mary Wapiti; Wesakechka Legends – Native American Legends; Through the Mackenzie Basin by Charles Mair; Edson Train Stories; The Ramstad Story – Norm worked for Town of Valleyview and was the son of early homesteader; Williamson Story; Stories and letters by A. H. McQuarrie; Melsness Story; Loberg Story; Baldy Red Yeoman, Valleyview’s First Settlers, Growing Old Together, The Fulfillment of “Old Sunshine’s” Prophecy, The Nightingale of Red Willow Creek, The Scots Family Williamson, by Dave T. Williamson; Report on the Peace River Region; History of the Canadian North – a course attended by Fran Moore; Sources on the History of Northern Alberta – by D.G. Wetherell and Associates, 1994; The Emergence of Regional Identity: The Peace River Country 1910-1946, by Robert Scott Irwin, as well as stories about the following families: Jennie Crocken (Tomshak), Lena Blonski, Walter Spry, Fred & Bill Boyd, David Alexander Johnston, William Innes, Foy family and Mary Louise Johnson.

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