Fonds 295 Rodacker family fonds

fonds-295

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1920-1950. — 58 photographs. — 9 cards. — 1 maps.


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Biographical Sketch

Melvin Rodacker was born in Lumby B.C. in 1909 and moved with his family to Peoria, AB, at an early age. He arrived in Grande Prairie in 1927. He worked on the railroad in his early days, then was the J.I.Case farm implement dealer during the 30s-50s. Next he ran the Dominion Royal Tire Shop in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and also founded the Rodacker Machine Works which became Steel Industries. From the 1940s-1970s he established Rodacker Sales and Service, the Ford/Lincoln dealership, located on the corner of 101 Ave. and 101 St. He was also the Tilden car rental franchise holder for 13 years. Mel was very active in the community: a charter member of the Kinsmen Club and later the K-40 Club. He also belonged to the Shriners Club, the Lake Saskatoon Masonic Lodge and was at one time President of the Curling Club, the Grande Prairie Athletic Association, the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and the Grande Prairie Museum. He played with the Grande Prairie Marching Band in the 1930s and led a musical group called Mel Rodacker’s Old Timers in the 1930s-1940s which played over CFGP radio intermittently for over ten years, and then founded the Rhythym Knights in the 1950s. He played for and sponsored a senior fastball team, the Case Eagles in the 1930s. He managed and sponsored the Grande Prairie Mercury Baseball Team in the 1950s as well as the Grande Prairie Athletics hockey team. He also sponsored and help build the Model T Ford racer that careened around the tracks in the region in the 1940s. His community service included a term on town council in the 1940s, chairmanship of the Chamber committee that was instrumental in lobbying for the construction of the Great Slave Lake Railway from Peace River to Pine Point, NWT. In his later years, he chaired the committee which launched the Pioneer Museum in Grande Prairie and this led to a decade of involvement with its operation including several terms as president of the museum society. Mel died in 1980 and was survived by his wife, Phyllis, son Wayne and brothers Bill, Dan, Harold, Henry, Manuel and sisters Lil. Abbie, and Viola.

Custodial History

The records were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives by Wayne Rodacker in 2007 and 2008.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of 58 photographs; 3 certificates relating to Mel’s involment with the Kinsmen, Chamber of Commerce and the Shriners; copies of documents describing Rodacker’s Sales and Service with a collection of advertising cards; copies of news articles showing his involvement with Stock Car Racing; a get-well card signed by the members of the Red Devils hockey team; and an original document signed by guarantors agreeing to pay for the cost of a special train trip to bring Grande Prairie’s Senior Hockey Team from Rycroft to Hythe for a league game; a map of the County of Grande Prairie showing land ownership, and a copy of Mel’s obituary.

Notes

 

 
Stock Car No. 8, 1964
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Park Hotel Stock Car No. 8, with driver. Car is being towed to the race track on the west side of Grande Prairie.
Location: 2007.38.01
Stock Car No. 44, 1961
1 photograph; b&w; 3×5 in.
Harley’s Shell Service Stock Car No. 44 parked at the race track on the west side of Grande Prairie.
Location: 2007.38.02
Stock Car No. 44, 1961
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 in.
Harley’s Shell Service Stock Car No. 44 in motion at the race track on the west side of Grande Prairie.
Location: 2007.38.03
Stock Car Racers, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 3 in.
Stock car racers Gib Thompson, Tom O’Shangnessy and Mike Fox on the hood of Stock Car No. 77 in 1963. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.04
Stock Car No. 77, 1963
1 photograph; b&w; 3×3 in.
Hackwell Construction stock car and driver Gib Thompson. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.05
Stock Car No. 77, 1963
1 photograph; b&w; 3×3 in.
Pat Thompson with children Derek and Debbie on the hood of Stock Car No. 77, driven by Gib Thompson. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.06
Stock Car No. 77, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 3 in.
Stock car driver Gib Thompson beside children Derek and Debbie on the hood of Stock Car No. 77, sponsored by Adam Construction and Hackwell Construction. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.07
Stock Car No. 18, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4 in.
Stock car driver Art Park beside Car No. 18, sponsored by the B-A Center Service. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.08
Stock Car No. 66, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4 in.
Stock car driver Nick Denys beside Car No. 66, sponsored by Northern Pump Service. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.09
Stock Car No. 17, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4 in.
Stock car driver Walter Jack Pine beside Car No. 17. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.10
Stock Car No. 21, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4 in.
Stock car driver Bob Bohnke beside Car No. 21. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.11
Stock Car No. 22, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4 in.
Stock car driver Keith Laverick beside Car No. 22, sponsored by GP Building Supplies. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.12
Stock Car No. 11, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4 in.
Stock car driver Verne Johnson beside Car No. 11. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.13
Stock Car No. 77, 1963
1 photograph; b&w; 3×4 in.
Stock car driver Gib Thompson beside Car No. 77, sponsored by Al’s News and named “White Lightnin'”. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.14
Jack Wenzel and Stock Car, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4 in.
Stock car driver Jack “Wimpey” Wenzel beside his car. The racing track at that time would have been on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.15
Gib Thompson and Car, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 3 in.
Gib Thompson beside his 1957 Chevrolet in 1963. Harry Balfour School is in the background.
Location: 2007.38.16
Dragon Riders Motorcycles, 1963
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4 in.
Seven motorcycles belonging to the Dragon Riders Motorcycle Club parked on 102 Street, between 101 and 102 Avenue.
Location: 2007.38.17
Stock Car Racing, [1962]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Stock cars lined up in the center of the track, which was then on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park. Bleachers can be seen on the left hand side.
Location: 2007.38.18
Stock Car Racing, [1962]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Stock cars coming around the bend at Speedway 99, which was then on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.19
Stock Car Racing, [1962]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Stock cars coming around the bend at Speedway 99, which was then on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.20
Stock Car Racing, [1962]
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Stock cars approaching the viewing bleachers at Speedway 99, which was then on the west outskirts of Grande Prairie, in what is now College Park.
Location: 2007.38.21
Snow Removal Machine, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Snow removal machine built by Steel Industries for the City of Grande Prairie in 1944. Clearing snow on 101 Avenue.
Location: 2007.38.22
Snow Removal Machine, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Snow removal machine built by Steel Industries for the City of Grande Prairie in 1944. Clearing snow on 101 Avenue.
Location: 2007.38.23
The “Steel House” of the Peace, [1955]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Steel Industries Parade Float on 101 Avenue shows a [1950] truck pulling a steel pole shed with steel artefacts on the flat deck. In the background is the Salvation Army Citadel.
Location: 2007.38.24
Rodacker Sales & Service, [1950]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
The Rodacker Sales & Service on the south-east corner of 101 Street and 101 Avenue was built in 1948.
Location: 2007.38.25
Bishop & Weegan Loader, 1947
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Loader built by Steel Industries for Bishop and Weegan Trucking in 1947. The driver is Howard Weegan and the location is 101 Avenue and 99 Street.
Location: 2007.38.26
M.J. Rodacker Sign, [1950]
1 photograph; b&w; 4 x 6 in.
Photograph of the M.J. Rodacker Sign on the west entrance to Grande Prairie ca. 1950. Visible are the Bear Creek Bridge, the old United Church, the original Presbyterian Church and the Grande Prairie Water Tower.
Location: 2007.38.27
Model T Racing Car, 1947
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Laurie Little and the Model T Racing Car built by Steel Industries in 1947. This car was the R J Rodacker Grande Prairie entry in the Model T Row of the Labour Day Race in Calgary and placed third.
Location: 2007.38.28
Race Scenes at Grande Prairie, 1947
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Model T racing cars on the track at Grande Prairie.
Location: 2007.38.29
Race Scenes at Grande Prairie, 1947
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Model T racing cars on the track at Grande Prairie.
Location: 2007.38.30
Case Tractor, [1950]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Jack Thompson, Mr. Henry (of Blowey Henry Furniture Store in Edmonton), Jimmy Oliver and Pete Wright Senior with a Case
Location: 2007.38.31
Grande Prairie Marching Band, 1932
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
Grande Prairie Marching Band in 1932 with conductor Les Cookshaw. Back row standing: Mell Tallon, Sid Cookshaw, Mike Harvey. Left side middle: Ole Evenrude, Cornie Remple, Ken Battrewm, Phil Alt, Mike Drainie. Left front: Frank Lloyd, Tom Waterman. Right middle: Bill Remple, Walter Atkinson, Ralph Johnston, Sam Rouleau, Mel Rodacker. Right front: Harry Johnson, Pete Peterson.
Location: 2007.38.32
Case Dealership in Grande Prairie, 1932
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
The first case dealership in Grande Prairie, on Richmond Avenue prior to 1948.
Location: 2007.38.33
Mel Rodacker’s Old Timers, 1948-49
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 in.
L-R George Boe, Mel Rodacker, Cecil Morton, Clarence Sjerdal, Jack Soars, Bill Remple
Location: 2007.38.34
Rotary Convention, 1958
1 photograph; b&w; 4×6 in.
Rotary convention band and performers on stage. Rotary convention at the Grande Prairie High School.
Location: 2007.38.35a
Rotary Convention, 1958
1 photograph; b&w; 4×6 in.
Rotary convention at the Grande Prairie High School. The group on stage, left to right, Walter Fisher, Wayne Rodacker, Bill Dyck, Sonny Fry, Scotty Gilliland and Gottfried Sprecher.
Location: 2007.38.35b
The Rhythm Knights, 1955-1958
1 photograph; b&w; 4×6 in.
L-R Gottfried Sprecher, Garry Robinson, Mel Rodacker, Gene Goutherie, Wayne Rodacker
Location: 2007.38.36
Jack Penson and His Orchestra, 1935
1 photograph; b&w; 4×6 in.
Jack Penson (insert), L-R Cecil Lewis, Winston Tibbets, Bill Remple, Mel Rodacker, Dick Lewis at the Capitol Theatre
Location: 2007.38.37
Mel Rodacker’s Old Time Band, 1948-49
1 photograph; b&w;
Location: 2007.38.38
Grande Prairie Main Street, 1940 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Postcard showing the main street of Grande Praire in the late 1930s-1940s.
Location: 2008.80.01
Coronation Day Parade, 1936
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
Postcard showing the Grande Prairie Marching Band leading a parade in honor of George VI Coronation. Rex Harper leads the parade, and Bill Remple to his left as they pass the houses of Dr. Ernie Forman and Archie Wilson.
Location: 2008.80.02
Grande Prairie Main Street Parade, 1936 c.
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
Postcard showing Grande Prairie main street framed by an archway of green branches and a “Welcome” sign. A marching band can be seen coming toward the archway and cars line the north side of the street.
Location: 2008.80.03
Grande Prairie Sports Day, 1921
1 postcard; b & w; 4 x 6
Postcard of Grande Prairie Sports Day, July1, 1921. Cars line one side of the sports field and bleachers and crowds of people can be seen on the opposite side.
Location: 2008.80.04
Grande Prairie Municipal Hospital, 1930 c.
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
Grande Prairie Municipal Hospital built in 1929 showing some landscaping done.
Location: 2008.80.05
Grande Prairie Main Street in Winter, 1930 c.
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
Grande Prairie ‘s main street showing businesses lining both sides and a hose and wagon disappearing down a rutted snow path.
Location: 2008.80.06
Grande Prairie ‘s Imperial Bank and Spencer Block, 1919
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
Imperial Bank, former building to the left of the newly constructed one, and Spencer Block, Grande Prairie main street intersection. A milk wagon and a note on the photo identifies the location of the “Crown Café”. Note on the back, “With best wishes for a square meal from the Crown Café.”
Location: 2008.80.07
Grande Prairie Hotel, 1919
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
The Grande Prairie Hotel with a group of dignitaries lined up in front of the building.
Location: 2008.80.08
Grande Prairie High School, 1929
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
The Grande Prairie High School built in 1929.
Location: 2008.80.09
Sunset on Lake Saskatoon, 1929 c.
1 postcard; b & w; 3 x 5
A post card of Lake Saskatoon seen through the trees at sunset.
Location: 2008.80.10
Grande Prairie’s Railway Avenue, 1930c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Snow-covered railway tracks show between a row of warehouses and elevators. The train with snow plow on front is seen coming towards you.
Location: 2008.80.11
View From Richmond Hill, 1930c.
1 photograph proof; b & w; 3 x 5
The view from the top pf Richmond Hill near the location of the first Grande Prairie Golf Course.
Location: 2008.80.12
View From North Side of Richmond Hill, 1935
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
The view fom the east side of Richmond Hill as W.J. Lloyd saw it on Oct. 18, 1935.
Location: 2008.80.13
Road Running East From Richmond Hill, 1935
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
The view of the road from the top pf Richmond Hill looking east, October 18, 1935.
Location: 2008.80.14
Mel Rodacker Curling, n.d.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Mel Rodacker and teammate looking over the rocks in the house, playing in the first Grande Prairie Curling Rink.
Location: 2008.80.15
Dan Balisky With His Stock Car, 1955 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 7
Dan Balisky standing beside his stock car
Location: 2008.80.16
Staff of Watson’s Garage, 1935
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 7
Staff of the Grande Prairie Garage owned by J.O. Watson, standing behind a counter which hold a trophy labelled, “Union Oil Company District Sales Competition Trophy Won By Alberta 1933”, L-R: J.O. Watson, Jim Watson, Gerald Watson, Harold Oxley, ?, ?, Andy Neil, Gordon Bishop, Merle Lydell.
Location: 2008.80.17
Barbara Ann Scott Poses with Local Skaters, 1950 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
A group of skaters pose on the ice: Rosemary Munro, Johnny (Jock) Munro, Barbara Ann Scott, Murdo Munro, Lillian Munro, Sheldon Galbraith
Location: 2008.80.18
Grande Prairie Kinsmen & Kinettes, 1958
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 8
A Kinsmen & Kinette group pose in polka-dot vests and hats. Top Row L-R: Gunnar Hendrickson, Terry Husselby, Don McTaggert, Mel Rodacker, Max Henning, Mel Stirling. Center Row L-R: Piper Husselby, Marie Henning, Marge McTaggert, Phyllis Rodacker, Agnes Ayre, Doreen McDonell, Audrey McKay, Shirley Adams, Ann Hendrickson, Ina Moore. Bottom Row L-R: Harold McKay, John Moore, Charlie McDonell, Doris Stirling, Harold Ayre, Keith Adams
Location: 2008.80.19
 
County of Grande Prairie, 1982
1 map; 94 x 145
Map of the County of Grande Prairie No. 1, showing land ownership.
Location: 2008.80.20
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