The South Wapiti area centered on Township 79, Range 8, West of the 6th meridian. It was opened for agriculture in the early 1930s, with settlers crossing the Wapiti River by boat at Pipestone Creek. A post office was started in Mr. Riggs house, and soon there was a ferry over the river. The first community building was the South Wapiti School (District No. 4623) built in 1935, the center for clubs, meetings and church as well as the school. When the Riggs left in 1940, Archie Gerow took over the post office and added a small store. In 1952, a hall was built on Ted Day’s quarter, SE 17-69-8-W6, and became a venue for wedding dances and community events. As transportation became easier, the settlers could go to Grovedale or Pipestone Creek for the goods and services they needed. The store and post office were the first to close, with the school following in 1962 and the hall around 1964.
The photographs were preserved by Melba (Bunny) Day Schenk, daughter of Ted Day and grand-daughter of Olaf Berg. They were deposited with South Peace Regional Archives in 2006.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of 15 photographs of the farmers and settlers who lived in or frequented the South Wapiti area, including Olaf Berg, the Ted Day family, Osbornes, McCulloughs and Ryans.There is also a photo of “The Bee Man” from the Beaverlodge Research Station giving a demonstration on bee keeping for the South Wapiti Community.
South Wapiti School Children, 1955 c. 1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 South Wapiti School Children: Back row: Gladys Ryan, Ruth Ryan. Middle row: Ken Ryan, Bunny Day, Bob Ryan. Front Row: Joyce Ryan, Lloyd Lofstrom, Bud Pearson, Bill Pearson Location: 0255.01
School Transportation, 1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 Students from South Wapiti School on horseback in the school yard. L-R: Irene and Gladys Ryan, Joan Elliott, Irene and Doug Van Schaick, Walter and Bob Ryan, May and Ruth Ryan, Patricia Van Schaick, Muriel Sutherland, Michael and Gerald Ryan Location: 0255.02
South Wapiti School Children, 1950 c. 1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 4 Students from South Wapiti School beside the log school: Back Row: Irene Ryan, Leola Day, Joan Elliott, May Ryan, Patricia Van Schaick, Helen Holmes, Walter Ryan, George Day. Front Row: Melba (Bunny) Day, Gladys Ryan, Ruth Ryan, Mona Pearson, Muriel Sutherland, Clyde Holmes, Bob Ryan, Gerald Ryan, Bud Pearson Location: 0255.03
Ted Day Family Farmhouse, 1943 1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 Mr. Day with wagon and horses in the home farmyard. House was built by Ole Berg in the 1930s. George and Leola Day in the wagon and Bunny Day in the doorway Location: 0255.04
Winter Travel, 1945 1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 Travelling by horse and sleigh are Betty Ryan, Irene Ryan, Bobby Ryan, Bunny Day and Gaille Berg. Location: 0255.05
Day family with Grandpa Berg, 1949 c. 1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 George Hedley Day (Ted ), his wife Anna, daughter Melba (Bunny) and Grandpa Berg beside their car at South Wapiti. Location: 0255.06
Mc Cullough Sawmill, .1945 c. 1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 Henry Mc Cullough’s sawmill at work at Ted Day’s farm Location: 0255.07
The Bee Man, .1945 c. 1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5 A group of South Wapiti people listen to a demonstration on bee keeping given by men frm the Beaverlodge experimental station. Location: 0255.08
Ole Berg, 1945 1 phoograph; b & w; 3 x 5 Olaf Berg (Mrs. Day’s father) standing in front of his house. This house was later the teacherage at South Wapiti School. Location: 0255.09
Valentine Dance, 1945 1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 2 Joyce Ryan holds a poster advertising a Valentine Dance, Wapiti Hall, Admission $1.00, Ladies with lunch free. Location: 0255.10
Getting a Hair Cut, 1945 1 photograph; b & w; 1 x 2 Oscar Garant giving his neighbor,Ted Day, a hair cut. Location: 0255.11
Bert and Mima Osborne, 1945 1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4 Bert and Mima Osborne, seen here with their dog, at their ranch at Pipestone Creek Location: 0255.12
Bert Osborne with Friends, 1945 1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 4 Bert Osborne, grandson Albert Trotter, Muriel Sutherland, and Leola Day. Location: 0255.13
McCullough Home at South Wapiti, 1935 1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6 Jack and Susan McCullough’s home on the NW 3-70-8-W6 in the South Wapiti district was built in 1934-35. Here Susan, Pete and Thelma McCullough show off a bear hide. Location: 0255.14
Threshing at McCullough’s, 1976 1 photograph; colour; 4 x 6 Lana and Christina Schenk and Bud Moberly threshing on the McCullough farm in 1976. Location: 0255.15