UPDATE – Beaverlodge’s First Double-Murder?

Was this case ever solved?

In 1914 Leonard Stephens came to Canada from England. He made his way to the Peace Region and filed on 16-72-10-6 as well as 27-72-10-6 near Beaverlodge. Another Homesteader Samuel Timmins filed on 22-72-10-6.

Both men were trappers and set out together in 1922 to check their lines. Leonard’s family realized that he and Sammy were late on returning and contacted the R.C.M.P.

The R.C.M.P. investigation turned up the bones of the men and a grisly discovery – the men had been killed by bullets to the back of the head.

In 1926 a notice was placed in the newspaper for claimants on the estate of Leonard Alfred Francis Stephens.  It states his date of death as on or about February 15, 1923.

Grande Prairie Herald Sept. 13, 1926

 

Leonard was buried at Riverview Cemetery in Goodfare.

Less is known about Samuel Timmins; I am not even sure where he was buried.

This story was brought to the attention of the archives by a researcher. If you know anything more, let us know and we will share it with the interested party.

 

Today the person interested in this case has informed us that this was not murder after all but a case of men who were inexperienced in dealing with the harsh weather in the area. More information can be found in an article in the Shoulder Strap (a Police publication) July 1940 or by calling or visiting SPRA.

 

Photo: Beaverlodge, 1930

Source: Information on the murder victims was found in Beaverlodge to the Rockies p. 35-36

Written by Researcher Patricia Greber

 

New Fully Modern Hotel Opens in Beaverlodge

According to the writer of this article, a modern hotel is the dream of every town, and for many years Beaverlodge had longed for this amenity.  Seems a bit dramatic!  Nevertheless, a modern new hotel with a restaurant, refreshment parlors, large foyers, fifteen rooms, and a fully modern bath room with hot and cold running water would have been an asset to any community.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Grande Prairie Herald ~ October 11, 1935

Grande Prairie Herald ~ October 11, 1935

Grande Prairie Herald ~ October 11, 1935

Grande Prairie Herald ~ October 11, 1935

Country Roads

This week we are introducing a new feature called “Country Roads.” The last week of each month, the blog will highlight people, places and events in the County. The articles I chose to begin this new feature are from September 1929. The paper had write ups about the towns and districts surrounding Grande Prairie as part of an information package for a visiting contingent of members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Including Chamber of Commerce members from every province, newsmen, and a group from Britain, there were over three hundred people. The visitors were divided into groups over two days, and taken in automobiles on a tour of the area. This week: “The Trip West.”

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 6, 1929 ~ The Trip West

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 6, 1929 ~ The Trip West

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 6, 1929 ~ Beaverlodge

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 6, 1929 ~ Beaverlodge

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 6, 1929 ~ Hythe

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 6, 1929 ~ Hythe

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 6, 1929 ~ Wembley

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 6, 1929 ~ Wembley

Pail of Lard Given to First Passengers Alighting from Train in Beaverlodge & Hythe

Five years after the rail line reached Wembley in 1924, it was extended to Beaverlodge and Hythe.  There were huge celebrations in both towns, including brass bands, a huge bonfire, and banquets with over 200 people attending in each town.  Many drove from Grande Prairie and area to witness the event, others drove to Wembley and rode the train to be passengers on the first one.  Who wouldn’t, with the “prize” of a pail of lard at the other end!

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Grande Prairie Herald ~ January 18, 1929

Grande Prairie Herald ~ January 18, 1929

William Donald Albright – Lantern Slides

Bruce Albright and his wood pile.

Bruce Albright and his wood pile.

A lantern slide show originally created by W. D. Albright of the Beaverlodge Research Station in 1937. Narration telling Albright’s story was added by South Peace Regional Archives.

A small portion of the script – The Beaverlodge Research Station was founded by William Donald Albright, who began conducting tests in 1914. He spent many years touring the Peace Country with his collection of lantern slides and giving talks on a variety of topics. Many of the photographs were taken and hand-tinted by Albright himself. The slides were preserved at the Research station for many years before being taken to the South Peace Centennial Museum in Beaverlodge, then to South Peace Regional Archives, where they now have a permanent home.
In honour of the 100th Anniversary of Albright’s first experiments, the Archives has recreated this lantern slide presentation, originally entitled “Homestead Days” using a slide list dated November 4, 1937. Although some of the slides and the lecture notes are missing, the captions are original and we hope you will get a feel for the work of the Research Station and the passion and pride of W. D. Albright at the potential of the Peace River Country and what had already been accomplished.

William Donald Albright was born in South Cayuga, Haldimand County, Ontario on August 15, 1881, to Josiah and Sarah Albright. The Albright family moved to a Beamsville fruit farm when William was 13. He attended two years of high school, one year junior Matriculation, and took a two-year associate course at Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph, winning the Governor-General’s prize for general proficiency…

To view the slide show and to hear about about Albright’s life head over to our You Tube Channel ~ Homestead days. You can also subscribe to our You Tube channel to keep up with all our latest content!

 

Oliver Hiram Johnson Diary

One of our newest acquisitions at the archives is a diary written by Oliver “Rutabega” Johnson. It depicts early life of a pioneer to Beaverlodge. We are so pleased that his granddaughter decided that the archives is the best place to keep the diary.

The diary can be accessed and read on-line – we also transcribed it for you for easier reading. Enjoy this glimpse of early pioneer life.

Photo: 362.02.12.13

An Apple A Day

We take it for granted that we can buy fresh fruit year round, but it hasn’t always been that way. This article in “Local Happenings” and ads from the Sept. 27, 1932 Grande Prairie newspaper refers to two train car loads of apples coming in from the Okanagan!

Sept 27 - blog apples car load

appl ads

There are locally grown apples but not enough to meet demand. Here is an article found in the same paper about apples grown by W.D. Albright in Beaverlodge.

Sept 27 blog - Beaverlodge apples

1928 Apple tree  W.D. Albright, Beaverlodge, Alberta

1928 Apple tree
W.D. Albright, Beaverlodge, Alberta

 

362.02.08.115

W.D. Albright’s 1932 Apple crop from Beaverlodge Experimental Farm.