Seen & Heard

The January 26, 1934 issue of the Grande Prairie Herald included several pages of notes from the rural communities of the South Peace region.  Whoever the writer, or writers, of these “Seen & Heard” columns, they were well informed of the day to day happenings of their communities… and had a subtle wit besides.

West Vale – what was Mr. Sayle’s secret?

Fox Creek – “a cool-headed teacher”

Albright – free lunch?  ‘Nuff said!

Mountain Trail – a new type of winter garden

Christmas Past

Flipping through past issues of Grande Prairie newspapers, you can see the importance of community celebrations.  There are announcements for and descriptions of any number of dances, school entertainments, pageants, concerts… even programmes for special radio concerts were published in the weekly papers.  This 1926 entertainment included songs, recitations, and skits, and of course no Christmas entertainment would be complete without the appearance of Santa Claus himself.

Photograph: Christmas concert at Beaverlodge School, 1925 (SPRA 362.02.12.22)

Grande Prairie Herald ~ 27 December 1926

 

Shopping at Home

Amazon, Etsy, and a host of other online marketplaces have given a different meaning to the concept of “shopping at home.”  On weekends such as this, when streets and parking lots are at least ankle-deep in snow, online shopping from the comfort of one’s couch becomes even more appealing.

Still, there is something delightful about browsing through the local shops in search of the perfect gift – flipping through books, fingering a selection of scarves and shawls, choosing a Lego set, art supplies, or new pajamas.  And according to this excerpt from the 1930 Grande Prairie Herald, a little planning ahead can make it a pleasant excursion.

Grande Prairie Herald ~ November 28, 1930

Planning the Montrose School

Every year new schools seem to be popping up in Grande Prairie to accommodate the needs of a growing city.  In 1916, the plans for a new school for Grande Prairie were accepted by the Alberta Department of Education.  At the time of its construction in 1917, the Montrose School was the largest brick building north of Edmonton and in every way a “credit to the north.”

A plaque was recently unveiled at the Montrose site, commemorating its historical value.  For more about this event, visit Commemorating the Montrose Site

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 26, 1916

A Magnificently Modern Store

The opening of Bird’s new store in 1941 seemed to be a pretty big occasion.  There had been a special edition of the Herald Tribune the week before, and the Mayor officially opened the store, with several speakers, including the local MLA.  The opening was broadcast on radio CFGP.  After reading some of the articles in the previous newspaper, I am wondering if this was the first “self-serve” grocery store in town.  The articles mentioned the special shelving, the fluorescent lighting, and describe it as having a “most citified layout.”

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune ~ January 23, 1941

Trading Squirrel Skins for News

This very well written letter was sent to the newspaper, along with a bundle of squirrel skins for the Editor to sell to pay for a subscription.  That’s pretty unusual, but this woman seems to live in a very remote area and may be short of ready cash.  She may not have a lot of people to talk with either, and her very chatty letter comments on recent news stories and the new Social Credit government in Alberta.  The “no relation to Richard” at the end is significant because of her last name.  That name was in the news, as Richard Hauptman, convicted in the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, was slated to be executed in April.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Grande Prairie Herald ~ January 17, 1936

Grande Prairie Herald ~ January 17, 1936

A Headline We’re Not Likely to See Again

The newspaper called it a “unique condition in civic finances” and claimed that “probably” no other municipality in Western Canada was in such a position.  However, the population was just over 1000, and municipal services of any kind were pretty limited.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Grande Prairie Herald ~ January 13, 1920

A Christmas Extravaganza on the Radio

Many adjectives are used in this article to describe the Christmas Day radio programming being planned by the Canadian Radio Commission – unheard of, daring, thrilling.  It was to begin with the Christmas message from King George V.  There would also be choirs, interviews, and stories from across Canada, requiring the services of over 1000 people and technicians and using 32 000 miles of wire.  I wonder if it lived up to this report.  As a sign of our times, I looked and you could actually listen to King George’s speech on YouTube.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Grande Prairie Herald ~ December 20, 1935

Grande Prairie Herald ~ December 20, 1935

Dashing Through the Snow

This dash through the snow was not in a sleigh, but on foot, by a young fellow who had just robbed the pool hall.  He apparently didn’t think about being tracked by the intrepid Constable Burgess, who was even able to match boot prints in the snow to the perpetrator.  I was surprised at the high bail.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Grande Prairie Herald ~ December 15, 1933

Grande Prairie Herald ~ December 15, 1933

He Wasn’t Actually Lost…

This story about the search for men lost in the bush around Nose Mountain involved mill workers, RCMP, Indian trackers, a Dakota search plane, parachutists, and the first helicopter to land at the Grande Prairie Airport.  One man found his own way back to the road, and the other said that he hadn’t been lost at all.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

The Herald-Tribune ~ December 8, 1949

The Herald-Tribune ~ December 8, 1949