The Horse Drive of Harry Adair in Review

Now that our website is back online and fully repaired, check out the photographs of the July 12th fundraiser!

We had a great time at the Horse Drive of Harry Adair!  The weather was perfect, the content was riveting, and the Scenic Heights Players did a great job with the play.  Thanks again to all our volunteers, our donors, and the Scenic Heights community. We had a profit of just over $7,000 on the event and a nice donation of $10,000 for our building fund from one of the attendees, so that made it a very profitable event!

Roping instruction

Roping instruction

Crowds in the stands, waiting for the play to begin

Crowds in the stands, waiting for the play to begin

Leslie Gordon interviews Gary Dixon

Leslie Gordon interviews Gary Dixon

Charlie Penson, MC and President of the Friends Society

Charlie Penson, MC and President of the Friends Society

Musicians

Musicians

The chuckwagon

The chuckwagon

The players

The players

The bear that scared the horses

The bear that scared the horses

Last Call for Tickets!

Hello all;

This is a last call for tickets for the Harry Adair Horse Drive Open Air Play and Barbecue!  We have about forty left from our top number of two hundred tickets.

And here’s another story about Harry Adair.

This is the best photo we have of Harry Adair.  It is called “Paying an Election Bet” (SPRA 032.08.08.0585) and is dated July 2, 1917.  Harry was involved in politics at many levels.  He was on the first Council for the Rural Municipality of Bear Lake when it was formed in December 1912, and he ran in the Provincial Election in 1917 but lost to banker William Innes.  You can read about it in the news clipping below.

What surprised me, though, was his support of feminist politician and social activist Nellie McClung.  The clipping here, dated October 5, 1920, gives a taste of community life at the Adair ranch.

October 5, 1920

October 5, 1920

July 10, 1917

July 10, 1917

Coming Soon – the Horse Drive of Harry Adair

Houses on the Adair Ranch. From 1929-1942 the Bartsch Family loved in one of these houses and the Cornelius Toews Family in the other, ca. 1930

Houses on the Adair Ranch after they were sold in the late 1920s. From 1929-1942 the Bartsch Family lived in one of these houses and the Cornelius Toews Family in the other, ca. 1930

What do you know about Harry Adair? How he heard about the Peace Country, we don’t know, but Harry Adair set out from Montana in 1906 with 700 head of horses, assisted only by three women relatives and a few wranglers. He finally arrived here in 1909 and established a 2,200 acre ranch northwest of the fledgling community of Saskatoon Lake. Grande Prairie City wasn’t even a dream then. By 1913, he was seeding 900 acres of crop; and by 1917, 1300 acres, the largest ranch in the Peace Country. His ranch buildings, seen in the photos above, were the center of community life in that area. For the story about that exciting horse drive from Montana to the Grande Prairie, you’ll have to come to the Open Air Play on July 12th!

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 16, 1916

Grande Prairie Herald ~ September 16, 1916

Grande Prairie Herald ~ May 20, 1913

Grande Prairie Herald ~ May 20, 1913

SPRA Annual General Meeting 2015

 In spite of the wintry weather on Saturday, we had a good turnout for our annual general meeting.

Maureen Curry, director of the Grande Prairie Public Library, receiving the Beth Sheehan Archives Award for the library's valuable contributions to and partnership with the South Peace Regional Archives.

Maureen Curry, director of the Grande Prairie Public Library, received the Beth Sheehan Archives Award for the library’s valuable contributions to and partnership with the South Peace Regional Archives.

Kathryn Auger received an award for contributing more than 1000 hours to the archives as a volunteer.

Kathryn Auger received an award for contributing more than 1000 hours to the archives as a volunteer.

David Leonard shared with us his passion for the Peace Country Land Settlement Database project.

David Leonard shared with us his passion for the Peace Country Land Settlement Database project.

Thank you to everyone who came out to join us and we’ll look forward to seeing you next year!

Researching Your Family History

Have you thought about exploring your family tree? Or have started and have hit a road block? The South Peace Regional Archives has partnered with the Grande Prairie Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society to bring to you a free workshop focusing on your family tree.

There will be classes that will help you further your research, compile it into a story as well we will show you how to preserve special documents or photographs. With that in mind we have printers on-hand to walk you through the process of publishing your family book so it can be shared with a wider audience.

We are very excited to have vendors who will be giving demos of their products. Shop the Hound has the Flip-Pal Scanner which is a wonder for scanning those old photos, there will be scrapbooking tables, preservation supplies, demonstrations, and displays.

Grab a friend, come to the Golden Age Centre on Feb. 17th and start climbing your family tree!

resized right poster

Shark Week — How About Bear Week?

Here in land locked Grande Prairie we don’t have fantastic shark stories that we can share for Shark Week. With a look through the newspaper index in 1940 we were able to find a dramatic story about one of the predators that live in our region.

Indian of Pipestone Creek Has Narrow Escape from Death, Attack By Bear

 

…I fired from a 30-30 rifle and broke the bear’s lower jaw. This was lucky for me, I fired again, but missed. The bear was coming towards me, I reached into my coat pocket for a shell and reloaded, but the gun misfired. By this time the bear, which was very mad, was close to me. I struck it in the face with my rifle and knocked it down. It was up in a second and threw me down and gashed my head and face and torn nearly all the clothes off me. The bear thinking I was dead stopped clawing me for a minute…

If you would like to read the rest of the story about what happened to Sam Baptiste Wilson click his name. There is also a follow up story in the next issue of The Herald-Tribune.

Do you know have any stories about animals or people in the South Peace? We would love to hear them!

*Bear photo is taken from the Debolt & District Pioneer Museum fonds and is unrelated to this story.

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Historic Cemeteries Walking Tour

Join SPRA on Sunday July 14, 2013 from 1:30-4pm for a guided walk through five cemeteries in the Wembley-LaGlace corridor. Discover the rich and interesting history of the area through the lives and stories of its people.

Call 780-830-5105 to register and get directions (limit of 20 participants). Please bring your own vehicle and dress for walking and the weather.

Presented in cooperation with members of Lake Saskatoon and Scenic Heights communities.

Photo: Tour participants listening intently to archivist Leslie Gordon

 

Celebrating 100 years of incorporation

Did you know that the City of Grande Prairie is celebrating 100 years of incorporation in 2014?

In preparation, South Peace Regional Archives is seeking photographs of downtown buildings and records of businesses, past and present, which have operated in the City.

If you have any questions or material to contribute, please contact Mary Nutting at 780-830-5105 or spra@telus.net.

Help promote this initiative by putting up a poster!

Historic Cemeteries Walking Tour

Sunday June 9th, 2013

Time: 1:30pm to 4:00pm

Join SPRA for a guided walk through five cemeteries in the Wembley-LaGlace corridor. Discover the rich and interesting history of the area through the lives and stories of its people.

Call 780-830-5105 to register and get directions (limit of 20 participants). Please bring your own vehicle and dress for walking and the weather.

Photo: participants listening intently to SPRA Archivist Leslie Pearson, 2012