Fonds 555 Edith Mair fonds

Edith Mair fonds. — 1912-[ca. 1922]. — 12 photographs.

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Biographical Sketch

Edith La Page was born in England around 1901. Her mother’s name was likely Victorine (born about 1874) and her father’s name is unknown. In 1904, she and her widowed mother journeyed to Manitoba, Canada from London. While in Manitoba, Edith’s mother met and married Chester Crowe (born about 1874). Chester had come to Manitoba from Guelph, Ontario, as part of a harvest expedition. The family moved to Rapid City, Manitoba around 1906, operating a restaurant. Chester was also on the Manitoba race circuit. 

In November 1910, they headed West and journeyed toward Grande Prairie on the Edson Trail, in the company of Mr. and Mrs. Secombe. They stopped in Sturgeon Lake until the Spring of 1911 when they continued on to Bezanson’s stopping place. Both Mr. and Mrs. Crowe worked there for while. In March 1912, Chester filed on NW 20-71-4 W6th, but later abandoned it and filed instead on SW 28-71-4 W6th, in the Crystal Creek district, in July 1913. He received the homestead patent for the land in January 1917 and sold it to the Marcys. 

The Crowes ran a restaurant in Grande Prairie, known as the Creamery Café or the Crown Café, from 1914 to 1918. Chester again became involved with horse racing, as in Manitoba. In 1923 Chester and Victorine Crowe moved to Edmonton, specifically the Daugh area, where Chester worked as a CNR section man. He was killed in a work accident on May 26, 1924 and is buried in the Edmonton Cemetery. Victorine died in 1926 and is buried with her husband. 

Edith married William George Mair in 1922. The couple moved to Edmonton, where their son Jim was born in October 1923. William passed away in 1983. Edith contined to live in Edmonton until 1989 when she moved to Kelowna. Edith died November 29, 1991 and is buried in Edmonton. 

Sources: “Pioneers of the Peace”, homestead and cemetery records, Grande Prairie Herald and Herald Tribune

Custodial History

The photographs appear to have been given to Isabel Campbell by Edith Mair. When and for what purpose has not been documented. The photographs were donated to the Grande Prairie Public Library as part of Isabel Campbell’s bequest. On October 22, 2013, the Grande Prairie Public Library transferred the Isabel Campbell collection, which included these photographs as well as many others, to South Peace Regional Archives. 

Some of the photographs, which were originally part of this collection appear to have been moved to the general Isabel Campbell photograph collection (032.08.08). This was done at some earlier date, likely by Isabel herself. According to the envelope label, the removed photographs include the first day at Montrose School 1917, a view of Frank Donald’s bug race, Fred Blanchard in 1915, the opening of the Grande Prairie pioneer hospital, the Edson Trail in 1911, and Grande Prairie in 1915 (Wishart and Walker).

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of twelve photographs of the Grande Prairie area from 1912 to ca. 1922, including fairs, sports, street scenes, and early pioneers. The images appear to have been removed from an album.


Title based on contents of the fonds.
Accession No.: 2013.84.

Edith La Page and Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, 1912
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 6 cm
A young Edith La Page (or Crowe) standing outside a log building with Mr. and Mrs. Campbell.
Location: 0555.01
3rd Annual Fair, Grande Prairie, [ca. 1912]
1 photograph; b & w; 14 x 8.5 cm
An elevated view of the 3rd annual fair held at Grande Prairie. The scene shows a house in the background, piles of lumber in the foreground, and a gathering of people and animals.
Location: 0555.02
3rd Annual Fair, Grande Prairie, [ca. 1912]
1 photograph; b & w; 13 x 7.5 cm
An view of the 3rd annual fair held at Grande Prairie. The scene shows men exhibiting horses with buildings in the background.
Location: 0555.03
Recruiting, 1915
1 photograph; b & w; 13 x 7.5 cm
Five men in World War I uniforms standing on the main street (100 Avenue) of Grande Prairie. Businesses visible in the background include the Crown Café, a pool hall, and a confectionary.
Location: 0555.04
Benson Stopping Place, 1916
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 6 cm
Four men at the Benson stopping place.
Location: 0555.05
Clairmont Lake, 1918
1 photograph; b & w; 10.5 x 6 cm
A group of people gathered on the shore of Clairmont Lake. A slide is visible in the water.
Location: 0555.06
Beaverlodge Fair, 1918
1 photograph; b & w; 10.5 x 6 cm
Young people, including Edith La Page (Crowe) in the rear seat of a car at the Beaverlodge Fair.
Location: 0555.07
Beaverlodge Fair, 1918
1 photograph; b & w; 12 x 7.5 cm
A large crowd gathered at the Beaverlodge Fair.
Location: 0555.08
K. V. Sisley, 1922
1 photograph; b & w; 10.5 x 6 cm
K. V. Sisley and a dog in a rowboat on an unidentified lake.
Location: 0555.09
Frank Donald’s Bug Race, [ca. 1922]
1 photograph; b & w; 13 x 8 cm
Frank Donald, in his car advertising the Grande Prairie Hotel. Mr. Donald made a few “races” to other communities in the Peace Country in his automobile.
Location: 0555.10
Boxing, [ca. 1920]
1 photograph; b & w; 10.5 x 6 cm
Fred Card and Goldie Williams boxing for an assembled crowd.
Location: 0555.11
Verna Oblinger, [ca. 1920]
1 photograph; b & w; 7.5 x 5 cm
Verna Oblinger as a toddler, astride a horse, outside of the Imperial Bank.
Location: 0555.12