Beaverlodge Community Center fonds. — 1947-1977. — 2 cm of textual records.
The idea of a Beaverlodge Community Center got its beginnings after Les Harris, Doug Mc Farlane, Walter Bond and S.H. Andrews travelled to Dawsion Creek to inspect a warehouse, surplus from the Alaska Highway construction. There was 190 feet – enough for a 80 ft. dance hall, 80 ft. theatre, and a 30 ft. lobby. They came back with a recommendation to purchase but were turned down as the project seemed too big. Les and Walter were determined and bought the building and made an offer for the community to take it over. The village set aside seven acres in the heart of the village and Les Harris headed up a volunteer group to dismantle the building and bring it to Beaverlodge. Professor A.R. Burgess was engaged as the architect and in October, 1945, the concrete was poured.
The Center was officially opened in May, 1946, with an open air dance at which Doug Mc Farlane’s orchestra played. 1400 people paid admission and viewed the modern theatre, spacious dance hall, coffee shop, lodge room, rifle range and other rooms used later for library and craft shops, school rooms, and cadet quarters. It was incorporated under the Co-op Act with shares at $5.00 and 197 voting shares were sold. To meet constuction costs, $35,000 in cash and loans was raised. The total cost was estimated at $47,000 and the finished building valued at $175,000. The feature film “Smashup” was booked for the opening of the theatre in 1947, although “The Egg and I ” had been requested.
The assets of the Community Center were liquidated in 1977 and the town took over the property.
These records were originally donated to the South Peace Centennial Museum in Beaverlodge by Liza Sippan and were transferred to the South Peace Regional Archives by Lori Dalgleish in November, 2008.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of correspondence from April 1947 to February 1948, a 1958 cancelled cheque, a financial ledger which lists shareholders and contains 1976 liquidation statements, and legal papers concerning the liquidation of the Beaverlodge Community Center Ltd.