From the Vault Friday: Ladies Auxiliary to the Grande Prairie Hospital

 

Image: SPRA Fonds 436

Today’s “From the Vault Friday” features a poster (circa 1983) from the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital Auxiliary Association fonds (Fonds 436). The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital Auxiliary Association is a volunteer group whose aim is to support the work of the Hospital and associated care facilities and to increase the comfort of patients by volunteering, participating in events, and fundraising to purchase equipment.

The first Hospital Aid society in Grande Prairie was established at a January 29, 1922 meeting attended by 35 ladies. The Aid society supported the work of the hospital by sewing and repairing items such as pillow cases, sheets, towels, diapers, gowns, and pneumonia jackets, providing reading material to patients, hospital visiting, and helping finish and furnish the Nurses’ Residence. The Aid society also engaged in fundraising efforts. The Hospital Aid disbanded in December 1936.

A new group, the Grande Prairie Municipal Hospital Auxiliary, was organized at an Open Meeting held October 28, 1949. After being known variously as the Ladies Auxiliary to the Grande Prairie General Hospital (ca. 1960s), the Ladies Auxiliary to the Grande Prairie Municipal and Auxiliary Hospitals (ca. 1960s-1970s), and the Ladies Auxiliary to the Grande Prairie Hospital Complex (ca. 1970s-1980s), the Auxiliary was officially incorporated as a society in 1983 under the name of the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital Auxiliary Association.

Read more about the Ladies Auxiliary to the Grande Prairie Hospital fonds (fonds 436) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

From the Vault Friday: Prairie Squares

Images: SPRA Fonds 105

Today’s “From the Vault Friday” features postcards from the Prairie Squares Dance Club fonds (Fonds 105).

The Prairie Squares Square Dance Club was formed in 1951 to serve as a social, educational and recreational outing for people who love square dancing. In 1964, one of their members, Mrs. Francis Koffler, designed a wood carving of a Trumpeter Swan to serve as a symbol for the club. The design was adopted by the City of Grande Prairie to also be the City’s symbol, and they ordered a 10 foot high replica made of fiberglass and steel to be placed in Jubilee Park for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 1965.

Meanwhile, the Prairie Squares sent the original model on a traveling tour of “Swan” dances. At each dance, the couple coming from the furthest distance was presented with the trophy. The swan traveled to 16 clubs in Saskatchewan before returning to Grande Prairie in December 1966. Sent out again in 1967, it traveled around two provinces and five states before returning home to Grande Prairie in 1974.

Read more about the Prairie Squares Dance Club fonds here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

From the Vault Friday: Meditations While Migrating

Image: SPRA Fonds 122

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a book of poetry from the Elizabeth Dunlap fonds (Fonds 122), titled “Meditations While Migrating”. Written by Nurse Baird and Miss Drynan in 1914, the book of poetry also includes some area photographs. There were 75 copies printed. The first poem, featured here, reads:

 

Kind friends who live in the Northern clime,

Please pardon our feeble efforts at rhyme.

 

After aftermoon tea at a quarter to three

At the Hospital door with Kodaks three,

We bade farewell to Grande Prairie.

Mr. Forbes, with Baxter before,

Sped down the trail with a pound of honey or more.

 

As we climb the hill we gain a last view,

Of Bear Lake and the sparkling Twins too,

As merrily we roll along-roll along,

Across the vast prairie

 

As twilight falls, we reach the Anderson abode,

A favored stopping-place on the long and weary road,

Miss Anderson and mother greet us with a welcome

Smile,

Inviting us to stop and rest a while.

Fred Anderson of fourteen snows, with his patient four,

(The motor power which broke ninety acres, plowed thirty more).

 

At Barrett’s our first camp dinner was laid,

And to the kind donor our tribute was paid,

The kitten gnawed at the bone of a chicken

The pig at the wapoose was pickin,

Till Miss Baird took the whip and gave him a lickin.

 

View a selection of photos from the Elizabeth Dunlap fonds (Fonds 122) here.

 

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

From the Vault Friday: Grande Prairie Electric Co. Share Certificate

Image: SPRA Fonds 359

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a share certificate from the Grande Prairie Electric Co. fonds (Fonds 359).

The first electrical power in Grande Prairie was produced by the Grande Prairie Flour Mill in 1915.  This source was very limited and by 1918, there was high demand for better services. Because the village did not have the finances to install an Electrical Plant, 93 residents signed a Memorandum of Association, and formed The Grande Prairie Electric Company on April 16th, 1918.  After negotiating an agreement with Village Council and the Board of Public Utility Commissioners of the Province, a ten year franchise was authorized on October 1, 1919. The Company then installed the Electric Plant and service started on December 15th, 1919.  The power plant operated from sundown to midnight and from 5:00 a.m. to sunrise, and the rate was 25 cents per kilowatt hour ($3.37/kWh in 2020 money, electricity now costs ~6.29¢/kWh). The idea was to finance the capital payments by selling additional shares, but by June 1920, they had an $8,800.00 deficit.  They asked the Town of Grande Prairie to take over the plant over as a Municipal Utility rather than let it be seized by the Manufacturer who held a lien on the equipment. The town took the company over as of January 1, 1921. After all debts were paid, the shareholders received 32 cents on each dollar they had invested. After the Town of Grande Prairie took over the company, they continued to sell shares in the company.  A recession in the early 1920s made it difficult to collect all the accounts owed, or finance it with debentures, but by the fall of 1923, the Town was able to pay out the debt incurred by the company and have clear title to the Electric Plant.

Read more about the Grande Prairie Electric Co. fonds (fonds 359) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

From the Vault Friday: Floral Sketches


Image: SPRA 547.05

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features pencil sketches from the Olaf Vekved fonds (Fonds 547).

Olaf Vekved (Wekved) was born in Norway, and came to Canada in 1910. He arrived with his brother George and settled at Tofield, Alberta, where another brother, Ingebrigt, had settled in 1909. In 1913, George moved north to the Peace Country. Olaf followed in 1915, but chose land further north, on NW 5-75-8-W6 in the Northfield area, where a number of other Norwegian families were settling. They were joined that same year by brother Ingebrigt, who had skied up over the Edson Trail, and filed north east of La Glace. In 1924-1925, Olaf’s father, and then the rest of the family, also arrived from Norway and settled in the La Glace district. It appears that Olaf never married. From the records, we see that he was a gifted artist. He farmed in the Northfield district until ca. 1960. He died in 1969, at the age of 82, and is buried in Norden Cemetery, 1 mile east of La Glace.

The records were deposited in South Peace Regional Archives in 2013 by Judy Hopkins who found them in an old farmhouse they purchased two miles north and 2 miles east of La Glace. It appears this home once belonged to the Vekved family, and it is presumed the records were given to the family after Olaf’s death in 1969.

Read more about the Olaf Vekved fonds (fonds 547) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

From the Vault Friday: Easter Card

Image: SPRA 1993.01.01.262

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features an Easter card from the Billy Salmond fonds (Fonds 043). William McCasuland “Billy” Salmond was born in 1889, in Ontario. He received his education there, attending the Kingston Business College in 1910. Following college, he worked his way west, arriving in the town of Grande Prairie in 1911.

Upon his arrival in Grande Prairie, Billy was hired to manage the primitive Bredin Hotel because of his genial manner and his cooking skills, but he saw the need for better hotel accommodations, and in 1912 built his own hotel. Mr. Salmond also farmed and kept herds of cattle in the Grande Prairie area.

Read more about the Billy Salmond fonds (fonds 043) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

Happy Easter!

SPRA 676.02.02.03.023a

SPRA 676.02.02.03.011a

 

The Archives will be closed April 2-5 for Easter. In the meantime, enjoy this cheery selection of Easter cards from the Vader-Grimm Family fonds (fonds 676).

Ora Curtis Grimm was born on January 26, 1899 in Lynch, Nebraska. His early education took place at Grimton School, which was named after the family. In 1911, the family moved to Trossacks, Saskatchewan where he finished his education. He went on to complete the Automobile and Gas Tractor Engineer program at Hemphills Trade School Ltd. in Regina in 1920. The family moved to the Spirit Valley District (NE of Spirit River) then to Rycroft. Ora farmed with his father, eventually buying land from Doc Calkin, P.J. Nigel, and Revillion, as well as his father’s land when Lorenzo passed away in 1950.

The Vader and Grimm families came together with the marriage of Ora Grimm to Edith Vader on July 6, 1943. Ora was 44 and Edith 29 when they married. They lived and farmed 2 miles west of Rycroft, Alberta. Ora and Edith had three children: Norma Jean born in 1944, Elnor May born in 1945, and Ray Curtis Bryan born in 1950. Ora died on October 18, 1965 and Edith on January 1, 2011. Ray took over the farm several years after his father, Ora, passed away. Elnor passed away in 2017.

SPRA 676.02.02.03.011b

 

Read more about the Vader-Grimm Family fonds (fonds 676) here.

View a selection of photos from the Vader-Grimm family on Alberta On Record here.

 

From the Vault Friday: Greeting Card

Image: SPRA Fonds 049

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features an embroidered greeting card from the Forrest Falk fonds (Fonds 049). The card was sent to his wife, Edith Paige, by Edith’s father. Addressed to Miss E.C. Paige, the card reads:

“Dear Edith

This was supposed to be sent to you a year ago last chmas I misplaced it + could not find it till we made a general clean out for a move.

Yours  Ever, Dad”

Embroidered silk cards existed as early as the 1900 Paris Exposition, but they soared in popularity during the First World War. Machine produced cards were also in existence but their colours were never as bright and they never achieved the popularity of the hand-stitched cards. The last known production of hand-embroidered cards was in the mid-1920s.

 

Learn more about embroidered cards in the September 2017 issue of Telling Our Stories (page 14).

View a selection of photos from the Forrest Falk fonds (Fonds 049) on Alberta On Record.

Read more about the Forrest Falk fonds (fonds 049) here.

 

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

From the Vault Friday: Peace Country Classic

Image: SPRA fonds 267

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a flyer from the Peace Country Classic Agri-Show fonds (Fonds 267). The response to the concept of a Peace Country Classis Agri-Show was strong in 1985 when the first show was launched to showcase the agricultural community in the Peace Country. It operated under the auspices of The Grande Prairie and District Agricultural and Exhibition Society.

By 1986, the three-day event at Evergreen Park was a combined agricultural show including a seed fair, a bull and female show and sale, a trade show, craft exhibitions, a farmer’s market, and offered informal seminars and meetings. Always held in March, the show was a way to kick off the spring farming season and included a social aspect with a pancake breakfasts, beef-on-a-bun lunches and a banquet on Friday night. There were always major draws for trips as well as giveaways.

The 1986 show hoped to see 5 000 people attend; by 1998, the 13th annual show expected 25 000 to attend, appealing to a more diverse audience including school children and city folk as well as farmers and ranchers. To draw the larger crowd, organizers had added horse events, increased the machinery and commercial displays, offered two full days of demonstrations and seminars and added a family pavilion and a Farm Family Award.

Read more about the Peace Country Classic Agri-Show fonds (Fonds 267) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

From the Vault Friday: St. Patrick’s Day

Image: SPRA 032.08.06

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a newspaper clipping from the Campbell family fonds (Fonds 032). The article, dated March 17 1959, is titled “Hold St. Patrick’s Day Tea”. The tea was hosted by St. Joseph’s Church and included a bakery booth and an apron booth. The article highlights several of the women volunteers who organized and implemented the event.
This clipping is contained in the Isabel Campbell Reference Collections. Isabel Campbell made numerous contributions to preserving the history of the Peace Country including gathering archival material for preservation from organizations, government, social groups, and individuals, and painstakingly indexing articles in Grande Prairie newspapers from 1913 to 1961 for research purposes. Isabel was also the first secretary for the Pioneer Museum Society of Grande Prairie and District when it was formed in 1961. In 1989, she donated her historical collection Grande Prairie Public Library. The library still has an Isabel Campbell room dedicated to local history resources, although Isabel’s collections have since been transferred to South Peace Regional Archives.

For more information about Isabel Campell, visit Fonds 032: Campbell family fonds.

Featured image: SPRA 1969.59.17

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign to that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.