From the Vault Friday: Peace Country Spinners & Weavers

Image: SPRA fonds 020

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features two pages from a newsletter, Threads Along the Peace from the Peace Country Spinners & Weavers fonds (Fonds 020). The Peace Country Spinners and Weavers Society was formed in 1984 “to promote communication, education and stimulation in the fibre arts, specifically spinning, weaving and associated handcrafts, in the Peace Region of Canada; and to promote the development of higher standards” in these arts. The society is an inspirational and educational encouragement to spinners, weavers and dyers in their craft. Member clubs included Beaverlodge, Berwyn, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Dixonville, Fairview, Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Girouxville, Grande Prairie, Hines Creek, Hudson’s Hope, Lake Saskatoon, Peace River, St. Isadore, Tumbler Ridge and Valleyview, some of which no longer exist.

The society sends out quarterly newsletters with reports from individual clubs throughout the Peace Country, techniques and samples of the craft, news from Art Shows and conferences, artists’ profiles, membership lists and guild standards. The society also has two conferences per year, meeting at the various clubs for 1 day in the spring and 2 days in the fall.

Founders of the society included Louise Wozniak and Jean James (Grande Prairie), Susan Miller (Beaverlodge), Jane Klem (Dawson Creek), Marlene Noseda (Valleyview), Ruth Buchannen (McLennan), and Gerda Anthony (Fairview).

Read more about the Peace Country Spinners & Weavers fonds (Fonds 020) here.

Visit the Peace Country Spinners & Weavers website 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: Snaring Permit

Image: SPRA 1969.39.124d

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a snaring permit from the Albert Karkonate fonds (Fonds 047).

Albert Karkonate, born c. 1900, was a trapper near Pipestone Creek. His address is listed as Sylvester Post Office. He was the registered owner of trap-line #1899, described as follows:

Commencing approx. center east bdry. Sec. 11-59-8-W. 6th and following old pack trail to approx. center W. bdry. Sec. 4-60-R.8 thence following height of land NE to headwaters unnamed Cr. And down east side said creek to Kakwa R.; thence east on south side of Kakwa R. to Prairie Creek approx. center west bdry. Sec. 24-61-6-W.6th. Thence up west side Prairie Cr. to center E. bdry. Sec. 12-60-7-W.6th; thence due south 3 ½ miles to SW cr. Sec. 30-59-6-W.6th; thence SW direct to point of commencement.

Mr. Karkonate also possessed a snaring permit for Trap-Line #7219, in the area of Entrance, Alberta in 1946, and a license for trap-line 4543. Later he was a casual laborer for the Department of Highways in the Province of Alberta in 1957.

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: Wanted Poster

Image: SPRA 002.04.06.02

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a poster from the Beth Sheehan fonds (fonds 002).

The poster is advertising the Stage Door Theatre production of The Balled of Knobby Clarke, on April 21, 1976. The artist is Tim Heimdal.

Read more about the Beth Sheehan fonds (fonds 002) 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: Spirit River Echo

Image: SPRA fonds 616

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features an issue from the Spirit River Echo fonds (Fonds 616). The Spirit River Echo was published at Spirit River Station and ran its first edition on Aug. 15, 1917.

The paper ran until April 8th, 1921 and abruptly ended. It is unknown why the paper stopped running, however by May 10th of 1921, the Grande Prairie Herald began reporting Spirit River area news. In 1951, the Spirit River Signal was started and was printed in the Sexsmith Sentinel shop. The Echo includes a “bits of local news” section with notable events, such as:

  • On Thursday evening of last week fire broke out in the second storey of the Lou. Bailey home and had such a start when discovered that practically the whole of Mrs. Bailey’s wardrobe was destroyed before the flames were extinguished. Loss is estimated at $300.
  • Miss English, sister of Mrs. F.W. Jaynes, who has been here visiting for a week returned to Edmonton on last night’s train.
  • The local provincial policemen arrested Rudolph Nelson and Geo. Stoner last night in possession of some seven gallons of Moonshine.
  • Magistrate P. H. Belcher arrived on last nights train from Grande Prairie and will attend to several cases on the police court docket today.

Read more about the Spirit River Echo fonds (fonds 616) here.

Read more about the Spirit River Signal and Sexsmith Sentinel 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: Marriage Certificate

Image: SPRA fonds 647

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a wedding certificate from the Janice Lowe Willsey fonds (fonds 647).

Filed in 1922, this certificate is almost a century old. Notice how many things have changed between this artifact and a sample of a modern marriage certificate!

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: Junior Red Cross Certificate

Image: SPRA 235.05.01

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a certificate from the Canadian Red Cross Society certifying that the Spirit City School District “has been organized under the Junior Red Cross and under the warrant and authority of the Canadian Red Cross Society is entrusted with the responsibility of helping in the Peace-time Mission of the Red Cross: The Improvement of Health, the Prevention of Disease, and the Mitigation of Suffering throughout the World.” The document is dated September 1930, but re-enrollment seals attached to the document certify the school until 1937.

This item is from the Spirit River (Spirit City) School District 3361 fonds (fonds 235).

Read about the Wanham Red Cross 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: Sweet Adelines

Image: SPRA fonds 038

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a playbill from the Sweet Adelines fonds (fonds 038).

In 1976, a Grande Prairie Chapter of the Sweet Adelines was initiated by Jean Duffy, who had been a member of a chapter in Edmonton but was now resident in Grande Prairie. By 1980, the group was a member of the International Sweet Adelines. To earn a chapter, the group had to have 20 members and prove, via singing competitions, that they had mastered the unique Barbershop style and sound. They had to show that they could organize events and portray the proper Sweet Adelines image and standards, as well as raise the funds to cover the costs of instructors, equipment, costumes and travel.

Over the 19 years for which they existed, the club provided entertainment for the community as a service or in fund-raising concerts, and participated in local events such as the County Parade and the Festival of Carols. They especially enjoyed singing in senior citizens’ lodges. As a chapter, they performed at regional competitions, attended other competitions in the States and Canada, and even sent some members to international conventions.

The group swelled to a total of 28 members, but dwindled in the early 90s. In 1994, with a membership of 12, funding and members became increasingly difficult to attract. The chapter dissolved in 1995.

Read more about the Sweet Adelines fonds (fonds 038) here.

View a selection of our photos on Alberta On Record.

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

From the Vault Friday: The Sexsmith Sentinel

Image: SPRA Fonds 180

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features newspaper from The Sexsmith Sentinel fonds (Fonds 180). The Sexsmith Sentinel was an independent newspaper printed from 1949 to 1954 published by A.F. Menzies and Son at Sexsmith, Alberta. It was launched in the Fall of 1949 by Art Menzies who had come to Sexsmith from Saskatchewan in 1938 to run the McDonald Grain Elevator. In 1951, the Spirit River Signal was also started and printed in the Sexsmith Shop. Art’s son Malcolm was a partner in the business, and Art’s daughter Helen was the first editor. The firm continued to operate in Sexsmith until the fall of 1954, when publication of the Sentinel was discontinued. As well as operating The Sentinel, Art Menzies served on the Sexsmith School Board, Town Council and as the Mayor of Sexsmith.

In 1954 the plant was moved to Spirit River and the company’s activities were centralized there under the management of son Malcolm. Art Menzies later established the High Prairie Progress, which they operated until 1959, when both the Signal and the Progress were sold to an Edmonton publisher and the Menzies moved their printing operations to Grande Prairie.

The papers deal mainly with local news from Sexsmith, Valhalla, Wembley, La Glace, Rycroft, Clairmont, and the outlying districts. The Sentinel also included a section titled “They Say”; a gossip section that reports the comings and goings, hospitalizations, and various mishaps of the area, such as a lady going to the hospital to have a needle removed from her hand that had been lodged there for many years. Another notable excerpt is “Sam Rycroft. who left here a few years ago to farm at Red Deer had his combine destroyed by fire when the machine picked up a live shotgun shell in the field. The shell exploded when it reached the cylinder, starting the fire which could not be extinguished.”

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: Wanted Teacher Ad

Image: SPRA 346.05.01a

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a ‘wanted’ ad from the Two Rivers School District 3497 Fonds (fonds 346).

“Wanted.

Protestant teacher for Two Rivers S.D. Grades 1-11. Must have 1st Class Permanent Certificate. Give references and special qualifications. Salary to be as authorized by Department. Last term $750.00. Walter Willis Sec. Tres, Beaverlodge, Alta.”

Two Rivers School District 3497 was formed in 1917 and named after its location in the triangle formed by the joining of the Red Willow and Beaverlodge Rivers. From 1917 to 1918 the school operated in J.W. Cotton’s house (SE 35-70-10), with Verna Elliot as the first teacher, until the 18′ x 26′ school was built on the southwest corner of SE1-71-10-W6. Because of low student attendance and greater than anticipated costs, the school closed in 1918 and did not reopen again until 1927. The school closed again for about a month in 1929 due to an outbreak of smallpox.

In 1933, trees were planted near the school in order to create a windbreak, and a barn was also built on the school property this year. In 1938, Two Rivers joined the Grande Prairie District, although the school remained very independent. Two Rivers purchased a typewriter and radio for their school in 1938, and they also submitted a proposal for improvements to the school to the Grande Prairie Divisional board. The Board rejected their proposal, but this did not stop Two Rivers. Using volunteer labour and donations, the school financed improvements to the school themselves. With only $21 in financial assistance from the Grande Prairie board, Two Rivers managed to turn the school so that its windows faced east, placed the school on a cement foundation, and gave the building new siding and paint.

The 1938 improvements to Two Rivers School was not the only instance where the community played a major role in maintaining and improving the school. Throughout the school’s history, men from the area worked to improve the grounds, and because getting water to the school was a problem, men from the area, as well as the teacher and pupils, had to haul water to the school. In 1940, the local telephone company donated and installed a telephone. The Two Rivers School was the center of the community. In addition to year end picnics and Christmas concerts, the community would also gather at the school for dances, bingos, meetings and church services.

Read more about the Two Rivers School District 3497 Fonds (fonds 346) here.

View a selection of photos on Alberta On Record here.

Featured Image: SPRA 346.05.01b

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: Hermit Lake School

Image: SPRA Fonds 440

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a poster from the Hermit Lake School History fonds (Fonds 440) for a class reunion in 1978. Hermit Lake School District was formed in 1915/16, although classes had been held since 1913. An elected Board of Trustees began planning to build a school. Two acres of land in the south-east corner of Bill Grant’s farm were purchased at $.25 an acre. The school was built by William Sharp and finished in time for classes to start in March, 1917, with Mrs. Molly Sharp, Bill’s wife, as the first teacher. 1928 the school was moved to a new location on the SE-5-72-7-W6 purchased from Fred Evans. In June, 1956, Hermit Lake School was closed and students transferred to Wembley, Lake Saskatoon, or Grande Prairie County School. The building was used as a community hall by the Hermit Lake Community Association until 1976, when it was moved to the Grande Prairie Museum Heritage Village.

Learn more about the Hermit Lake School:

Photos featuring the Hermit Lake School on Alberta On Record

Fonds 270 Hermit Lake School #3250 fonds

Fonds 258 Hermit Lake Community Association 

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.