What’s New at the Archives

2013.090.08We have been adding new content to our website and have laid it out here for your perusal!

We have added new fonds to the website –

Walter Mazurkewich fonds 551

Ray Stewart fonds 552

Violet Dryer fonds 553

Grande Prairie Golf and Country Club fonds 554

Edith Mair fonds 555

F.M. Sanger-Davies fonds 556

Walter Roberts fonds 557

The White Studio fonds 558

As well we have a new page on our website inviting people to Create a Legacy for a loved one. Gifts can be used to celebrate special milestone events, remember a special person, or honour someone for their contributions. Gifts can be directed to a specific need such as film digitization, events, and newsletter sponsorship, or to general funds. Thank you for considering the Archives.






Snowplane Travel

The weather is getting challenging for travelers this year. We dug thorough our photos to see how snow days were conquered in the past. We came across this photo of a snowplane.

The photo includes Jack Alloway, Mr. & Mrs. McQuat and daughter beside their snowplane on the Wapiti Trail. This early form of the snowmobile, made by George McQuat, was used for such emergencies as taking doctors to patients (or vice versa) or entire hockey teams to a game when the roads were drifted. Obviously taking hockey players to a game would have been considered emergency travel!

Christmas Shopping


Buffalo Lakes Store c1950 Tiemen fonds

Buffalo Lakes Store c1950
Tiemen fonds


We have become accustomed to seeing stores putting out Christmas goods before Hallowe’en is over, and we all know people who have their “Christmas shopping” done even before that. I wondered when people in the old days started getting serious about Christmas shopping. While I did notice a few ads in the paper in mid-November, the ads started appearing seriously at the beginning of December. The fact that the Herald was a weekly newspaper meant that merchants had only 4 or 5 papers to advertise their Christmas items, and that every paper in December had a large number of ads. In 1935, the November 29 issue of the paper carried an editorial-like piece on the front encouraging people to shop early. That article and a few of the ads from that Christmas season are reproduced here.Blog - Nov 27 - 1 Blog Nov 27 - 5 Blog Nov 27 - 2 Blog - Nov 27 - 3Note the “If you want to kill your wife use a club, not a tub” mention in this ad above.
Blog Nov 27 - 4


The Silent Vote

Grande Prairie's first County Council

Grande Prairie’s first County Council

With Civic Elections coming up on Monday October 21, this excerpt from the Editorial of September 27, 1935 seemed appropriate reminder that votes not cast don’t count!

Oct. 16 blog

The next article is from the December 20, 1917 paper and tells of a man who walked 100 miles to cast his vote.

Oct 16 blog2

The third was written, presumably by the Editor of the Frontier Herald, shortly after legislation had been passed in Alberta in 1916 allowing women to vote or run for public office.

Oct. 16 blog3

An Apple A Day

We take it for granted that we can buy fresh fruit year round, but it hasn’t always been that way. This article in “Local Happenings” and ads from the Sept. 27, 1932 Grande Prairie newspaper refers to two train car loads of apples coming in from the Okanagan!

Sept 27 - blog apples car load

appl ads

There are locally grown apples but not enough to meet demand. Here is an article found in the same paper about apples grown by W.D. Albright in Beaverlodge.

Sept 27 blog - Beaverlodge apples

1928 Apple tree  W.D. Albright, Beaverlodge, Alberta

1928 Apple tree
W.D. Albright, Beaverlodge, Alberta



W.D. Albright’s 1932 Apple crop from Beaverlodge Experimental Farm.

*Contest Alert* – We Want to See Your Fashions

In celebration of Archives week the South Peace Regional Archives (SPRA) has dedicated their annual Film and Story Tea to fashion. In conjuncture with that we have decided to host a contest, and we want your fashion photos! Our contest begins on September 12th, time to start digging through your photo albums. We will be accepting fashion photos through our Facebook page, e-mail (spra.technician@telus.net) or you can drop them off at the Archives.

Kinette Club

Kinette Club

We want to see your fashions, from any time period. What was your favorite outfit as a child, teenager, what do/did you wear to work? We can’t wait to see your fashion choices! It doesn’t have be a current photo – we are looking for photos of you from any time period! Get your friends involved, see what they were wearing — did you both have the same sense of style?

The photo above shows the lovely ladies from the Kinette Club modeling their wonderful hats, this can be you – featured on our Facebook page.


You may be wondering what the prize is? We will have a wonderful basket of assorted items from local businesses. The basket will be awarded to the winner who has submitted a photo that best represents the fashion of the era.

We cannot wait to see your pictures and what your wore!

Contest closes October 8th.



This Week in History – 1940 School Numbers and War Evacuees

Montrose School

Montrose School

Grande Prairie has been a growing city for many years as highlighted by the size of the students enrolled in school over 70 years ago. This article found in our search through this week in history breaks down how many students were registered in school in 1940. The total number of students was 420!

The Herald Tribune

The Herald Tribune

Another clipping we want to bring your attention is about the arrival of “War Guests”. Mentioned is the arrival of visitors to Grande Prairie and Hythe. Nancy & Rea Burrows arrived from Glasgow to visit their grandfather Robert Burrows in Glen Leslie. Welcomed to Hythe was Dorothy & Denis McCann who planned to live with their uncle J. McCann.

The Herald Tribune

The Herald Tribune

Lake Saskatoon Comparable to Italy

Here is an article describing the natural beauty of the Lake Saskatoon area. It is no wonder that it was one of the first choice of pioneers when deciding where to settle in the Peace Country. Lake Saskatoon was bypassed by the railroad in 1924, not to be deterred the towns folks packed up, buildings and all and resettled in Wembley.

Lake Saskatoon is Arcadia

“…the beautiful lake lapping its shores, and the broad expansive view, lends somewhat of an Italian aspect, and would remind the experienced traveller of the Bay of Naples…”



This article is taken from the Grande Prairie Herald on Aug 22, 1916.