All Things Irish

St. Patrick’s Day was widely celebrated in this area, often with dances.  As early as 1915, a St. Patrick’s Day dance was held in Grande Prairie.  In 1935 there was a St. Patrick’s Day concert of Irish music followed by a dance, with music by Penson’s orchestra.  A St. Patrick’s Day tea sponsored by the CWL featured a silk rug, hand worked by the St. Joseph’s Academy girls.  St. Patrick’s Day 1938 was marked in Sexsmith by a dance at the hall, where dollar bills were given out each hour.  A house party in the country east of Sexsmith had dancing and entertainment that went on until 5:30 AM.  To top it off, the March 16, 1915 paper had an ad on the front page placed by an Irish fellow looking for a wife.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Northern Tribune ~ March 24, 1938

Northern Tribune ~ March 24, 1938

Grande Prairie Herald ~ March 15, 1935

Grande Prairie Herald ~ March 15, 1935

Grande Prairie Herald ~ March 15, 1935

Grande Prairie Herald ~ March 15, 1935

Grande Prairie Herald ~ March 16, 1915

Grande Prairie Herald ~ March 16, 1915

Grande Prairie Herald ~ March 16, 1915

Grande Prairie Herald ~ March 16, 1915

 

Another Odd Ad

Northern Tribune ~ March 7, 1935

Northern Tribune ~ March 7, 1935

While I could find no context for this ad, it struck me that it was a lot of squirrels.  Not sure what the prices would have been in 1935, but when I was looking around on the internet for more information, I found prices over the years ranging from 5 cents to 25 cents, even as high as $1.50.  One of the uses for the tail, then and now, is the making of fishing lures – Mepps are still listed as buyers of squirrel tails.  Another bit of trivia I found was that January 21, 2015 was Squirrel Appreciation Day.  You may want to mark your calendar for next year!

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

More From Moose Creek City, & Other News Around the District

Hope you’re not getting tired of the news from Moose Creek City – but I found this column in the January 28, 1915 paper and couldn’t resist one last time.  The original report of the “Ice Boat Adventure” had been in the December 10, 1914 paper, and almost six weeks later it was still being mentioned.  It must have been one of the most exciting things to happen around there for a long time.  It is also interesting to notice that the same people get mentioned in the columns every time – either they are the most prominent citizens of the area, or there aren’t very many people to write about!

In the January 27, 1938 issue of the Northern Tribune, the area news columns from Scenic Heights and Pipestone Creek caught my eye.  The Scenic Heights writer does a detailed item about a local cribbage tournament which was an annual event in the area, with trophies and bragging rights.  The Pipestone Creek article starts off with “Stop Press News,” which is bound to get attention, and follows with several other interesting items, including haying in January, an injunction against an enlarged school, and the annoyance of the night staff (at what one assumes was a local cafe) at having to make supper at 9:00 PM.

researched & written by Kathryn Auger

The Frontier Signal ~ January 28, 1915

The Frontier Signal ~ January 28, 1915

Northern Tribune ~ January 27, 1938

Northern Tribune ~ January 27, 1938

Northern Tribune ~ January 27, 1938

Northern Tribune ~ January 27, 1938

Along the Trail

Frank Donald, c. 1925

Frank Donald, c. 1925

Along the Trail, by J.B. Yule of the Northern Tribune, was usually an account of his travels throughout the district. This item, though, took place in town. Apparently Frank Donald decided that his race horse “Lady Guard” should do some useful work when she wasn’t racing. It seems that the horse had other ideas.

written and researched by Kathryn Auger

Northern Tribune ~ December 1, 1932

Northern Tribune ~ December 1, 1932

Northern Tribune ~ December 1, 1932

Northern Tribune ~ December 1, 1932

This Week in History

The front page of the July 27, 1933 issue of the Northern Tribune had several eye-catching headlines. Among them “Local Dog Again Wins at Show In Edmonton”, “Locked in Refrigerator for 1 Hr. and 10 Min”, and “Musical Treat In Store for People In Sexsmith”. The article I’ve chosen is headlined “Fined For Tearing Down Union Jack”. We live in a time when flags appear in everything from curtains to underwear to toe-nail art; this item recalls a time when flags were honored, and the defacing of a flag was treated seriously. A fine of “$10 and costs” in 1933 was quite substantial. You can view the other articles here.

 

This Day In History Flag

 

This Week in History

Using articles of interest from the Grande Prairie newspapers dating between 1913 to 1950, this first article is the account of a wedding which appeared in the July 8th, 1937 edition of the Northern Tribune. This seemed a good choice, since the wedding dress described in the write-up is currently on display in The Grande Prairie Museum’s 2013 featured exhibit “The Wedding Dream”.

The complete wedding write-up can be found here.

Popular Clairmont Couple Are United In Marriage

     At 11 o’clock Wednesday morning last week St. Joseph’s Church bells in Grande Prairie pealed happily for the wedding of a well-known-and popular young couple from Clairmont.

      Rev. Father McGuire officiated when Rudolph Croken, son of the late John A. Croken of Ireland, and “Jennie” Tomshak, daughter of Joseph Tomshak, were united in the bonds of holy matrimony.

      The pretty bride was charmingly gowned in a pale pink robe of silk lace and net over a satin foundation, with white accessories, and carried a lovely bouquet of pink and white roses and maidenhair fern.

     Her Bridesmaid, Miss Verna Vavrick of Clairmont, wore white flat crepe with blue trimmings, a blue hat and white accessories.

     Mark Patterson supported the groom.

    The church looked beautiful with its masses of pink and white flowers and graceful ferns. The Little Flower Choir sang the hymns very sweetly, with Shirley Carter as organist. The bride entered the crowded church on the arm of her father to the strains of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.

    After the impressive ceremony Brother Thomas took a photograph of the wedding group outside the church. Then the bridal party with about fifty of their relatives and friends enjoyed a delicious wedding breakfast at the Palace Cafe before leaving for the reception at the Bride’s parents’ home near Clairmont.

    There twelve women and a chef were kept busy supplying food for some 500 guests. The tremendous table groaned under the weight of turkey, duck, and fowl, of salads, cakes and cookies of every conceivable palatable dish one could wish for.

    In the evening an aeroplane piloted by Jack Lewis, who was accompanied by Allan Clarke, as student at the Flying School, flew low over the grounds and showered peanuts on the guests and presents on the young couple.

    In the evening Clairmont Hall was packed to overflowing at the wedding dance, the Prairie Orchestra supplying the gladsome music…