September 3, 2021

Image: SPRA 346.05.01a

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


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.

Table of Contents