Fonds 160 Grace Mensinger fonds

Grace Mensinger fonds. — 1928-1980. — 4 cm of textual records, 2 photographs.

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Biographical Sketch

Grace Adria Mensinger was born in Minot, North Dakota on January 29, 1903. Her parents, Etta and John Base and her older brother, Frank, homesteaded in the Vulcan area in 1905. She also had a sister, Beverly. Grace married Benjamin Mensinger of Vulcan and had three daughters. In 1937, having separated from her husband, Grace moved to Grande Prairie with her daughters in order to be near her sister and her parents who had moved there in 1927. In 1941, Grace and Beverly founded The Beverly Style Shoppe, a ladies ready-to-wear, which they operated until 1963.

Grace was active in the United Church and the Women’s Institute and participated in the WI’s writing competitions. In 1978 she enrolled in a history course in Grande Prairie Regional College. Besides her love of writing, she enjoyed traveling and reading.

Grace died in Calgary in 1986.

Custodial History

The records were donated to the Grande Prairie Regional Archives by Marjorie Given, Grace Mensinger’s daughter, in June, 2004.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of memoirs including pictures, essays, Beverly Style Shoppe records, and records of involvement with Women’s Institute.

Table of Contents

Series 160.01 Personal Papers
Series 160.02 Essays
Series 160.03 Beverly Style Shoppe
Series 160.04 Women’s Institute
Series 160.01 Personal Papers. — 1928-1977. — 2 cm of textual records, 2 photographs.The series consists of stories, memories, vignettes and musings and a 1971 diary of a tour of the Holy Land. Other titles include “Pioneer Memories,” “The Circus”, “A Tear for Lynda”, “Paul’s Lucky Shot”, “The Letter”, “Lost and Found”, “The Cage”, A Cupful of Memories”, “Good and Evil”, “Charm”, “The Horoscope”, “My Daughters”, “Sports’ Story”, “The Wapiti Woods”, “Reach for the Top”, “Mile Zero –Alaska Highway”, “King of the Road”, “Our English Friend”, “A Friend for an Hour is a Friend Forever”, “The Coat”, “Retirement on Wings”, “The Mirror”, “The Quilt”, “How the Giraffe Lost its Voice”, “Life in the Pink”, and “Phyllis and Friends”. The photographs are of Grace’s parents home and a view of the banks of Bear Creek. Included in the collection is a eulogy for Paula Uswell which gives a tribute to Mrs. Mensinger.
Grace Mensinger’s Parents’ Home, 1928
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Home of Etta and John Base, showing daughter Beverly (of Beverly Style Shoppe)
Location: 0160.01.01
Looking south Across Bear Creek, 1928
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
View from the porch of Etta and John Base’s home in Grande Prairie
Location: 0160.01.02
Series 160.02 Essays. — 1975-1979. — 1 cm of textual records.The series consists of essays written for a course taken at the Grande Prairie Regional College in 1978-79, book reviews and writings related to a United Church study group.
Series 160.03 Beverly Style Shoppe. — 1942-1963. — .5 cm of textual records.The series consists of descriptions and commentaries from 2 fashion shows, news articles covering the opening of the shop in 1942 and several fashion shows in the 1950s, and “The Curtain Falls”, written by Grace when the shop closed in 1963.
Series 160.04 Women’s Institute. — 1928-1980. — .5 cm of textual records.The series consists of an address, “Making Farm Life Easier for Women”, and several news articles related to Mrs. Mensinger’s involvement in the Women’s Institute.
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