Fonds 277 Ella Patterson fonds

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Summary information

Repository: South Peace Regional Archives
Title: Ella Patterson fonds
Reference code: 0277
Date: 1911 (date of creation)
Physical description: 1 cm textual records
Dates of creation, revision and deletion: Processed by Karen Burgess August 2007
Added to new database October 2023 – TD

Administrative history / Biographical sketch

Ella Bentley was born December 5, 1888 and married John Orlando Patterson on March 4, 1909, in Smith Falls, Ontario. Ella moved west with John Orlando and his parents, Alphaeus and Eliza Patterson. They settled in Strathcona where J.O. was employed for a time in the C.P.R. freight department. Alphaeus was the first president of the Argonaut Co. in 1909 and was interested in setting up a store and post office in Grande Prairie with his son, so John O. and his wife, Ella, were the first of many family members to make the trip north, travelling by the long trail to Grande Prairie in the winter of 1911. Ella’s diary gives a daily account of the trip from February 13-April 23, 1911. Ella and John had two sons, Alphaeus Bentley, and John, and one daughter, Mary. A daughter, Eva, had died in infancy before the trip north. Ella died in November of 1954.

Custodial history

The diary was donated to the South Peace Regional Archives by Angie Patterson, wife of Alex Patterson. Ella Patterson was Alex’s grandmother. The original diary was hand copied by Mary (Patterson) Christian, daughter of Ella and John Patterson. This hand copied diary was computer copied by Angela Patterson, daughter-in-law of John O. Patterson.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of a photocopy of Ella Patterson’s handwritten diary and another typed copy. There are daily entries from February 13 to April 23, 1911, describing the trip with her husband, John Orlando, to Grande Prairie over the trail from Edmonton, to Athabaska Landing, across Lesser Slave Lake to Grouard, then down to Sturgeon Lake, across the Simonette River to Bezanson and finally to the Grande Prairie. She mentions the conditions of the trail, the many stopping places and other travelers they met.


Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title of fonds based on contents.

Access points

  • Textual record (documentary form)
  • Land, settlement and immigration* (subject)
  • Transportation (subject)
  • Women (subject)