1919, 1928-2009. — 157 cm of textual records. — 64 photographs.
The Grande Prairie District Old Timers’ Association was organized in September 1928, by a large enthusiastic meeting of the Pioneers in the Herald Hall in Grande Prairie. The goal was to be “a social and benevolent association,” and its objectives were “to cultivate a social intercourse among its members” and “create a fund for charitable purposes on their behalf”; “to collect and preserve in authentic form a library of… materials illustrative of the history of the Grande Prairie district”; “to rescue from oblivion the memory of its early pioneers and to obtain and preserve narratives of their exploits…”; “to promote the study of the history of the Grande Prairie District… “; “and in all appropriate matters to advance the interests and perpetuate the memory of those whose sagacity, energy and enterprise induced them to settle in the Grande Prairie District.”
P.J. Tooley chaired the first meeting when Mr. Wm. L. Caldwell was elected president, Mr. Henry Roberts Honourary President, and J.J.E. Clarke as secretary. The executive included a representative from each district: Mrs. Hugh Allen, Beaverlodge; Mrs. T. Edmund Cooke, Grande Prairie; Ellsworth Foy, Sexsmith; William Garrett, Glen Leslie; Geo. W. Jebb, Wembley; Hilmar A. Johnson, Northfield; James McFarlane, Lake Saskatoon; and John Oatway, Clairmont.
The district represented by the association is from the Peace River south to the Wapiti River, and from the Alberta-British Columbia border to Valleyview. These pioneer settlers came first over the “Long Trail” from Edmonton through Athabasca or Swan Hills to Grouard, Peace River, Dunvegan and south to the Grande Prairie, a distance of five hundred miles. In the fall of 1911, the Edson-Grande Prairie Trail was completed. This trail cut the mileage in half, but had more and steeper hills, and in a wet summer, weeks of slogging through the muskegs. Most of the travel on these difficult trails came to an end when the Edmonton, Dunvegan & British Columbia Railway was built in 1916.
Membership in the Old Timers’ Association is made up of those who came in over the trails and their direct descendents. In the first two years of the organization, membership reached 327 members. That declined somewhat to an average of 158 members for the first ten years. Membership increased in the 60s and 70s so that the average was around 200.
One of the suggestions at the original meeting was that short stories of the lives of the old timers be collected and kept with the organization’s archives. This was enlarged in 1967, when as a centennial project the Association sent out 300 letters to its members requesting them to send in stories about their families during the pioneer days. In the fall of 1973, it was decided to combine all of the stories in book form, and in 1975 “Pioneers of the Peace” was published.
The records were deposited by the Old Timers’ Association in 2005, with accruals in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of executive records such as Constitution and by-laws, legal agreements and insurance records; membership lists and applications for original and succeeding members in the Old Timers’ Association; financial records beginning with the first cheque issued by the organization; correspondence and activity files; material related to special events; and files for the creation of “Pioneers of the Peace”, a book they published in 1976. There are also some copies of placemats used at the Old-Timers’ Banquets, and two over-sized posters, one listing the executive members over the years and one listing the scholarship donors and recipients.
Table of Contents
|Series 287.01||Executive records|
|Series 287.02||Financial records|
|Series 287.03||Correspondence and Activities|
|Series 287.04||Membership records|
|Series 287.06||Banquets and Special Events|
|Series 287.07||“Pioneers of the Peace”|
|Series 287.08||Art Work|
|Series 287.09||Photograph Album|
|Series 287.01||Executive records. — 1929-1997. — 12 cm of textual records.The series consists of records relating to the administrative activities of the Old Timers’ Association, divided into four sub-series: Minutes, Incorporation, Insurance and Agreements..|
|SubSeries 287.01.01||Minutes. — 1928-1996. — 7 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of records relating to the minutes of meetings of the association. The records include a minute book 1928-1953 and loose papers 1953-1991. Included in with the minutes are lists of officers, directors, members and some financial information.|
|SubSeries 287.01.02||Incorporation. — 1929-1994. — 2 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of records relating to the incorporation of the association and its continuance. The records include two versions of the Constitution and By-Laws (1929 and post-1971), and annual returns for the association from 1980 to 1994 with accompanying documentation including correspondence with the Alberta government, lists of officers, and financial statements.|
|SubSeries 287.01.03||Insurance. — 1978-1980.The sub-series consists of records relating to insurance that was purchased by the Association.|
|SubSeries 287.01.04||Agreements. — 1984-1997.The sub-series consists of records relating to agreements made by the Old Timers’ Association. The records include Joint Use Agreements between the Grande Prairie County Agricultural Society and the Grande Prairie and District Old Timers’ Association for the Old Timers Cabin in Evergreen Park.|
|Series 287.02||Financial records. — 1928-2002. — 12.5 cm of textual records.The series consists of cheque stubs detailing the expenses of the Old-timers Association from 1928-1986; a record of deposits from 1958-1979; an accounts ledger from 1980-1997; receipts 1982-2004, and financial statements from 1975-2003.|
|Series 287.03||Correspondence and Activities. — 20 cm of textual records.The series consists of correspondence which shows the activities of Old-Timers Association. The regular annual events were the Annual General Meeting in the late winter, the Old-Timers Picnic in July, and sending flowers to funerals of Old-Timers. Much of the material in this series relates to special projects such as collecting stories for “Pioneers of the Peace.”|
|Series 287.04||Membership records. — 1928-2010. — 78.5 cm of textual records.The series consists of records relating to application for and maintenance of membership in the Old Timers’ Association. The records include membership applications for original members, listing where and when the person was born, their occupation, when they came to the Grande Prairie District and to what location. Many of these applications have biographies or obituaries attached to them. The succeeding generations applications for membership include occupation, place of birth and birth date, which pioneers they are related to and how, and what trail they arrived on. There are also hand-written membership lists, member’s stories and a Record of Scrolls which were given to approved members in the 1970’s. Surnames of people whose pioneer stories that are in this collection:
A – Andress, Anderson, Alstad, Alms, Alexander, Abernethy, Albright, Allen
B – Binks, Brown, Baker, Blair, Brekken, Bienderra, Beatty, Benson, Balisky, Bezanson, Boyd, Bagnall
C – Carveth, Crerar, Campbell, Callion, Clark, Cleland, Connors, Cooke, Cranston, Card, Cameron, Carrell, Clifford, Clendennan
D – Donohue, Doal, Dixon, Dewar, Dunlop, Davis, Dubry
E – Elliott, edgar, Edgerton, Ellie
F – Foy, Foster, Fitzpatrick, Friberg, Ferguson, Fowler, Finch, Field, Falk, Forbes
G – Grant, Guertin, Graves, Gunn, Gutherie, Graham, Gudlaugson
H – Hovelebo, Heller, Horte, Hooks, Hardy, Hurley, Henn, Horneland, Hosker, Hoton, Henderson, Holton, Harris
I – Irish, Ireland, Innes
J – Johnson, Johnston
K – Kjareng, Kerr, Knechtel, Kenny, Konschak, Knezevich, Kynaston, Kozina
L – Lampert, Letang, Ludington, Lukey, Leslie, Lacy, Lozeron, Lee, Lazoruk, Lane, Lablond
N – Noyes
M – MacDonald, MacDonell, Macklin, Mair, Marek, Manning McAusland, McDonald, McFarlane, McQuarrie, Melsness, Mercer, Miller, Mills, Moe, Monkman, Moon, Moore, Morgan, Mosenko, Mund, Murchie, Myronyk
O – Oatway, Oliver
P – Patterson, Parks, Paul, Pederson, Peebles, Pellerin, Peschong, Pickering, Podulsky, Pool, Postman, Powell, Pratt
R – Ray, Redmond, Roberts, Robinson, Ross, Rosser, Roning
S – Sandboe, Sanderson, Saul, Sawyer, Schaik, Schenk, Semak, Sexsmith, Sherk, Somerville, Smith, Spacil, Sproule, Stewart, Stoll, Storm, Stredulinsky, Sutherland, Swanson
T – Talbot, Thompson, Throness, Tissington, Tomshak, Tuffill, Twambly
V – Van Horne, Velve
|Series 287.05||Scholarship. — 1982-1997. — 10 photographs.This series consist of applications of scholarship hopefuls as well as 10 photographs of students.|
|Series 287.06||Banquets and Special Events — 1919, 1958-2005 — 11.5 cm of textual records, 2 photographs. The series consists of a 1919 telegram about a murder of John Francis Dougherty at Lake Saskatoon, 1955 list of members at a picnic, 1958 list of people who registered when Grande Prairie became a city, 4 souvenir programs from the dedication of the cairn at the Beaverlodge Experimental Station for William D. Albright 1959, program for banquets 1962-1973 missing 1970, proposals for a memorial at Lake Saskatoon, program from the 1978 Golden Jubilee Celebration of the organization and 9 guest books, tickets from banquet dinners held 1959-1967, 1969 -1971 & 1979, 2 polaroids of Gerald Carveth, and four placemats for banquets in 1997, 2000, and 2001 based on art by Betty McRae.|
|Series 287.07||“Pioneers of the Peace”. — ca. 1973-1980. — 15 cm of textual records.The series consists of records relating to the production of the “Pioneers of the Peace” book in 1975 through the stages of planning, writing and proofreading, and finances and sales . The “Correspondence” file includes correspondence with the printer and Alberta Culture, a 1974 Alberta government news release for the Retional History Award, planning documents relating to the photographs and artwork appearing in the book, a 1975 statement of books sold, handwritten financial statement from January 1976, and 1976 invoices from the Order of the Royal Purple for banquet expenses and for the society’s incorporation fee. The “Planning documents” file includes a document from a History Book Workshop, correspondence soliciting submissions, a handwritten submission for Truman and Hubert Manning, planning notes, notes on sources, lists of names of pioneers arriving in various years, an sample proof page, and a document outlining Suggestions re. Proof Reading. The “Financial records” files include bank statements, returned cheques, advice to customer forms, and deposit slips for the Old Timers’ Book Fund, and a book sales book. The “Copy” files include a copy of the book with proofreading marks.|
|Series 287.08||Art Work. — [ca. 1984]. — 1 artistic drawings.The series consists of art work of Euphemia McNaught and Betty McRae. 4 of the drawings are done by Euphemia with the drawing only around outside edge and center remaining empty. The theme on all the drawings have a western feel with horses, oxen, wagons and cabins. The drawings by Betty Mcrae are 2 pencil drawings, 3 copies of the Old Timers Cabin 1984 and 3 copies of a drawing of deer overlooking mountains and a cabin.|
|Series 287.09||Photograph Album. — [ca. 1910-1915]. — 52 photographs.The fonds consists of an album with photographs taken by William D. Albright. The pictures depict early pioneer life in the Beaverlodge and surrounding area. There are photos of early travel, farming, social gatherings amoung the pioneering families. There are also typed descriptions of the photographs done by the photographer.|