1917-1949. — 44 cm of textual records.
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. The first three elected trustees of the school were Chairman M.H. Whistler, D.W. Chambers and R.J. Adams, with J.W. Cotton hired as the Secretary Treasurer. 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.
In 1942, Mrs. Isabel Perry, the teacher of Two Rivers at this time, moved her house from Appleton onto the school grounds, and this became the school teacherage for the remainder of the time the school operated. In 1947, because of an increase in student numbers, cloak rooms and an addition was added to the south end of the school building.
Because of declining student numbers (due to the centralization trend), the school closed in 1953 although the school continued to be used for community events until 1965. In 1978, the Two Rivers district donated the school to the South Peace Centennial Musem.
Some information for Agency History taken from Allan Lock’s account of Two Rivers School in North Red Willow School Reunion Book and Doreen Longson’s account of the school in the book Beaverlodge to the Rockies.
The records were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives by Allan Lock in 2008.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of documents relating to the operation of Two Rivers School District 3497. Included in this collection are executive records, assessment and taxation books and financial records, as well as student censuses and daily registers. Also included are documents relating to personnel, curriculum and school activities, supplies and operations; and files of correspondence between Two Rivers School District and the Grande Prairie School Division, the Department of Education and the Department of Municipal Affairs. Printed matter includes the 1937 School Act, Financial Statements from Grande Prairie School Division 14, and issues of the Alberta School Trustee.
Table of Contents
|Assessment and Taxation
|Curriculum and Activities
|Supplies and Operations
|Executive Records. — 1917-1948. — 4 cm of textual records.The series consists of a Minute book covering 1917 to 1948 and agreements and correspondence of the Two Rivers board.
|Minutes. — 1917-1948. — 3 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of the minute book of the Two Rivers School District from 1917 to 1948.
|Agreements and Correspondence. — 1931-1947. — 1 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of Declarations of Office, Certificates of Chairman, a blank poll book and correspondence regarding collection of taxes and teacher salaries. Also included are letters referring to changes in boundaries of Two Rivers School District and transfer of financial responsibility for the district to Grande Prairie Divisional Board, as well as a valuation of the school in 1937. There is a list of repairs needed for the school, a resolution passed for an Emergency Grant for Repairs and correspondence about a proposed agricultural school in the area. School Fire Insurance Policies and Tree Planting agreements and forms are also part of this sub-series.
|Assessment and Taxation. — 1917-1937. — 5 cm of textual records.The series consists of Assessment and Tax Rolls from 1917-1934 and school district tax receipt books from 1932 to 1937.
|Financial Records. — 1917-1938. — 6 cm of textual records.The series consists of a cash book from 1917-1932, annual financial statements and auditor’s reports, bank records and statements of grant for Two Rivers School District.
|Statements. — 1922-1936.The sub-series consists of Annual Financial Statements and Auditor’s reports for Two Rivers School District.
|Bank Records. — 1917-1938. — 5 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of bank books, check stubs, records of cheques issued, cancelled cheques and receipts of payments (including payment of teacher’s salaries) made by the Two Rivers School District. Also included in this sub-series is a School District Cash book from Two Rivers School covering 1917 to 1932.
|Grants. — 1932-1937.The sub-series consists of Statements of Grants for Two Rivers School District.
|Correspondence. — 1930-1947. — 7 cm of textual records.The series consists of correspondence between the Two Rivers School District and Grande Prairie School Division, Department of Education and Department of Municipal Affairs.
|Grande Prairie School Division No. 14. — 1938-1946. — 2 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of correspondence between the Grande Prairie School Division No. 14 and the Two Rivers School District. Correspondence covers the initial transfer of responsibilities from Two Rivers to the Grande Prairie Division in 1938. The letters discuss administrative concerns such as elections of Divisional Board trustees and notices of annual meetings of ratepayers and new legislation. There is correspondence between the GP District and the Two Rivers Secretary-Treasurer regarding the operation of the Two Rivers School, including financing repairs to the school, school equipment (such as desks, telephones and typewriters), wood and water supplies and care of the teacherage. The correspondence also covers personnel and curriculum concerns regarding appointments, contracts and duties of janitors and teachers and instruction of upper grade levels at the Two Rivers School, and includes an order from the Provisional Board of Health regarding a closure of schools in the district during the smallpox epidemic.
|Department of Education. — 1931-1947. — 2 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of correspondence between the Department of Education and the Two Rivers School District. Correspondence addresses land and tax related issues, including changes in the boundaries of the school district and valuation of property in the district; issues relating to Statements of Grant, the Tax Recovery Act, the School Assessment Act, the School Act and the Tax Arrears Consolidation Act; issues regarding teaching such as teacher’s contracts, authorization to teach grade 9, school inspection appointments, policies for conducting Department exams, and forms from the School-Book Branch regarding textbook rentals. Administrative concerns include the necessary qualifications of an elector of the district, as well as nomination of Board trustees. There are a number of letters between the Deputy Minister and the Secretary-Treasurer of Two Rivers School concerning the turnover of book-keeping responsibilities and financial control to the Grande Prairie Divisional Board.
|Department of Municipal Affairs. — 1930-1938. — 3 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of correspondence between the Department of Municipal Affairs and the Two Rivers School District. Topics include the collection of school taxes and Coal Lease money; the return of arrears, seizure of goods and distress proceedings under the School Assessment Act; and communications in regards to the issues and policies relating to the Tax Recovery Act and Local Tax Arrears Consolidation Act. Also included in the sub-series are receipts for taxes and Statements of Tax Collection
|Personnel. — 1930-1945.The first teacher of the Two Rivers School was Verna Elliot, who taught out of J.W. Cotton’s house during the 1917/1918 school year. In 1918 the school was closed and did not open again until 1927, with Miss Rita Cleland as teacher. In 1936, Two Rivers began to provide grade 9 instruction and Miss Kae Chekaluk, the teacher at the time, received a salary increase. Teachers at Two Rivers School had to board with local residents until 1942, when Mrs. Isabel Perry had her house moved from Appleton to the Two Rivers school grounds. Mrs. Perry’s house became the teacherage for the remainder of the operation of the school. Teaching in rural Alberta in the early to mid 1900’s had many challenges. Teachers often had to wait long periods of time before receiving their salaries, and many teachers at Two Rivers also had to perform janitorial duties and haul water. From 1946 to 1948, because of teacher shortages, William Taylor was hired as a supervisor and Two Rivers students did their lessons through correspondence.The series consists of newspaper advertisements for a teacher for Two Rivers School, hiring agreements between the trustee and teacher, Department of Education Reports of Inspector of Schools and teachers’ Income Tax statements. The series also contains correspondence between the Two Rivers District and potential teachers of Two Rivers School, which includes letters of application written by potential teachers and letters of reference for teachers.
|Curriculum and Activities. — 1930-1948. — 1 cm of textual records.Like most rural schools, Two Rivers was the center of the community. Christmas concerts, which included plays, recitations, carols, a Christmas tree and gifts, were attended by the entire community and they often involved months of practice on the part of the teacher and students. End of the year school picnics were also a major highlight of the school year. The picnics were often held at the Old Ford along Beaverlodge River, families brought lunches, homemade ice-cream and lemonade and there were races, ball games and swimming. While Miss Doris Vernon was teacher at Two Rivers (she taught from 1937 to 1939) the school put-on a fundraising concert, the proceeds from which were used to purchase a piano for the school.The series consists of material regarding school events such as activity planning sheets and supply lists for end of the year picnics, a Christmas concert financial report and a program for a piano fundraiser concert. Also included in this series is a Department of Public Health letter regarding Smallpox and Diphtheria, a letter from the Beaverlodge Board of Trade inviting Two Rivers School to Coronation Day Celebrations. Curriculum materials include an issue of The Canadian Teacher and a University of Extension Library letter about Traveling Libraries, Department Exams for Grade 9 Science and Math, and a Certificate of Promotion.
|Supplies and Operations. — 1928-1946. — 2 cm of textual records.The series consists of bills and receipts for work done on the school, and supplies purchased for the school (including building materials, books, furniture and fire extinguisher). Also included in this series is an inventory list of the school and a list of repairs needed for the school building and associated costs.
|Student Records. — 1927-1947. — 10.5 cm of textual records.The series consists of school censuses and Daily Registers for Two Rivers School District from 1927 to 1947.
|Associated Organizations. — 1937-1949. — 8 cm of textual records.The series consists of Auditor’s Financial statements from the Grande Prairie School Division, material from the Department of Education and issues of The Alberta School Trustee.
|Grande Prairie School Division No. 14. — 1938-1946. — 2 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of lists of school districts in the Grande Prairie Division and Auditor’s Financial Statements from the Grande Prairie Division No 14.
|Department of Education. — 1937-1947. — 2 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of the School Act (1937), a Statement Regarding Provincial Assistance to Education, and a radio broadcast given by the Minister of Education.
|The Alberta School Trustee. — 1947-1949. — 4 cm of textual records.The sub-series consists of issues of The Alberta School Trustee from 1947 to 1949.