Bay Tree Community Hall. — 1931-1998. — 9 cm of textual records. — 9 photographs.
The Bay Tree Community Hall was constructed by volunteer labour on the N.E. ¼ 2-79-13 W6th in 1931. This was on land donated by John A. Svenson, a homesteader from Sweden, for $1.00 per year on a 20 year lease. By 1933 all was complete but the roof, which was cause for celebration, so the first dance was held, minus a roof. The lack of roof kept the attendees dancing to stay warm. The completed hall was 30 x 40’, and constructed of logs. The first wedding dance was held in 1934 for Emil and Alex Lehmann, and was the first of many events to be held at the hall, including dances, box socials, Christmas concerts and Halloween parties.
Once the hall was complete, the local residents decided there was a need for a committee to help with the upkeep and operations. The United Farmers of Alberta Branch No. 800 was created with this in mind. After they disbanded, the Bay Tree Community Hall Association was formed.
In 1955 a new lease was needed for the land the hall was situated on. In the meantime the land had changed hands, and Roland Rogers was the new owner. He also agreed to lease the land for the amount of $1.00. While negotiating for the lease, the Community Hall Association decided that purchasing the land, was in their best interest. On October 5, 1956, the Hall Association became land owners as well.
Many improvements were made to the hall. In 1957 the hall was re-shingled and electricity put in place by running a long extension cord from Nick Kulachkosky’s garage. By 1970 the extension cords were no longer needed as the hall had its own electricity. 1976 saw an end to the wood cutting bees that had been held to supply wood for heating the hall, as an oil furnace was purchased. In 1986 an addition was built on to the front of the hall.
Many people in the community had a hand in the building and maintaining of the hall. In the early years names mentioned included John A. Svenson, Otto and Emil Lehmann, J W Sutherland, and Albert Beck. Later records show D.J. Scott, Arthur Bourque, Ken and Bula McRann, Pat and Ray Lehmann, Barb and George Titford, Earl and Dee Newman, Ernie and Julie Scott, Richard and Ann Noll, John and Doris Clisby, Vivian and Denis Dechief, and Nick and Rose Kanda.
The Bay Tree Hall was a central place for the people of the area to gather and socialize. The hall is still standing at Range Road 131 and Township Road 791, commemorating the strong will and hard work of the early settlers.
The records of Bay Tree Community Hall were given to the archives by Vivian Dechief, a member of the Bay Tree Community Club, when she deposited the records of the Bay Tree Community Club which are located in their own fonds.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of records relating to the operation of the hall and the meetings that were held in the running of the hall. There are minute books and list of memberships and executives; financial documents, deposit books and annual returns; receipts and documents pertaining to the running of the hall; the original lease agreement for the land the hall sits upon; and nine photographs of the Bay Tree community.
The fonds is arranged in six series based on record content: minutes, financial records, annual returns, land, hall operations and photographs. The arrangement has been set by the Archivist as for the most part the records were not in any set order.
Title based on the contents of the fonds.
Information for the biographical sketch was taken from Homesteaders’ Heritage (The Bay Tree Hall p. 20).
Table of Contents
|Minutes. — 1976-1997. — 1 cm of textual records.The series consists of three notebooks and some loose documents that contain executive lists. One notebook has the minutes from 1976-1984, as well as balance sheets from 1976-1985 and a membership list for 1984. A second notebook contains the minutes from 1986-1996, budgets from 1996 and 1997, and balance sheets from 1986-1992. The third notebook has membership lists for the years 1984-1995 and a five year operational plan. The executive lists are for the years 1993-1995.
|Financial Records. — 1983-2003. — 4.5 cm of textual records.The series consists of financial statements that cover the years from 1985-1999, as well as a balance sheet for 2003; information on the hall’s charity status; a five year capital expenditure plan from 1987-1994; and a notebook used to track ticket sales for a raffle as well as 1984 grant expenditures. There is also a letter awarding the Hall with grant funding in 1988 and a legal agreement for the grant. A letter from Shell Canada, dated 1985, is included as they are giving the hall a donation for upgrading. There are also 6 deposit books of various dates covering the years from 1975-1993, deposit slips for 1975 and some receipts, as well as power bills from 1975. The bank book covers the dates from 1956-1979.
|Annual Returns. — 1955-1987.The series consists of annual returns filed with the government on behalf of the society from 1955-1996. Included with the annual returns are financial statements as well as listings of the society executives for years 1974-1976, 1984-1985, 1987, 1990, and 1994-1996.
|Land Records. — 1931-1998.The series consists of two original lease agreements (1931 and 1955) between John A. Svenson and the United Farmers of Alberta No. 800, as well as between Roland Rogers and the Bay Tree Community Hall Association. Also included is information on acquiring the actual land title, which took place many years after purchase. A copy of the Certificate of Title from the registration district is dated 1984.
|Hall Operations. — 1952-1987. — 1.5 cm of textual records.The series consists of inspector’s reports from 1952-1970; a booklet about the regulations for running an entertainment hall (1949); certificates of compliance with regulations; information about fire insurance and a quote on furnace and duct work; a list of hall bookings for 1986; a valuation of the Bay Tree Community Hall; and a list of people who purchased bakery items from a sale held at Patterson’s Auction Mart.
|Photographs. — 1929 [ca. 1980]. — 9 photographs.
The series consists of three black and white photos of early Bay Tree from 1929-1933; three photos of Bay Tree School and the playground slide beside the school; and three photos of the Bay Tree Hall from different angles.