Fonds 659 Spirit River Immigration Hall fonds

Spirit River Immigration Hall. — 1917-1930. — 3 cm of textual records.

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Agency History

The Spirit River Immigration Hall was constructed in April 1917 in order to support the huge influx of settlers that were arriving to the area. The Hall was built by Mr. N. Cuthbertson of Edmonton which caused some controversy as local contractors felt they didn’t have a proper opportunity to bid. The Hall was to be 76 feet long, 34 feet wide with several out-buildings. The interior consisted of several rooms for sleeping and a communal kitchen for food preparation.

The settlers and their families had free accommodation at the Hall and circumstances caused some of the travelers to extend their stay as their land wasn’t selected yet, or their effects had yet to arrive.

The immigrants who utilized the Hall arrived from places throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. The final destinations listed for the settlers were as varied as where they came from, Grande Prairie, Bad Heart, Pouce Coupe to name a few.

The Spirit River Immigration Hall later became a boarding house for girls attending high school in that community.

Custodial History

The Spirit River Immigration Hall records were donated by the Spirit River District Museum. The records were found at the local John Deere dealership who upon realizing they were not their records donated them to the Spirit River Museum.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of two books of records listing the settlers who stayed at the Spirit River Immigration Hall. The book recorded: Name, Nationality, Age, Port of Entry, Proposed Destination, Occupation, Date of Arrival at Hall, Date of Leaving Hall and Remarks.