Each year for many, many summers, The Ozarks cabin on 50th Avenue was opened up in advance of the arrival of Madge Scharber who travelled from Alabama annually and had a long association with many people in the Sylvan Lake area.
This year will be different. Madge Scharber died in Birmingham, Alabama on May 4, 2012 at the age of 95.
The Ozarks was previously owned by Carl and Anna Jaminette. Madge was the youngest daughter of Jennie Lee Thatch Roberts, sister of Anna.
Carl began railroad service in the United States as a boomer operator at the age of 15 in 1883. He started Canadian service in 1911, serving Canadian Pacific, Grand Trunk Pacific and Canadian National, according to the story written by Scharber for the Sylvan Lake history book “Reflections of Sylvan Lake”.
He commenced work for Canadian National in January 1912, being stationed at Winnipeg, Edmonton, Giscomb and other locations before going to Gainford as station agent in 1921. He was transferred from Gainford to Entwistle and from there to Sylvan Lake in 1924 as station agent. He retired in 1935 after 52 years of railroad work. Their retirement home was appropriately called “The Ozarks” after the Arkansas mountains in which Mrs. Jaminette grew up.
“Aunt Anna (Madge’s mother’s sister) was a registered nurse and since there were no doctors there in those early days, she was effectively the only medical person there for many years,” wrote Scharber’s nephew Neumie Roberts.
“I have seen some notes whereas Aunt Anna wrote and mixed the medications that were necessary to sustain many of the original landowners and their descendants in those days. Through Aunt Anna, Aunt Madge knew and socialized with different persons of different nationalities that lived in Sylvan Lake in those days – and even introduced many of those various nationalities to each other.”
Scharber’s story about the Jaminettes said her aunt Anna “was a registered nurse and was the nearest thing to a doctor in Sylvan Lake for many years. Her diary relates many an event of illness and sadness; it also tells of happy times – of hunting with Mr. Jaminette, of trips from Gainford to Entwistle to dances in Jasper and of their dog named “Jack”.
Mrs. Jaminette was an amateur photographer and made many pictures of pioneer living and beautiful mountain scenery.
In the early 1950s, Mrs. Jaminette became a reporter for Sylvan Lake News, Red Deer Advocate, Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal. She did much research and wrote many articles about the early settlers and the history of Sylvan Lake.
Concluding the article, Scharber wrote, “I am now the proud owner of “The Ozarks” where my husband and I (until his death) spent many happy summers. I expect to spend many more days at “The Ozarks” in Sylvan Lake, the place my Aunt Anna and Uncle Carl called home.”
Scharber’s obituary in the Birmingham News tells of an active lady and many in this community will have heard some of her stories.
Her work career included being an administrative assistant at Linde Division of Union Carbide Corp. – now known as Praxair Corp.
After retirement, she became actively involved in various genealogy societies such as Daughters of the Revolution, Daughters of 1812, National Society Daughters of the American Colonists, Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims, United Daughters of the Confederacy, The Alabama Society of the Dames of the Court of Honor, Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, National Society United States Daughters of 1812, Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society of Edgefield, South Carolina, The South Carolina Genealogical Society, and Magna Charta.
Her love of the outdoors also kept her busy with bird organizations such as the Birmingham Audubon Society, the National Audubon Society, The Hummer/ Bird Study Group, and the Blanche Dean Chapter of the Alabama Wildflower Society.
Madge was born in Stilwell, Oklahoma to Green Leland Roberts and Jennie Thatch Roberts on August 4, 1916. She graduated from Stilwell High School with honours, and attended Oklahoma State University.
She always had a positive outlook on life and had a wonderful sense of humour.
Funeral services were held May 11.