Over 2,000 collections of pictures, historic information gathered

Sylvan Lake’s Centennial was a banner year for Sylvan Lake & District Archives Society.

Sylvan Lake’s Centennial was a banner year for Sylvan Lake & District Archives Society.

They accepted over 2,000 collections of pictures and other accessions, bringing their total to almost 6,700.

Among the items donated to the organization were old pictures, newspapers, magazines, newspaper stories about pioneers, postcards, maps, dance programs, pennants, recipe books, buttons and pins, census documents and a painting.

The society held its annual meeting Apr. 16 and reviewed a year which was extremely busy with more than 2,500 volunteer and staff hours logged.

President Denise Bignold said, “the need for pictures and information to complete many Centennial projects and the move to our new home” in the Municipal Government Building, contributed to the activity.

A Centennial photo album was ready for viewing in June.

“The archives contributed photographs and historical information to individuals and groups who were working on projects to celebrate Sylvan Lake’s Centennial year.”

Three of these were the Legacy Art Project, 60 historical markers (which are now on towers along Lakeshore Drive) and 77 tri-fold display panels (which rotated to various locations in town throughout the year).

The society hosted school classes, a Rotary tour from Sweden, guests from England and researchers from McGill University, during the year.

Volunteers continue to prepare new displays approximately every four months. Last year’s selection included 1913 Days Parades – Celebrating 100 Years, Beginning of the Archives and currently displayed is First Businesses in Sylvan Lake.

They’re working on a Legacy Trail Passport in co-operation with the town and the Activ8 Council.

Bignold also said their digitization project is completed and all the pictures will eventually be searchable online.

“We are having good responses from our Facebook posts on Sylvan Lake Archives page which is linked to the town website.”

Roy Mattson reported the society has budgeted for installation of rural school markers. The first will be for Sylvan Dell School and be placed near École H. J. Cody School. He’s looking at the possibility of marking some rural school sites near town.

Guest speaker Jean Bridge provided an overview of her presentation “The Hamlet of Snake Lake, A New Beginning 1900-1927” which is tailored for Grade 2 students who visit the archives each year as part of studies about their hometown.

“This is a story about two French Canadian couples looking for a home for their large families Ñ the Loiselles and the Fauchers,” she began. The first portion includes information about their journey to the Snake Lake area, then their selection of homesteads, surveys of the townsite and more current maps. The third section of her program talked about growth of the hamlet, the first hotel, general store and includes an aerial picture of the community in 1927.

She thanked Kathy Inglis and Diane Powell for their help with the presentation.

Acclaimed to the executive during the election of officers were Denise Bignold as president, Bunnie Virtue as secretary and Inez Gathercole as treasurer. Directors are Pat Blakely, Roy Mattson, Ernie Walter, Helen Grimson, Marie Schlahs, John Yoos, Gil Pubanz, Jean Bridge and Dale Mannix.


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