“Teaching During World War II” with Margaret and Ray Shaw

In this story, Ray Shaw narrates Margaret’s stories about school during World War II.

The Champion Red Sox, 1946 – 1965

Between 1946 and 1965, the Champion Red Sox were the hottest game in town.

Champion Ball Diamond

Red Sox, 1956

Led by Coach Shorty Bouzyan, the Red Sox’s record during those years was 419-152.

Thanks to Sev’s record-keeping, we can get a glimpse into seasonal statistics :

Batting Leaders

Home Run Records

Pitching Records

And a taste of some of the seasons’ highlights:

Late 1940s. Umpire is Cecil Rhodes, batter is Merv Smith.

Lethbridge Herald, July 1954

Red Sox, 1957

1959

(Date Unknown)

There are lots of familiar names and faces among the Red Sox roster:

Livio Pasolli

Keith Groves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wayne Harter

 

(Unidentified)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leonard (?)

 

Allan Buchan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Fath

 

Donnie Buchan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sev Pasolli

 

Roger Jensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos and Images courtesy of Sev Pasolli

Municipal Heritage Project Open House

Who are the forgotten dead of Vulcan County?

Whose remains are buried here?

Whose remains are buried here?

During the decade after 1916, settlers fled the drought-ridden plains of southeastern Alberta en masse. As David C. Jones outlines in his book, We’ll all be buried down here- The Prairie Drybelt Disaster of 1917-1926, homesteaders often alighted with few possessions, many carrying only “the shirts on their backs”.

In some instances settlers were forced to part with something more dear, the remains of loved ones who had passed on, left behind in lonely, sometimes forgotten, prairie graveyards.

“We’ll all be buried down here in this dry belt, if we wait for the government to get us out,” Jones quotes one settler, who expressed his desire to “Quit the Dry Belt” in no uncertain terms:. “And parts of it are desperately desolate places to be buried in.

One such desperately desolate place was Taylor Cemetery, located in Vulcan County:

Along an unremarkable stretch of road, about 17 miles northeast of the village of Lomond, Alta., lie the forgotten dead of Vulcan County.

Atop a wind-whipped knoll along the north side of Secondary Highway 539, a lonely pioneer graveyard has endured for the better part of a century.

Passing motorists would never know a cemetery exists here. There are no headstones or signs to mark the graves. Only a few sunken indentations amidst the crested wheat grass and clover remain.

No seems to know for certain who or how many were buried here. Burial records haven’t been located or do not exist. The next-of-kin are long gone, having joined the exodus from the drought-stricken Kinnondale district west of the Bow River after the First World War.

Click here to read the rest of the article…

Originally posted on ForgottenAlberta.com

Sentinel Trees provide a glimpse into the past

The Sentinel Trees - July 2011

Last summer, while researching the history of the village of Bow City, I came across an article referencing something called the “Sentinel Trees”. In a July 1984 Lethbridge Herald piece entitled “Cottonwoods among most favorite of trees”, the “Sentinel Trees” were described as a group of plains cottonwoods situated in the former Kinnondale district, north of Enchant.

Located on the homestead of American-born bachelor and farmer, Sherman Hewitt, the Sentinels were nominated for inclusion on the Alberta Forestry Association’s 1983 Honour Role of Alberta Trees by Mrs. Guri Opstad of Lethbridge. In the book, Alberta Trees of Renown – An Honour Roll of Alberta Trees, Mrs. Opstad, who passed away in 2009, provides some third-person recollections about the Sentinels, describing them as “a gift from the drylands to a girl of the Alberta Prairies”.

To read the rest of the article please click here

Former Vulcan Elks baseball star makes the MLB Hall of Fame

Pat Gillick hitchhiked to Vulcan at 18 years of age to pitch for the semi-pro Vulcan Elks in 1956. He would later go on to play in the Major Leagues and is known as the ‘mastermind’ behind the 1992-93 champion Toronoto Blue Jays team. Click the link below to read more about the former Vulcan player upon his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/mlb/bluejays/article/1029219–gillick-takes-winding-road-to-cooperstown

“More Than Just the Mail” by Norma Aldred now available

Let’s Keep in Touch

Loma Post Office

Area pioneers had left their family, friends and everything familiar behind. The loneliness they suffered in their new home was heightened by the lack of knowing what was happening where they had come from. A day looked forward to with anticipation was Mail Day at their nearest post office. Most often the post office was a room in another pioneer’s home. The home sometimes also had a store with the post office. In Vulcan County, there were 48 such small post offices.

The nearest post office, combined with store, was often many miles away. If someone went for groceries, they would pick up the mail for everyone in their area and then it would be distributed when they got back home. If no one was traveling, there could be quite a gap between “delivery days.”

The postmasters travelled many miles to the larger post office to collect the mail for their own post office. The trip to collect the mail often took two days and it was undertaken twice a week. Weather, insects and other pests had to be overcome. Prairie trails were the pathways. No gravel or paved roads!

Mail days were a big event. People gathered at their Post Office to see if anything had come for them. Having a chance to visit with the neighbors while waiting was an opportunity to compare farming stories, share some gossip, talk about the politics of the day. News from home was eagerly collected. Letters brought the reader up to date on distant happenings. Postcards were popular, with pictures of a familiar building, town, street or perhaps a family photo on them. Many postcard collections were prized possessions. Some are still to be found.

The earliest post office opened in Vulcan County was Brant, which began on May 1, 1905. It was located in Old Brant on NE 27-18-28 W4. The first postmaster was Charles H. Kelly. By 1918, forty-four more post offices had opened all over the county.

If the original store and post office owner moved, another settler took them over in his own house. So some post office locations changed several times. Names such as Hicksburg, Reid Hill, Bowville, Carmangay, Thigh Hill, Queenstown, Mossleigh, Cleverville, Eyremore, Kinnondale and others were destinations for the mail. Some of these place names are familiar, but many others have faded from memory.

The coming of the railway to an area caused post offices to sprout up. The location of the railway did not always pass through the early villages. The importance of the railroad to the future development of the village was shown by the number of small villages that relocated to be next to the railway: Carmangay, Champion, Milo, Brant. When the village moved, the post office moved with it. Two of the later post offices to open were Arrowwood and Shouldice, which started in 1924 and 1925.

The first to close was Little Bow Post Office, with postmaster Malcolm McLeod. It closed on March 22, 1909. When rural mail routes began, many of the little post offices were closed. A few in the larger centers remained. These continued to be a social hub for the community, a gathering place for all. Ten more closures followed by 1919. Some had been open only a couple of years when they closed.

The last post office opened in Vulcan County was the Vulcan Military Post Office, which opened on September 9, 1943 and closed on April 11, 1945. It was located at the airbase west of Vulcan, the site of Flight Instructor School No. 2 and the No. 19 Service Flying Training School.

The face of mail delivery has also changed. Personal letters and postcards have been replaced for many by the instant response of emails, text messaging, Twitter or Facebook entries.

But even with all the changes, you will still see neighbors and friends meeting in front of the post office for a chat, exchanging good news and bad. The post office still is an important link for keeping in touch.

Armada Post Office

 

“The Bishop’s Chair” with Ray Shaw

This installment features a story as told by Ray Shaw, of a ‘famous’ chair in the family dating back to the 1920s. Written and narrated by Ray Shaw, produced by Bev Knutson Shaw.

“The Orville and Clara Smith Farm”

This installment of the Vulcan County History Digital Story Series, features Irene Smith of Champion and her story of the family’s history in the Champion District. Happy 100 Champion!

Produced by Bev Knutson Shaw and Irene Smith.