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SCHOOL GARDENS

In Alix, Alberta, Gardens, Organizations, Pioneer Farming, School, U.F.W.A. on April 18, 2021 at 5:21 PM

“Children’s Gardens- By Alice Nielsen”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1974

Before 4H groups were formed in Alix, I thought of having small gardens for children.  Since I belonged to the local U.F.W.A., I presented my idea to the Ladies and they went along with it whole heartedly.  So in the spring of 1947 we bought packages of seeds and portioned them out in small envelopes. That first year the age limit was 14 years and under but the next year it was lowered to 12 years and under and somewhere along the way it was changed to under 12 years.

The D.A. gave us advice but now [1973] 26 years later plans are being made for improvements in the general set-up.  Last year we gave extra plaques to winners as 25th Anniversary mementos.

The first year the gardens were divided into town and country as the country gardens had so many hazards and no water sprinklers, as the town gardens were so much better.  Some of the country hazards were pigs, gophers, and even a gosling. Of later years the gardens have reversed and the country gardens are of far better quality.

The winners of the first gardens were – town – 1st Ross Lyle, 2nd Hugh Thorp, 3rd Connie Lyle. Country – 1st Larry Primus, 2nd Elaine Primus, 3rd Walter Hopkins. There were 47 children that took seeds, the youngest was Alder Nielsen.  True, he did get weeds and plants mixed up much to his older brother Eric’s disgust.

Seeds have been distributed to as many as 90 children, then in the fall teams of women and children drove around eliminating the poorest gardens so the judges had less to do. After a few years it was decided to have a Children’s own Show with a tea, bake sale, and a raffle to help with expenses, the last week of August. These made them pretty well self supporting. The raffle has been a stuffed toy that the Lacombe Globe gave away with subscriptions, and Mrs. Rouse has kindly gotten the necessary subscriptions.  With the higher cost of seed, it has been harder.  There has always been a set of rules with cultivation given 25 points so an industrious youngster can win more points even if one of its plants didn’t grow.  However, this hasn’t stopped ambitious little folks, all through the times, from going home and planting their seeds period. No one knows just where.

All through the years since 1950, trophy cups have been given to the aggregate winners.  Also shields with the winner’s name for each year are kept for display. In 1964, Alberta Nurseries and Seeds presented the F.W.U.A. with a marble-based, silver rose bowl with nine shields to be used each year.  The winner keeps it for a year and gets the privilege to polish the bowl before returning it. 

Now daughters and sons of mothers and fathers that had gardens earlier have won many prizes in these later years.

[Some of these prizes can be seen at the Alix Wagon Wheel Museum.]

Article by Minn Thorp, Gardener

In Alix, Alberta, author, Clubs & Associations, Gardens, Organizations on April 6, 2021 at 12:01 PM

Minn Thorpe , Gardener

From Alix Horticultural club – By A. Neilsen, Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Horticultural club, 1974

Mrs. Thorpe, a very enthusiastic gardener, wrote “Notes on Gardening” every week in the Lacombe Globe. Here is one that anyone can understand and enjoy.  August 13, 1953.

Quote:

“  ‘Hoe! Hoe! Hoe!” cried the gardener.   It is too late to hoe and those energetic weeds just grow, grow, grow – until it’s cooler.  Happily, one of the nicest things about gardening is that if you put it off long enough eventually it is too late.

The best way to get real enjoyment out of your garden on a hot day is to put on a wide straw hat, cool clothes, hold a trowel in one hand and an iced lemonade in the other – and tell someone else where to dig.

If you have no one to dig, you still have a full yard of industrious helpers.  Every little winged bug and crawling insect is busy pollinating your flowers.  With the continual battle against the bad bugs, we forget the good ones. But watch a while and in a few minutes, you are lost in the spell of little things.

Over your garden, flooded with sunshine, the carefree and easy-going butterflies flutter like wind-tossed leaves, while the dragonflies are like streaks of blue light.  The heavily laden bees buzz by in their deliberate and tireless search for nectar.

We are told that bees are almost as much a part of some flowers as are stamens and pistils. If it weren’t for the bees, half our most beautiful flowers would disappear.  The honeybee does the most work and covers the greatest territory.  According to estimates a bee must visit 210,000 flowers for every ounce of honey it makes.

Monkshood, columbine and delphinium depend on bumble-bees for cross-pollination.  The common red clover is another bumble-bee flower; its mechanism does not operate for any other kind of insect.

Your eye catches a bit of brightness and a ladybug, dainty and quaint in her red and black crinoline, is quietly disposing of the aphids.  Then with startling suddenness, lemonade forgotten, ice cubes melting,  you stare breathlessly as with a rapid fire beating of wings a humming bird poises over the stately spires of delphinium, sips from the hidden nectar chalice; then is gone absolutely, leaving an empty stillness.” (end of quote)

Former Residents of Alix (2)

In 1930s Depression, Alix, Alberta, Business, Churches, Dance Band, Farming, Organizations, Pioneer Farming, Settlers, World War !! on March 28, 2021 at 9:54 AM

From “People of Alix – as suggested by Gordon and Flora Wilton” (2)

Gleanings After Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1981

Flemming: Mr. Flemming used to have a tailor shop in the old Underwood Building on Main Street in the 1920’s.  He made suits fitted to order for his customers.

Henry: Henrys kept the drug store on the corner during the 1930’s.  Mrs. Henry was a trained druggist.  This store contained many things attractive to young people….The two sons, Frank and Jack, attended school in Alix.

Hurley, Nora: Nora Hurley came out to Canada with her brothers from Ireland in 1911 and lived with or near them south of Alix.

Jones, Eric: was a veteran of World War I who took up a quarter section of land under the Soldiers Settlement Scheme Board.  He played the banjo to the accompaniment of Tom Bullivent’s piano for the dances. He retired to the coast of British Columbia.

Loney: Mr. Loney drove the bus from Alix to Edmonton via Camrose.  The children attended Alix School.  Everett Loney lives in Blackfalds [1981] and has been Brand Inspector for some years.

Marks: Mr. Marks was Mr. Loney’s father-in-law, Mrs. Marks was very active in the U.C.W.  they lived east of Alix near the overhead bridge.

Matheson, George: George Matheson worked as a mechanic in Lymbery’s or perhaps Holling’s garage.

Monts: Two brothers and their families lived in the old Early house on Lake Streetin the 1920’s.  They were probably brothers of Mrs. Oscar Sims.

Morgan, George: Mr. and Mrs. George Morgan and their family arrived from Britain some time after World War I to take up land two miles north of Alix under the Soldiers Settlement Board.  They arrived in Alix when the creek was in food.  Ulric Marryat met them at the train with his team and democrat.  On the way to their new home the team went off the grade covered with water and they got stuck.  Mrs. Morgan and the little ones had to be carried to dry land before they could continue their journey.  The boys’ names were Merlin, Herbert, and Benny.  Their sister’s name was Enid. Herbert married Isabel Martin and they had two daughters, Shirley and Pat.

Madsens lived near the overpass and not far from the Free Methodist campground.  A daughter, Lydia, became a teacher in Lacombe and is now [1981] on the town council.

Owens:  Mac Owens was born in Ireland and came to Alix in 1930.  He later left to homestead I the Peace River country but found it too hard to break land so returned to alix.  Alex Findlater found him his first job at Tom Bullivant’s.  From there he went to Harbottles.  Later he took up farming on the old Toepfer place.  Then  he sold his farm and moved to Red Deer….

Alix Residents of the Past

In Alix, Alberta, Business, Infrastructure, Organizations, Railway, School, Settlers, Stettler, World War II on March 26, 2021 at 12:23 PM

From “People of Alix as suggested by Gordon and Flora Wilton”

Gleanings from Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1981

Blairs had the Hotel during and before 1916.  They were very good friends of the Patricks.

Bogus, Frosty …was a barber in Alix in the 1930’s.  After the barber shop burned down, the family moved to Stettler.  They now live in Red Deer. [1974]

Boyston was a barber who was very fond of wrestling.  He wrestled with Morris Schnepf and others out at the Alix Fair Grounds.  He was also the drummer in Frank Brooker’s band.

Brookhart, Mrs.: lived in thehouse where the Mortimers lived later.  She kept many boarders.  Mrs. Brookhart was admired for her courage as she did her work from a wheelchair having had one leg amputated. She was most wonderful cheery person and raised her family of boys by herself.  Cliff Brookhart served in the Armed Forces in world War II.  Later the Brookharts moved to Stettler.

Chinn: Chinn and Fisher operated the garage which later became W.E. Jennings’. The two families were related.  A great tragedy occurred when Mrs. Chinn tried to clean clothes with gasoline.  The vapour caught fire and Mrs. Chinn was burned to death….

Cole: The Cole family lived on a place with a little house close to Highway 12 near Alix.  The family consisted of the parents and four children: Henry, Ida, Patricia… and Wesley; all of the children attended school in Alix.  Henry Cole worked for “Caterpillar” for many years….

Collins: Mr. and Mrs. John Collins lived in the C.P.R. Railway Station as John Collins was the station agent for Alix in the 1930’s.  They were active in community affairs, especially curling. Two children, Jack and Illene, attended school in Alix.  Jack joined the Navy during World War II….

Ditto, Ella nee Toepfer was for some time telephone operator in Alix.  She married Andrew Ditto some years after his first wife died and lived with him on the Ditto place just north of town.  They retire to Kelowna after the farm was sold to John Henry Ditto.

Ferguson, Mr.: owned the Drug Store in the 1920’s.  He was also agent for Watkins Products.  Willie Ferguson, the son, attended the school in Alix.

Ferguson: Another family of this name lived in North Alix during the 1920’s.  Carmen married Mrs. DeZutter’s daughter.

Cuthbert and Margaret (McRoberts) Wolferstan

In Alix Creamery, Alix, Alberta, Churches, Dairy Pool, Famous 5 Persons Case, Farming, Hickling, Lamerton, Mirror AB, Organizations, Pioneer Medical Health, Political Parties, Ripley, School, School Trustees, Settlers, Trails, U.F.A., Wheat Pool on March 8, 2021 at 1:53 AM

From “Cuthbert Wolferstan – by Peggy Wolferstan Purkis”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Cuthbert Wolferstan was born in Plymouth, Devon, England, where he was educated and grew up.  His father was a solicitor (barrister) and had as one of his clients the Rev. John Hall Parlby … whose two sons Walter and Edward had settled earlier in the Buffalo Country.   It was natural then that Cuthbert (Bert) should come out to Canada with a nephew of the Parlbys, Jack Arbuthnott, and that they both should make their first Canadian homes at Dartmoor and Long Valley Ranches.

After working for Edward Parlby some little time, Bert Wolferstan went to work for … Edwin Goater who had homesteaded west of the present site of Mirror.

In 1905 he filed on his own homestead six miles north of [Alix.]

Having proved up on the homestead, he sold his livestock and went to work for a time in and around Edmonton.  It was just then that the University of Alberta was being started.  Bert … was called upon with his team to turn the first sod.  This was done the evening before the official beginning.  The site was carefully ploughed, then the sod was rolled back in place as though undisturbed.  The next day, with Premier Rutherford driving the team and the University President Dr. H.M. Tory at the handles of the walking plough, the first furrow turned over without a hitch.

Bert’s next adventure was an exploratory trip into the country north of Edmonton … and he returned to the homestead.  In December of 1910 he married Margaret McRoberts, who had come from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was nursing in Edmonton….

It was during these early years that Bert Wolferstan and John Bailey with their teams opened up a wagon trail which wound through the hills to the little hamlet of Alix.

Between the years of 1912 and … 1916 three children were born…: Margaret, or Peggy – now [1974] Mrs. Ronald Purkis- lives on the homestead; Nancy – Mrs. Joe Drushka of Alix; and a son Thomas who now lives in Mirror.

In 1916 Bert Wolferstan became the proud owner of a Model T Ford.  Before he had time to become a practical driver, he took his young family for a little ride. The car was going well but he wanted to stop it and was not sure just how to accomplish this. His solution was to drive it into the soft butt of a haystack.  The car stopped.

Mrs. Wolferstan, as a trained nurse, was often called upon to help in emergencies. She brought many of the children of pioneers into the world.  She nursed with Dr. A.E. Chown.  Dr. McLellan was a very good doctor….

The Wolferstans were always very active community people and members of the Anglican Church. Bert was vestryman and warden, first at St. Monica’s Lamerton (later Mirror), and in his later years at St. Pancras, Alix…. Bert was one of the prime movers in the building of the Hickling School…. later he became a trustee and then Secretary-Treasurer of the Alix Board.

Bert Wolferstan was active in the Farm Movement… and one of the first members of the United Farmers of Alberta…. Working with George Bell, a farmer of the Ripley District… he scoured the country for contract signers for the Alberta Wheat Pool…. With Fred MacDonald and Jack May he spear-headed a drive to organize the Buffalo Lake Livestock Co-operative.

When the United Farmers of Alberta entered politics he became Secretary of the Constituency Association, and was returning officer during the Honorable Irene Parlby’s campaigns. An original member of the Central Alberta Dairy Pool he served on that Board as delegate, and then as Chairman.

Alix Horticultural Club

In Alix, Alberta, Clubs & Associations, Entertainment, Fairs, Flowers, Gardens, Organizations, U.F.W.A. on February 15, 2021 at 11:09 AM

From “Alix Horticultural Club – by A. Nielsen”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Horticultural Club, 1974

In the spring of 1947 Mrs. Minn Thorp, an ardent gardener, thought it would be a good thing to have a Horticulture Club in Alix.  So on the afternoon of April 12, 1947, about forty people gathered in the U.F.A. Hall.  Mr. Gordon Sterling, District Agriculturalist from Lacombe, was present, and after showing an interesting film he gave some very helpful advice on organizing a horticulture club.

The newly elected officers were: Honorary President, Mrs. Irene Parlby; President, Mrs. C. Thorp; Vice President, Mrs. Ashley; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. O. Lundberg; Directors, Mrs. Ed Jennings, Mrs. M. Schnepf, Mrs. M. Nielsen, Mrs. W.D. Clarke and Mrs. A. Mann.

The membership started at $1.00 per year…. They took over the Flower show from the U.F.W.A. as it was pretty much the same women who were active in both groups…. then the children’s garden project….

They oversee the landscaping of the Alix Cemetery… all through the years they have tried to demonstrate and teach better ways of gardening.  Therefore, experienced persons were asked to demonstrate pruning, grafting, flower arranging, dividing roots, informative slides and films….

In 1947 the Flower Show was put on by the U.F.W.A. and the Horticulture Society under the convenorship of Mrs. Olive Allan and Mrs. Thorp. There were forty-six classes…. A new feature was the presentation by the Royal Bank of an engraved silver tray to the exhibitor from the Alix district who won the largest number of points.  It was won by a large margin by Mrs. M.V. (Anne) Schnepf….

That fall was fabulous for vegetables, mammoth varieties, as we didn’t have a killing frost until October 3rd, so they decided to have a Vegetable Heavy-weight Championship Contest and Display, everyone to bring in large or odd vegetables…. The prize list had forty classes, all kinds of vegetables, sheaves of grain and grass, canned fruit, vegetables, pickles, and jellies, several classes for dahlias and gladioli, winter bouquets, and herbs….

Lacombe held the Provincial Show in 1961, and Alix Club assisted…. Then Alix held a Flower Tea in the U.F.A. Hall with 14 classes….

 Alix Horticulture Club affiliated with the Alix Athletic Association to be able to take advantage of the grant by the Government for fairs, so it became the Alix Athletic and Agriculture Association….

Mrs. C. Mansbridge and Mrs. D. Hayes were on the Board of the Provincial Horticulture Society for several years….

Vivian (Murdoch) Clarke

In 1930s Depression, Churches, Clive AB, Entertainment, Fairs, Farming, Organizations, Pioneer tools & Machinery, Railway, School, School Teachers on February 11, 2021 at 11:01 AM

From “My Memories of Clive – by Vivian (Murdoch) Clarke”

Gleanings After Pioneers and Progress Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1981

Who could forget the Village of Clive and the people who lived there during the Nineteen Thirties?  The events that took place at the Community Hall, the School Fair, the movies, plays, dances, and the Christmas Concerts?  The skating, the carnival, and hockey in the winter at the rink?  Ditzler’s ingenious toboggan on runners that was pulled behind the car.  The opening of the baseball season every 24th of May, with the parade and the Maypole dance.  The Strawberry Socials, the Swedish Picnics, the Chicken Suppers, the Box Socials, when the ladies’ decorated lunch boxes went to the highest bidder.

Septembers, with Arbor Day cleanup and tree planning ceremony at the school. George Vanderzyl, our Principal from the year I started school until the year I graduated.  Vic McCormack, jumping on his bike at recess, and racing to his Dad’s barber shop for the score during the World Series.  The school picnics at “the spring” on Grose’s Hill.

Mrs. Brereton’s Mission Band, Mrs. Allison and the United Church Sunday School, with its small church replica to receive our birthday pennies; the Baptist Church’s summer Bible School, and their annual Christmas Concert.

The trains, with their steam engines, that flattened small objects we placed on the tracks; and the dray that was always waiting at the station for trains to arrive; in winter; hitching our small sleighs behind the dray or  the farmers’ sleighs that were hauling grain to the elevators.

Watching Mr. Shore at work in his blacksmith shop; the Minstrel Shows, piano recitals, and chivarees.  The list is endless…. 

I can’t think of anywhere I would rather have gone to school or spent my childhood.

Clive Community Hall

In Clive AB, Coal & wood heating, Entertainment, Infrastructure, Organizations, School, Settlers on January 24, 2021 at 10:28 AM

From “The Clive Community Hall”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

As the population of the Village of Clive and of the surrounding area was increasing, the need was felt for a building to hold large meetings, or in those early days funerals… J.T. Reynolds, F. E. Allison and R.N. Longstreet were then council members and at their council meeting of July 30, 1928 a motion was passed to sell lots one, two, three and four in Block 22, plan XLVII to the newly formed Clive Community Hall Company Limited for the sum of one dollar.

The new company then proceeded to sell shares to finance the building they wished to construct.

E.L. Reynolds was president of this new company and H. B. Scott secretary.  They sold 114 shares.

The next year the Hall was built and open for many activities, dances, suppers, concerts and local talent plays when the seating of the hall was taxed to capacity.  It was a great entertainment centre but rental prices were low and power and fuel costly, so financially they were in the red and owed the bank approximately 3000.00 dollars.  In November 1943 a shareholders’ meeting was called…. <r. Eb Wagner and Mrs. Somervillle seconded a motion that we try to borrow the money in small amounts to pay the bank and try to pay off our debts within the next three years.  This motion carried by a large majority and a new board was set up with Mrs. W.H. Somerville as president.  The Clive council gave a donation as did the Clive School Board.  They felt indebted to the hall for its use for school fairs and Christmas concerts.  Several amounts of one to four hundred dollars were loaned.  Now the work began, suppers, sports days, plays and other entertainments were held.  All the people in the district were wonderful.  They donated time and food and in less than three years the money was paid back with interest.

Now many of the shareholders had passed on or moved away, so it was difficult to get a quorum for a shareholders’ meeting.  All the shareholders left were notified by registered mail of a meeting to be held on March 15, 1952.  There was a very good turnout at this meeting and a motion was passed that a Clive Community Hall Association be formed with a board of six members elected at the annual meeting.  These members were to appoint a secretary-treasurer who would also be a member of the board.  This board was to administer the current business and welfare of the hall.

The new board members elected were E.L. Reynolds, Eb Wagner, V.G. Duffy, M. Oro and W. Morton.  K. Nelson was the new secretary….

from “Rude-Rottenfusser by Mrs. Jenny Rottenfusser” part 2

In Alix Creamery, Alix, Alberta, Boy Scouts, Carroll, Cattle, Farming, Hairdressers, Horses, Organizations, Railway, School, Settlers, World War !! on December 1, 2020 at 8:38 AM

Pioneers and Progress, Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1974

Albert Rottenfusser bought the W1/2-26-39-22-W4 in the spring of 1940.  This was Hudson’s Bay land which had been farmed by Jim Carroll. On May 4th Albert and his brother John came from Stettler bringing horses and machinery with which to farm.  As there were no buildings on the place they hauled out a granary in which to live.

During the summer John and Albert bought a cottage at Buffalo Lake which consisted of three rooms and a screened-in veranda.  It was not lined inside so was terribly cold in the winter; the tea kettle would freeze on the stove. Ten head of horses were moved to move the building until they came to the sand hill between Ira Mann’s and home.  To get up the hill it took fourteen horses, Tony De Wald’s tractor, blocks and tackle.  A brother-in-law, Vernon Bignell, also helped.

Mr. and Mrs. John Rottenfusser Sr. had homesteaded in the Botha district, after coming from the state of Washington.  Mrs. Rottenfusser, and her eldest daughter, Mary, then a baby, were on the first passenger train that ran from Lacombe to Stettler in the fall of 1905.  In December 1940 they moved to the Alix district, buying the Peterman farm in the Ripley district….

Vernon and Frances Bignell came to the old Abe Carroll homestead west of Lee and Carl Carroll’s in 1945….

During the war years Albert served in the R.C.A.F.  His brother John and his wife, Alice, lived on the farm.  In 1944 the taxes for the north quarter were $39.09 and for the south quarter $$41.16; in 1973 the taxes on the same were $136.80 and $130.72.  In March 1947 Paul Winters drilled a well for Albert.  It was 210 feet deep, total price $329.75….     Albert and I were married in Lacombe….

Brian was born September 4, 1947, and Wanda on July 4, 1949.  When Wanda was a baby, we got a new roof and remodelled the house, turning the veranda into a kitchen and dining room.

We bought Mrs. Sibert’s land, NW1/4 27-39-22 through the V.L.A. in 1952. We also got our first tractora Model D Case….

Carroll School closed in June 1953.  In September, when Brian started school, the children were bussed into Alix.  Ned Barritt was our bus driver, a job he held for sixteen years.  The Carroll Community Club bought the school as a community center….

We had Aberdeen Angus range cows, but Holstein milk cows, and shipped cream to Alix Creamery.  It was much easier after we got electricity and a milking machine.

Albert took an active interest in the Canadian Order of Foresters and was Leader of Boy Scouts until his illness and passing in 1966.

Some years the berries were in abundance.  It would be like a picnic, with neighbour ladies coming to pick and having coffee….

Brian is working for his Masters in Geology at the time of this writing [1974] …. Wanda and I stayed on the farm  until she graduated from grade 12.  In 1967 we moved to Calgary when she entered university….

UFWA

In Organizations, U.F.W.A. on July 31, 2020 at 3:21 AM

United Farm Women of Alberta

“Some aims of the U.F.W.A.

from the U.F.W.A. Cook Book 5th ed.