Fort McMurray Editorial | Fort Mcmurray Today
Weekly Ponderings: People brought character and culture to Peace River Part 33
The “great advantage” Charlotte Small provided David Thompson as she accompanied her husband on his exploration and surveying endeavours was not only that of her pleasant personality and Métis heritage, but also her linguistic attributes. She spoke French and Cree and was able to decipher related dialects of the tribes they met along the way. “She moved easily among them and was more readily trusted, for although her father was a lowland Scot, Charlotte’s appearance was that of her mother’s people.” Her grandson William Scott, described her as “about five feet tall, active and wiry, with black eyes and skin almost copper-coloured”.
Weekly Ponderings: People brought character and culture to Peace River Part 32
We were introduced to David Thompson in the most recent Ponderings. His story began with his birth April 30, 1770, in Westminster, England. Of humble beginnings, frail, and orphaned, he received his early education at Grey Coat Hospital, a strict boarding school “designed to educate poor children in piety and virtue”.
Weekly Ponderings: People brought character and culture to Peace River Part 31
We learned of William Ogilvie and his carrying out the orders of his superior the Surveyor-General, July 1891, to survey the region drained by the Peace River and tributaries between the boundary of British Columbia and the Rocky Mountains and “collect any information that may be of value relating to that region”. It was largely left up to Ogilvie the “nature and extent” of his work and the method by which he conducted his surveys. This, he recorded in his April 1892 report Peace River and Tributaries to the Minister of the Interior [mistakenly referred to in previous Ponderings as Surveyor -General in reference to report].
Weekly Ponderings: People brought character and culture to Peace River Part 30
George Mercer Dawson’s contribution to Peace Country history began in the most recent Ponderings. Sources suggest Dawson’s brilliance in systematic mapping provided a sound basis for understanding the geology and mineral resources of much of Northern and Western Canada. This offered reliable guidance to diverse industries, such as mining, ranching, agriculture and lumber. As well, it encouraged investigation and development of western coal and petroleum resources from which the country benefited.
weather (Fort McMurray)
Weekly Ponderings: People brought character and culture to Peace River - Part 28
After spending time on the telegraph line – more recently on the telephone line, it is appropriate now to call on an individual and her family, who brought character and culture to Peace River. Before delving into the life of another cultural character, it is important to return for a moment to some interesting information regarding the telegraph – news from First World War front lines was at a premium, but Peace River telegraph operators provided a synopsis each night. A cow bell was rung to herald arrival of the news. There was a rush of people to the telegraph office to pay their 25 cents to hear the news.
Weekly Ponderings: People brought character and culture to Peace River Part 27
We learned of the construction of the new “ultra-modern” Alberta Government Telephones (AGT) building on 100 Avenue in Peace River. The building, across the street from its 1950s predecessor, was officially opened May 1, 1966.
Weekly Ponderings: People brought character and culture to Peace River Part 26
Telephone lines continued to ring true to the plan of Alberta Government Telephones to extend its operations north to Dixonville in 1946 and Battle River Country the following year – first major extension in the Peace Country for several years. Completion, as always, was dependent on availability – equipment, men and good weather. At one point, Battle River Country was served by a part-time telephone system using, sometimes unsatisfactory, Dominion Government Telephone lines.
Weekly Ponderings: People brought character and culture to Peace River Part 25
We discovered subscribers to the first telephone system in the Peace Country were charged $15/year with the agreement – any neighbour could come in and phone the central telegraph office for 10 cents. The first four on the line were on Shaftesbury Trail: the Anglican (River 11) and Catholic (River Lots 21, 22, 23) missions. Each had one, as did the Jean Collins homestead (River Lot 38) and Allie Brick (River Lot 12). This was possible through the work of G.E. McLeod, superintendent of construction – later reeve of the Village of Peace River, and his boomers who erected the poles on which the lines were strung.
Weekly Ponderings: People brought character and culture to Peace River Part 24
It was interesting to note in the preceding Ponderings, two telegraphers in their 80s continued their interest in the skill that provided them, years earlier, with a vital career – vital that is to communication. The Edmonton Journal reported the presentation of George Campbell and Jim Munsey, members of the International Morse Telegraph Club, to a Strathcona County audience, November 2011.