Hey local history buffs, the above video is a great snapshot of a place and time, in this case, 1930’s Sylvan Lake, AB.
Lake Cottages have always prompted whimsical names. Sylvan Lake is no different. This story showcases some great photos from the 1930’s and also includes a Directory from the 1960’s. Names like “Seldom Inn” and “Turkey Teepee” stand out.
Below is a photo of the Webster cabin, known as the LA-ZE-LOT. George Webster (second generation) with grand-daughters Kari-Lynn Shiells and Susan Marie Shiells.
The above photo shows the “Robin Nest” home on 41st Street and 50th Avenue in the early 1930s. The people are unnamed except as “Grandma and Ed”. Ed was the maker of the wooden figurines in the picture.
Two very interesting accessions have come to us out of the blue from two very interesting contributors. The first one came through registered mail from a lady by the name of Gertrude Lambert in Edmonton whose father, Mr. Elliott, had been a teacher at the Olds Agricultural College and, later, Vermilion College. They built a cabin at Sylvan Lake about 1921 where the whole family spent the next 18 or 19 summers (until 1939). She and her daughter had been down to hunt up their old cabin which is still standing and while they were in town, picked up the current Sylvan Lake News with a write-up about our then new Archives. So, without so much as a phone call, she sent a collection of beautiful old photos and an accompanying registered letter. She was later down for a visit and brought additional pictures. Another interesting side of this story is that we also have met the present owner of the same cabin whose father, Dr. Charles from Calgary, purchased the cabin from the Elliott family and they have been coming here every summer since 1943. We also have pictures from this family.
Here’s what we do know. The Elliott family built their cabin at Sylvan Lake about 1921 and came every summer until 1939 when WWII broke out. William taught at Olds, later Vermilion Agricultural Cottage; children Gertrude (Edna) and Bill, Jr.
Elliott Family Cabin (Grey Glen), circa 1930
Above is a picture of the Elliott family and their guests gathered on the porch of their Sylvan Lake cottage (circa 1930). From left to right: Mrs. (Edna) Elliott; Dr. Jack Elliott (guest); Mr. William Elliott; Jack Elliott (guest); and Bill Elliott. In front is 5-year old Gertrude. On the back is written: Originally Grey Glen / address 13 Street, 2nd road from (corner) road from Red Deer which went along the waterfront. Built approximately 1920-24 by my father W.J. Elliott and son William S. Elliott (Site: 33rd Street East)
Above, the Davey Cottage, circa 1930’s
This is the cottage belonging to the Davey family, next door to the Grey Glen, Elliott’s Cottage at 13th Street in Sylvan Lake, circa 1920-38. An older woman and two children are standing by a screened-in porch and a man is sitting and reading a newspaper inside.
Above, the Davey Family, circa 1930s
The Davey Family owned the cottage next door to the Elliott’s cottage at 13th Street in Sylvan Lake, circa 1920-38.
Above, Washing Clothes, circa 1930s
Jean Phillips, Gertrude’s friend from Edmonton, bringing in the washing at Grey Glen Cottage.
Above, Sawing Wood in May, 1941
William Elliott sawing wood with a buck saw at Buck Saw
Above, Jean Phillips, Gertrude Elliott’s friend from Edmonton, polishing her shoes on the deck of Grey Glen, Elliott’s Cottage.
Edna & William Elliott 
Mr. and Mrs. William Elliott are standing by their cottage, Grey Glen.
Above, Gertrude Elliott (Edna), 1938
This is a picture of Gertrude Elliott taken in 1938 when she was a Grade Twelve student (later, Edna Lambert – donor of these pictures). Her full name was Edna Gertrude Elliott.
Taken at Grey Glen Cottage
Above, The (Former) Elliott Cottage in 1996
In March of 1996, Mrs. Lambert’s daughter drove her mother to Sylvan Lake to see if they could find the old cottage on 13th Street built by Mrs. Lambert’s parents, the William Elliotts. They were successful, despite the fact that the name of the street had been changed to 34th Street. Mrs. Lambert, in her letter which accompanied the pictures stated that it appeared “in excellent condition, well cared for and very familiar”. It had been renamed Sherwood Lodge (formerly, Grey Glen) This picture was taken by Mrs. Lambert and her daughter that day and sent to the Archives with the historical pictures.
Above, Mr. William Elliott Sawing Wood with a Buck Saw – May, 1941
Bill Elliott at Grey Glen Cottage 
The name Grey Glen is on the fence as well as the roof of the cottage.
Above, Sylvan Lake Life Guards, circa 1937-38
Gertrude and Bill Elliott worked as life guards on Sylvan Lake for two summers just before the outbreak of World War II, then the family sold the cottage, Grey Glen.
Jean Phillips – Chore Girl, circa 1930s
Jean Phillips was a friend of Gertrude Elliott’s who was visiting at Grey Glen Cottage. She is holding a water pail in her left hand, a bottle in her right hand, and has a blanket or towel over her right arm.
Below you’ll find a directory from the 1960’s. Collectively they form a portrait of a much simpler time.
For other Todayville stories from the Sylvan Lake Archives, CLICK HERE.
If you have a unique and interesting stories you would like to see on todayville, you can do one of two things. Either register for free (except for business) or send us an email with details to [email protected] Learn more about the Sylvan Lake Archives.
Looking for a Resilient Career for the Future? Keep an Eye Out for the Lighthouse
If we consider that the future of work will include a multitude of digital practices, it is up to us as employees and employers to embrace this shift with readiness and education. More familiar than not, the skills we learn through our years in education are a base, from which we hope to secure a position that falls in the same realm as our studies. The challenge is that even with curriculum updates and youth programs, the study of ever-changing digital education continues to be a challenge for both teachers and students.
We as a society are moving into a gig-heavy economy, with individuals packing more onto their certification rosters in the hopes of diversifying their resume’s. For those who may want to keep the pace over the next decade, two key categories within education shine through – data science and web development.
The importance of these skills may seem only attributable to certain industries, however, if we consider the more intensive labour positions, how data is perceived and understood is immensely important. If you are a mid-career worker, someone looking to renew their digital education or one to pursue alternative career paths that carry real promise, these skills may prove to be some of the most sought after in the near future.
To no surprise that the end of year report by Payscale shows the two “hottest jobs” fall in the data category, reflected by the “The Future of Jobs Report 2020” by the World Economic Forum. This report shows a progressive estimate for skills that will be in demand up to 2025 and beyond.
This is all great knowledge to have on hand, but where can similar skills be learnt without investing in a multi-year university degree?
One Canadian company has tangible options.
Lighthouse Labs is a Canadian company founded in 2013 by its CEO Jeremy Shaki. They specialize in educational programs and boot camps in the fields of web development and data science. Their team has created intuitive learning programs attainable for all walks of life who carry a ‘growth mindset’ into their personal development.
They offer full-time and part-time courses for their multiple bootcamps, with available mentorship from experienced professionals in both fields. The results from their 2019 Student Outcomes Report available on their website. A year from January 2019, 504 students enrolled in their bootcamps, 458 graduated and 324 gained employment post bootcamp. Out of the 329 graduates who completed a job-seeking cycle within 180 days post-bootcamp, 95% of that group accepted employment. These numbers are incredible in comparison to the investment required for a new career avenue in 2021.
In March of 2020, we experienced a mass transition to digital communications in our daily and work lives due to the pandemic. For some, the integration of conference calls, internal team applications and a pressing focus on data was simple to grasp, but not for all.
In light of some of these challenges, Lighthouse Labs has implemented and collaborated with multiple organizations to offer “Impact Initiatives”. Created to offer hyper-focused ways of educating groups of Canadians to enhance their digital literacy.
In collaboration with Kids Code Jeunesse, a non-profit organization focused on digitally-focused educational programs for youth, with funding from the Government of Canada created the Code Create Teach initiative. This partnership had 2,703 teachers experience a one-day introductory workshop on coding and computational thinking. The objective was to offer teachers additional tools they can bring into their classrooms to enhance their student’s grasp of digital technologies.
There are multiple ongoing initiatives with Lighthouse Labs and other organizations that are available to view on their website. Another that stood out is the “Accelerating Possibilities Project” in partnership with Woodgreen Community Services. Created to offer mid-career workers an opportunity to learn new skills in web development, data science and customer service. Now more than ever, these types of initiatives have the opportunity to benefit the lives of countless Canadians.
As noted in various media outlets over recent years, there is an outcry for traditional industry workers to keep pace with the digital revolution with training and support. This is one opportunity where Lighthouse Labs and other educational programs can offer a real avenue to a new career.
It should be noted that parallel to the closing of office spaces, restrictions on multi-person worksites and the mass layoffs in some of the more traditional industries, these skills offer the opportunity to both begin a new career path with an educated support system, and to re-evaluate what new skills could bring more value to your current position and your company’s future.
Lighthouse Labs has a strong sense of supporting their community and has recently announced a new scholarship fund in response to the difficult economic and societal conditions our country has faced due to the pandemic. After a high interest in their March 2020 scholarship round, they announced another $500,000 scholarship fund for those in need. You may be eligible for up to $5,000 in support for a full-time bootcamp and $750 for part-time programs if you’ve been laid off, had your hours reduced, or are out of school because of the pandemic. For interested individuals, download their financial guide for more information.
If you would like to learn more about Lighthouse Labs, their support for our communities and the various boot camps they offer, check out their website. All of their material has been digitized and has opened up their reach to anywhere in Canada, check out their blog to learn more about their platform for online tech education. Their team has created a wide variety of reading material to help interested parties learn more prior to an application. These skills are here to stay, the more we integrate with data and web development, the more employers will be headhunting for the right candidate – which truly could be you.
For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary
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