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Historic letter paints picture of early Sylvan Lake cottage life

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  • The picture is 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  (she is the author of this letter written to us in 1996).

    Here’s an ‘old-timey’ tale of de-winterizing one of the old cabins in Sylvan Lake. The following was transcribed from a hand-written letter which was one of the very first items donated to the Sylvan Lake and District Archives when it started as a picture museum in 1996.  The Elliott family owned a cottage known as Grey Glen – photo attached. 

    June 6, 1996

    Suite 301, 6303 – 104 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6A 0X9

    The Sylvan Lake Picture Museum Committee, Sylvan Lake, Alberta

    Members –

    My daughter drove me to Sylvan Lake in March, 1996 to see if the cottage I grew up in was still standing and we were happy to find it in excellent condition, well cared for and very familiar. It used to be called Grey Glen but now is called Sherwood Lodge. It is on what used to be 13th Street, 2nd street from the corner where the Highway from Red Deer turned the corner along the lakeshore drive.

    I remember the day-long trip to the lake in an old open Touring Car with celluloid windows that snapped on when it was raining which meant miles of muddy slippery roads which eventually down the years became gravelled. I spent summers at the cottage every summer from when I was a babe in arms from end of June to Labor Day with my family until the War came along and the cottage was sold.

    The first thing to be done when we arrived was to pick up fresh straw and butter ($.25), bread ($.10) and eggs (2 dozen for $.25) at one of the farms near the railroad track.

    When we got to the cottage, then we had to de-winterize the cottage: take the screen off the chimney, brush the leaves from the eavestrough that ran along the top of the screened porch. The couch cushions and pillows and blankets were taken down from the two wires strung across the Main Room which defeated any mouse damage. Someone had to check and, if necessary, chop some wood and bring it into the back room and stack it. We usually left a supply of wood in the cottage when we left in the fall so it would be dry. This was done every morning we were there. Someone else had pumped and pumped after the pump was put in the place in the well til the water cleared. The 5-shelf narrow cupboard called the Dumb Waiter was attached by pulleys and put in place in the well casing and became our refrigerator. The wooden apple box was placed in the ground box near the well which kept vegetables cool. A path was cleared to the ‘biffy’ and it was inspected and swept clear of cobwebs. Someone else had to clean the lamps and add coal oil and of course, supper was prepared in short order and we gathered around the fireplace.

    There were two bedrooms and a double bunk in the pantry (over the wood pile), a double bed and a single bed were arranged at each end of the porch, discreetly divided by awning curtains. The porch also held a large table with benches and Dad’s very special willow armchair which he built for himself out of willow branches and all meals were served there – storm or not.

    Sawhorses held springs in each of the bedrooms as well as the beds on the porch and large clean awning sacks were filled with the fresh straw to make a noisy but fragrant mattress and more awnings were hung over the screen on the porch if the weather got blowy. A small kitchen led off the main room and a large open deck at the back served as a laundry, washroom and general handy place. You were considered “old” enough when you could light the storm lantern for the inevitable trips out back at night. The cottage could sleep 14 if need be with room on the floor of the porch if anybody was left over.

    It was quite an event when an artesian well was put in the street in front for all the cottages on that street. I don’t have the date.

    My mother, who was not particularly anxious to be noted, but every morning as long as I can remember went for a morning dip in the lake from cold water at the end of June to rapidly cooling water late August. It was a ritual strictly adhered to.

    My father made sure that children and grandchildren could swim so that they had no worries when we spent the day on the beach, and you can see by the pictures, there was lots of beach.

    My brother and I were even made lifeguards one summer during the Regatta. It was a mile to town but it was very necessary we wither swim or walk every day to get the mail and then back again in the evening to make the rounds of the Jitney Dances ($.10 a dance) in the three Dance Halls. There were usually lots of friends to meet or go with. And at least twice during the summer or if somebody had a birthday, our street would have a huge bonfire down on the beach and each family would bring something to eat or pop or coffee.

    However, the beach is very different today. We could play softball in the water and the fielders would only be hip deep. It was a very safe beach for all ages.

    I recognized at least four other cottages that were there when we were there. People from Red Deer, Olds, Calgary, Bentley and us from Vermilion, but of course I don’t know if they are still going.

    One other incident happened one summer. A Tornado tore across the lake, damaged the pier and sunk some of the boats and afterwards when we walked up the hill behind town following the damage, we discovered a teeter totter board had been lifted from its frame and riven right into the school wall.

    I am enclosing some pictures I am donating to the Picture Museum. I read about in the paper I picked up the day I was there. There are explanatory notes on the back of the pictures. The big ones are taken from photographs that I have and were used in a Historical Display of costumes. I hope they will be of some use to you and I plan to come later in the summer and see the display.

    My father and mother were Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Elliott from Vermilion, Alberta. They are both gone now. Dates of pictures approximately 1921-1938.  My brother’s name was Bill (age 86) and of course mine is Gertrude, age 77.

    Click here to read more stories about Sylvan Lake history on Todayville.com. 

     

     


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    Community

    Central AB Child Advocacy Centre one step closer to reality

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  • Red Deer, Alberta, June 15, 2018: The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is thrilled to announce that the next phase in planning for its new Centre of Excellence on Red Deer College’s main campus is now underway.

    On Thursday, June 14, RDC’s Board of Governors approved a resolution to move forward to request Government of Alberta approval through an Order in Council to lease a portion of land on the RDC campus to the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre. This request builds on the memorandum of understanding that CACAC and RDC entered into earlier this year, and it represents the partners’ commitment to work together to explore options that will meet the needs of Central Albertans.

    Mark Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the CACAC, together with the centre’s staff and service partners, couldn’t be more pleased with this announcement. “Supporters of the centre have worked tirelessly since the formation of the coalition group who were determined to help with the desperate need for child advocacy in Central Alberta. We are collectively changing the way Central Alberta responds to child abuse. We opened in our temporary facility November 2017, and the statistics have been staggering of how many cases have been processed. The need for our planned Centre of Excellence is proven, and we are going to be working hard to raise the funds to bring it to fruition. These children need us, the community needs us, and the future of our society depends on it.”

    The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not for profit organization, governed by a board of directors that works in an integrative partnership with the Central Region Child and Family Services, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Justice, Alberta Education, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, and the RCMP to better service children, youth and families impacted by sexual abuse and the most serious/complex cases of physical abuse and neglect.

    The centre has professionals onsite dealing with the criminal, child protection, medical and psychological needs of child victims and their families. Onsite professionals include police officers, physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and crown prosecutors with the common goals of: improved timeliness in the coordinated assessment and investigation of child abuse cases; increased access to support and therapeutic resources for the child and their family; enhanced collaboration among partners; more efficient and effective use of resources; increased knowledge and awareness of child abuse in the community.

    Working collaboratively, we achieve greater results than any partner could on their own. It blends investigation, treatment, prevention, education and research with expertise to provide an integrated practice approach: wrapping around children and always “working in the best interests of the child”.

    Learn more about the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre by clicking this link.

     


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    Arts

    Meet some amazing local artists at the ‘Open Studio’ Tour June 23/24

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  • The Red Deer Arts Council is thrilled to announce its third Open Studio Tour, June 23 and 24, 2018!

    This is a self guided tour of artist studio spaces and free to the public.

    Nineteen visual artists in fourteen studios bring you this amazing experience. They will open the doors to their private art studios from 1 to 4:30 p.m., and welcome the public to see the process of creating fine art as each artist demonstrates their processes. From sculpted clay to sculpted metal, from paintings to silk, from jewellery to glass, the fascinating techniques and works of some of Red Deer and area’s most recognized artists will be on display for visitors.

    You can download or print the tour brochure and a map to help find all the studios, and artist bios to read before arriving on scene. The artists will not only demonstrate the processes they use, but happily take questions about their media, style, technique or anything related to art. Artists love to answer questions about their art!

    Each studio is also offering a door prize for visitors. The draw will take place at a reception at Troubled Monk Brewery at 5551 45 Street. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the Brewery’s tour and tasting to find out about their own brand of locally made, hand crafted products. Tour visitors are invited to RSVP to the Arts Council by June 19th by phone at 403-348-2787 or by email at reddeerartscouncil@gmail.com – to be eligible for this special reception.

    Here’s a list of the participating artists:

    Red Deer Artists

    Teena Dickerson
    Teena Dickerson Metal Artist Studio
    DEMO: Teena will be demonstrating bronze casting.

    Suzanne Le Beau
    Spirit of Clay Ceramics Studio
    DEMO: Suzanne will be demonstrating the process of pouring liquid clay (slip) into plaster molds , as well as  the process of taking them out of the molds and altering them.

    Shirley Rimer
    Works In Clay
    DEMO: Shirley will be demonstrating some of her clay work upon request, throughout the Open Studio tour.

    Marlene Kallstrom-Barritt
    Kallstrom Studio
    DEMO: Marlene will be working on various paintings of the “Ascending” series. “

    Candice Meyer
    Candice Meyer Studio
    DEMO: Candice will be demonstrating the process she goes through to make her jewellery.

    Darcy Gusse Edinga
    Silk Concepts
    DEMO: Darcy will be demonstrating painting on silk.

    Trenton Thomas Leach and Holly Elliott
    Rogue Art and Design
    DEMO: Trent will be demonstrating stained glass. Holly will be demonstrating photos applied to various mediums

    Susan Barker and Issy Covey
    The Kitchen Studio
    DEMO: Issy will be hand building her clay ceramics. Susan will be  painting.  Susan will also show her wheelthrowing studio.

    Betty Schnell
    Betty’s Studio DEMO: Betty will be demonstrating painting a landscape.

    Wendy Meeres
    Art and Lampwork Beads Studio
    DEMO: Wendy will be demonstrating glass bead-making.

    Marianne Harris
    Paintwerx Studios and “Away To Play”
    DEMO: Marianne will be demonstrating miniature watercolours with special effects.

    ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jeri Lynn Ing
    Gallery IS Studio
    DEMO: Jeri Lynn will be demonstrating her process of applying layers of acrylic paint and collage on canvas to create large abstract flowers and landscapes. There will be a few different art pieces in different stages of development to better show the viewer her process.

    Vivian Williamson
    Calligraphic Art Works Studio
    DEMO: Vivian will demonstrate the process she goes through to do decorated letters on watercolour paper as well as calligraphy on a watercolour background.

    Out of Town Studios

    Pat Matheson
    The Farm Studio
    DEMO: Pat will be demonstrating the Raku-fire process which involves removing his pieces from a red hot kiln – lots of fire, smoke and fun!

    Bobbie Seright Palanuik
    Veranda Gallery and Gardens Studio
    DEMO: Bobbie will be demonstrating her work with pastels/oil.

    Learn more about the Red Deer Arts Council by clicking here or going to Facebook.

    Read more stories on Todayville.com.


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    Community Events

    june, 2018

    wed30may - 26sepmay 303:30 pmsep 26ATB Financial Downtown Market(may 30) 3:30 pm - (september 26) 6:30 pm

    sun10jun - 24jun 1010:00 amjun 242018 Edgar Farms Asparagus Festival10:00 am - 4:00 pm (24)

    sun17jun - 1juljun 1710:00 amjul 1- 4:00 pm2018 Edgar Farms Asparagus Festival10:00 am - (july 1) 4:00 pm

    tue19jun7:00 pm- 11:30 pmSebastian Bach w/ Guest The Standstills & Sweetgrass- June 19th7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

    tue19jun - 15juljun 198:00 pmjul 15Freewill Shakespeare Festival8:00 pm - (july 15) 10:30 pm

    wed20jun9:00 am- 11:00 amAlliance MeetingsTopic: Red Deer’s Community Safety Strategy9:00 am - 11:00 am

    wed20jun5:45 pm- 8:00 pmRed Deer County Eco-Buffer and Shelterbelt Workshop5:45 pm - 8:00 pm

    thu21jun - 3juljun 216:30 pmjul 3THE WORKS ART & DESIGN FESTIVAL6:30 pm - (july 3) 12:00 am

    fri22jun - 1juljun 227:30 pmjul 1- 9:15 pmEdmonton International Jazz Festival7:30 pm - (july 1) 9:15 pm

    fri22jun - 23jun 229:00 pmjun 23A Weekend With St. James Gate I Bo's Bar & Stage9:00 pm - 1:00 am (23)

    sat23junAll DayRed Deer Highland Games(All Day: saturday)

    sat23jun4:00 pm- 8:00 pmOlds Beer Festival4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    sun24jun11:00 am- 2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    mon25jun - 3sepAll DayRip ‘N Rec Summer Pass returns for youth in Red Deer(All Day)

    tue26jun5:00 pm- 6:30 pmUnited Way Central Alberta Annual General Meeting5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

    tue26jun - 22juljun 268:00 pmjul 22Freewill Shakespeare Festival8:00 pm - (july 22) 10:30 pm

    wed27jun - 1juljun 279:00 amjul 1- 8:00 pmWestern Canadian Breeders Championships9:00 am - (july 1) 8:00 pm

    wed27jun2:00 pm- 3:30 pmMayor’s Garden Party2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

    sat30jun9:00 am- 12:00 pmRed Deer Roundup 5k/10k/15k Run9:00 am - 12:00 pm

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