Tag Archives: Assiniboia

Saskatchewan Evolutionary Changes

27 May

Saskatchewan Evolutionary Changes

1900 Map of Manitoba and the North-West Territories

Manitoba and the North West Territories in 1900

In many instances, the boundaries and names of current place names have changed from historical accounts, correspondences and census enumeration regions. In fact, the province of Saskatchewan established the current provincial boundaries on September 1, 1905. Even though the provisional districts of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and Athabaska of the North-west Territories were amalgamated to form the new province, the boundaries of these early provisional districts were similar to the new provincial boundaries, the boundaries were not concurrent with each other.

Genealogical research centers around discovering ancestral lines by delving into research focusing on the ancestral family name, the time period, momentous occasions, birth and death dates and thirdly the location where the family lived. These three, name, date and place names can help to draw a picture of the history of the family. From the place names, the education and occupation can be sought after. The region also will uncover documents such as newspaper obituaries, birth, christening and marriage announcements, wills, land patent titles and scrip to name just a few. Census enumerators canvassed the population by region as well, so if an historical census is released for online viewing which covers the time period of the ancestral family, it can be perused by region. Neighbouring family members can be ascertained from the census along with occupation and residence.

The province’s boundaries are:

1. The 4th Meridian of the Dominion Land Survey or 110°W longitude at the western demarkation between the province of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

2. The 49th parallel US-Canada international boundary line makes the southern provincial border.

3. Upon breaking apart from the North-west Territories into a separate province, the North-west Territories continued on north of 60th parallel, the province’s northern boundary.

4. The eastern boundary does not lie upon the 2nd Meridian, but is rather east of the 102nd meridian west (the 2nd Meridian of the Dominion Land Survey) thus forming the division between the province of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Some confusion has arisen regarding historical and current place names. For example if one possesses historical letters which may provide an address say of Cannington Manor, Assa, NWT. Assa was a common abbreviation for the provisional district of Assiniboia in the North-West Territories (1882-1905). (The hyphen in North-west Territories was removed in 1906 becoming Northwest Territories) The District of Assiniboia is described as the 33rd township (about 51.97 degrees north) southward to the U.S.A.- Canada border. The eastern border of Assiniboia abutted the western boundary of the province of Manitoba which was between 101 and 102 line of longitude. Assiniboia’s western border likewise extended past the fourth meridian, the current westerly provincial border to meet with the provisional district of Alberta. The provisional district of Assiniboia extended westward to the further than the fourth meridian to about 112 °W meridian longitude between about range 10 and 11, past the fourth meridian (110°W longitude).

For example, historical maps show Medicine Hat section 31, township 12, range 5, west of the fourth meridian as being within the boundaries of the District of Assiniboia, NWT. Medicine Hat is within the province of Alberta boundaries after 1905.

 

Likewise, Brandon located at section 23, township 10, range 19 west of the prime meridian or latitude longitude 49º 50′ 49” N, 99º 57′ 8” W was outside of the boundaries of the original :postage stamp” province of Manitoba which had a western boundary at the 99th line of longitude. However, Brandon was not within the boundaries of Assiniboia, NWT whose eastern boundary was between the 101 and 102 line of longitude. Currently Brandon is within the province of Manitoba.

Fort Pelly and Fort Ellice were both close to the Provisional District of Assiniboia – Province of Manitoba boundary. Fort Ellice within Manitoba, and Fort Pelly within the Provisional District of Assiniboia. It is interesting to note that Fort Livingstone, headquarters for the North-West Mounted Police was the first capital of the North-West Territories 1876-1877. Fort Pelly is the closest settlement to Fort Livingstone. The current village of Fort Pelly is close to the Hudson Bay Company post of Fort Pelly existing between 1824-1912.

The provisional district of Assiniboia in the North-west Territories can be seen to encompass a sizeable district, quite distinct from the current place name of Assiniboia which is a town in the province of Saskatchewan located at section 10 township 8 range 30 west of the 2nd meridian or latitude, longitude 49º 37′ 45” N, 105º 59′ 19” W.*

It is of note that this provisional district of Assiniboia was created as a regional administrative district in 1882 by the North-West Territories. The first district of Assiniboia (1812-1869) referred to the Red River Colony as created from the 1811 Selkirk Concession with the United States.

Similarly, Athabaska (also spelled Athabasca) was the provisional district of the North West Territories for the northern portion of present day Saskatchewan (Township 71 and northward to the District of MacKenzie NWT at the present border between Saskatchewan and the NWT). In 1882, the eastern boundary of the provisional district followed the routes taken by the Athabasca and Slave rivers to an area south of the Clearwater River fork. The eastern boundary then separated from following natural features and was a straight line between the 111th and 112th meridian longitude. By 1895, the eastern border of Athabasca extended easterly absorbing area from the North-west Territories. The eastern border became now the 100th meridian longitude. The western boundary followed along the 120th meridian abutting the province of British Columbia which had been formed on July 20, 1871. The southerly edge of the Athabasca provisional district ran along the provisional districts of Alberta and Saskatchewan along the 18th correction line just north of 54 degrees latitude north. The provisional district of Athabasca lost land to the province of Alberta, and the NWT Keewatin district in 1905 when the province was created. (As an aside, Manitoba’s borders were extended northward absorbing land from the NWT Keewatin District in 1912.)

Within the provisional district of Athabasca was a post office located at north west section 20, township 66, range 22, west of the 4 meridian which opened in 1901 under the name of Athabaska Landing, changing names in 1914 to Athabaska, and again seeing a name change in 1950 to Athabasca. Athabasca is currently located within the province of Alberta boundaries.

Of note is the provisional district of Saskatchewan, NWT, which possessed boundaries very different from the current province of Saskatchewan. In 1882, the eastern boundary of the provisional district was the 100th meridian longitude alongside the District of Keewatin. These borders were modified in 1898, when the provisional district of Saskatchewan did in fact make use of natural geographical features in its boundary, extending eastward to Lake Winnipeg (now wholly within the province of Manitoba) and the Nelson River. Between the 111th and the 112th meridian longitude was a straight line border which formed the border with the provisional district of Alberta. The northern reach extended as far as the Dominion Survey of township 70 about 54 degrees north, and the southern boundary was township 35 located at about 51.97 degrees north. The provisional district of Saskatchewan lost land to the province of Alberta, and the NWT Keewatin district in 1905 when the province was created.

The post office named Saskatchewan operated between 1884 and 1891 at the eastern half of section 35 township 38 range 4 west of the third meridian placing it in the provisional district of Saskatchewan NWT. However Fort Saskatchewan (former name Edmonton) located at Section 32, Township 54, Range 22, West of the fourth meridian, was located in the provisional District of Alberta, NWT. Fort Saskatchewan currently locates in the province of Alberta.

The settlement of Saskatoon (which changed names to Nutana in 1902) was located at section 28 township 36 range 5 west of the third meridian and is usually shown on maps as being within the Provisional District of Saskatchewan, NWT. Nutana, Riversdale and West Saskatoon (change of names in 1902 to Saskatoon) were three villages which amalgamated to form the city of Saskatoon in 1903 latitude longitude 52º 8′ 23” N, 106º 41′ 10” W.

Saskatchewan is commonly abbreviated Sask, and Saskatoon may sometimes be seen as S’toon. The current abbreviation for the province of Saskatchewan adopted by Postal Canada is SK.

By watching the dates of historic documents, it is easier to ascertain correctly the placenames of Saskatchewan ancestors. Oral history may recollect that an ancestor lived in a certain district, which may indeed refer to one of the three provisional districts, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan or Athabasca or it may refer to a One Room Schoolhouse District. Canada became a nation in 1867. Saskatchewan didn’t become a province of Canada until 1905, before this it was a part of the NorthWest Territories (1868-1905). The Rupert’s Land Act 1868 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, authorized the transfer of Rupert’s Land from the control of the Hudson’s Bay Company to the Dominion of Canada. The North West Territories was divided into districts in 1870. The British (in 1670) had given Rupert’s Land to the Hudson Bay Company which gave the company dominion over lands where there was water passageway from the Hudson Bay.

~Article written by Julia Adamson

For further information:

Adamson, Julia. Placenames of Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Gen Web. 03-May-2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Placenames of Saskatchewan Comments Saskatchewan Gen Web. 05-Jun-2005. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. An analysis of Saskatchewan placenames Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Maps. 30-Apr-2005. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse project. Saskatchewan Gen Web. 31-May-2013. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Saskatchewan History Saskatchewan Gen Web. 25-Mar-2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia Maps of Saskatchewan 15-May-2014 Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Rural Municipalities of Sakatchewan Saskatchewan Gen Web E-magazine. May 15, 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia 1921 Canada Census: Place of Habitation :: Rural Municipalities Saskatchewan Gen Web E-magazine. March 24, 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan? February 23, 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located? February 10, 2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created? February 7, 2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. When Were Saskatchewan Homestead Applications Available? February 16, 2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adamson, Julia. Maps of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Gen Web Project 15-May-2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adopted by Saskatchewan Gen Web and Julia Adamson. Saskatchewan Historical Geography May 25, 2014. Family Search. org Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adopted by Saskatchewan Gen Web and Julia Adamson. Saskatchewan May 25, 2014. Family Search. org 24 October 2013. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Adopted by Saskatchewan Gen Web and Julia Adamson. Saskatchewan History. 31 July 2013. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Barry, Bill. Geographic Names of Saskatchewan. 2005. People Places Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-897021-19-2

Comprehensive Atlas of Canada and the World. George Philip. London. 1985.

Daly, Ronald C. The Macmillan School Atlas Revised Metric Edition. Gage Educational Publishing Company. Toronto, ON. 1982. ISBN 0-7715-8268-4.

Evolution Boundaries 1882 Atlas of Saskatchewan. Page 10
RICHARDS, J. Howard & FUNG, K.I. (1969). Atlas of Saskatchewan. Saskatoon: Modern Press. republish date online Saskatchewan Gen Web Saturday, 11-Mar-2000. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Evolution Boundaries 195 Map Atlas of Saskatchewan. Page 10
RICHARDS, J. Howard & FUNG, K.I. (1969). Atlas of Saskatchewan. Saskatoon: Modern Press. republish date online Saskatchewan Gen Web Saturday, 11-Mar-2000. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

File:Manitoba and Northwest Territories (1900).jpg Date accessed May 26, 2014

The First Boundary Extension The Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors Date accessed May 26, 2014

Fort Esperance, Fort Pelly, Fort Livingstone National Historic Sites of Canada Management Plan. Parks Canada. ISBN 978-0-662-49893-3. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Fung, K.I., Bill Barry and Michael Wilson. (1999) Atlas of Saskatchewan Celebrating the Millennium. Saskatoon: Printwest.

Government of Manitoba Postage Stamp Province
Historic Sites of Manitoba Postage Stamp Province 1870 (RM of Alexander) Manitoba Historical Society. 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014.

Historical Maps of Canada. Canadian Geographic Magazine. 2014. Date accessed May 26, 2014

Historical Boundaries Canadian Heritage Government of Canada. 2013-08-28. Date accessed May 26, 2014

Kerr, D.G.G., editor. Historical Atlas of Canada. Page 66, 67 Canadian Historical Associations Committee on a Historical Atlas of Canada. 1960. Thomas Nelson and Sons (Canada) Ltd. Library of Congress catalog card number 60-9189.

Southern Alberta 2012 Aerial Imagery MD of Willow Creek. July 15, 2012. Date accessed May 26, 2014

Watson, J. Wreford, editor. Nelson’s Canadian School Atlas. 1958.

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Saskatoon Normal School ~ Education is the movement from darkness to light.

30 May

Naturally Fresh ~ Spring LIlac by Julia Adamson (AumKleem)) on 500px.com
Naturally Fresh ~ Spring Lilac by Julia Adamson

Education is the movement from darkness to light.

The Saskatoon Normal School (1912-1953)

The Saskatoon Teachers’ College (1953-1964)

University of Saskatchewan ~ Avenue A Campus (1964-1970)

University of Saskatchewan College of Education (1927-present)




E.A. Davies Building, Saskatoon Normal School, Saskatoon Teachers College, University of Saskatchewan Avenue A Campus



Saskatoon Normal School Building (now E.A. Davies Building)


“Undoubtedly there should be a very close relation between the kind of training pursued in a Normal School and the philosophy of education upon which the institution is based. Bismarck is reported to have said, “What you would have appear in the life of the nation, you must first put in your schools.” Might I add that what you would have appear in the life of your pupils, you must first put into your teachers.” ~ Mr. R. W. Asselstine, Principal of the Normal School, Saskatoon
The Normal School’s standard yearbook – The light. 1931-1932

The historical account of certifying teachers in Saskatoon has grown and developed over the course of the last century. Teacher training began where classrooms and instructors were available, and the first permanent building for teacher training, the Saskatoon Normal School, was opened in 1923. Saskatchewan saw rapid growth and expansion in the early 1900s. Pioneering homestead families with young children created a dire demand for teachers in communities.

Saskatchewan’s pioneer slogan, “A new school every day for twenty years,” is paralleled by the need to staff these new schools. To keep these schools open, the Department of Education desperately required teachers.

From these humble beginnings teacher training programs were developed and refined. The one room school house gave way to the consolidated school. Classrooms and educational trends diversified to meet the changes in society through the twentieth century and into the twenty first. From the early beginnings when the Normal Schools provided teacher training, now the College of Education maintains a professional academic curricula on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon.

During these early years of settlement in the Northwest Territories trained teachers were recruited from overseas, and eastern Canada normal schools. When there was no teacher available, local pioneer residents with education were requested to provide education services in public school classes.

Fledgling school districts relied upon their school inspectors to aid them in procuring a teacher. Additionally, in the late 1800s and early 1900s the community could place a request for a teacher who could provide instruction in a foreign language.

Union schools provided early teacher education classes. “The first such classes were offered as “The Science of Teaching” and “School Law”” Horseman Under the 1888 Ordinance of the Northwest Territories, classes were provided wherever there was a two room union school and ten or more pupils desiring teacher training relates Ken Horseman in his article written for the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Teaching inspectors were called upon to provide teacher training, and early union schools in Estevan, Moose Jaw, Moosomin, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton, and Weyburn offered classes to obtain a third class teaching certificate.


“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” said G.R. Anderson, Principal of the Normal School, quoting Henry Brooks Adams. “

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. June 20, 1946.

The early history of the city of Saskatoon began when the scouts for the Temperance Colony Settlement arrived on the shores of the South Saskatchewan River in 1881. Colonists from eastern Canada began settling in 1883. The first permanent school was ready by 1887, and was known as the “Little Stone School”, though classes had begun in temporary locations as early as 1884. This was the beginnings of the village of Saskatoon.

In 1891, the Qu’Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway Company bridge and railway station on the west side of the river saw the start of a settlement across the river from the original Temperance Colony Settlement. In 1901, this growing community was large enough to incorporate as a village, and took the name Saskatoon. The pioneers on the east side changed the name of their settlement to Nutana.

Another group of pioneers settled down also on the west side of the South Saskatchewan River, but across the tracks from the village of Saskatoon. This new community incorporated as Riversdale.

By 1896, 258 students were taking Normal School classes in the Northwest Territories, and the first official Normal School was established at Alexandra School on Hamilton Street (the Red School) in Regina, provisional district of Assiniboia, Northwest Territories. Teaching classes moved out of the Regina Union School on Hamilton Street and 11th Avenue (the White School) at this time.

“The purpose of the Teacher Training College is to afford opportunity, both theoretical and practical, for the training of teachers, of both sexes, for kindergartens and elementary schools and secondary schools, of principals, supervisors, and superintendents of schools, and of specialists in various branches of school work, involving normal schools and colleges” ~New York’s Teachers College, 1888, later the Columbia University, 1893

The number of public schools established by the turn of the century was 574 which were served by 592 teachers. According to Statistics Canada, the population of The Territories was booming, growing from 56,446 persons in 1881 to 66,799 in 1891, and more than doubling to 158,940 by 1901.

In 1905, there were 869 school districts in operation according to Ronald A. Manzer. It was in this self same year, on September 1, that Saskatchewan became a province. Until this date, Saskatoon lay within the provisional district of Saskatchewan, in the Northwest Territories.

The growing communities of Saskatoon, Riversdale and Nutana merged together as the city of Saskatoon in 1906. It was during this year, that the number of schools in the province nearly doubled since 1900 coming to a total of 942 schools in existence, with 1,193 teachers serving these schools.

Saskatoon was chosen as the site for the University of Saskatchewan in 1909. The initial buildings were contracted out in 1910, the College Building, Saskatchewan Hall student’s residence, Agricultural Engineering, Stock Pavilion, barn and Poultry Science building.

In 1909, Deputy Minister of Education, W.P. Bate published an article in The Daily Phoenix (Saskatoon’s Newspaper) urging students to send in their applications if they desire training at a Normal School in Saskatoon. Applications were received, however the number was below the needed ten applications to warrant local sessions.

In the early years of the twentieth century, Saskatchewan would boast that new schools were forming at the rate of one for every day of the year ( not including Sundays and holidays ). 1909 figures showed 1,958 public school districts serving the province, with an additional 31 Roman Catholic Public school districts, twelve Roman Catholic Separate School districts, and two Protestant Separate schools. These numbers rose in the 1910 school year, in 1911, there were 2,251 school districts in the province of Saskatchewan served by a corresponding increase in teachers who now number 2,973.

There was a tendency of the one room school house to expand. Communities rebuilt older schools or moved in additions forming two room union schools or three room consolidated schools. The number of schools in the province climbed to 2,468 school districts by June of that same year. The growth and prosperity of the province showed the rise in population which was seconded by the increase in school districts needed by the burgeoning population. Such an increase in population and the education of its children demanded, as well, an increase in the numbers of teachers available.

The population of Saskatchewan was mainly of a rural nature, Statistics Canada recording 73,739 persons residing rurally in 1901, and 361,067 by 1911 increasing 390%. The urban population increased from 17,550 persons to 131,365 an increase of 649 per cent. The population of Saskatchewan had an increase in population of 401,153 or 439 percent jumping from about 91,279 in 1901 to 492,232 by 1911. (Saskatchewan populations were estimated for 1901 when it was part of the Northwest Territories.)

Nutana Collegiate Institute.  In the years 1912-1913, the Normal School rented rooms from the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute (later known as the Nutana Collegiate) for classes Nutana Collegiate Institute.  In the years 1912-1913, the Normal School rented rooms from the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute (later known as the Nutana Collegiate) for classes

Saskatoon Collegiate Institute (later known as the Nutana Collegiate)

In the years 1912-1913, the Normal School rented rooms from the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute (later known as the Nutana Collegiate) for classes, this was a temporary location. On August 20, 1912, the Saskatoon Normal School began, with twelve second class student teachers and fifty third class students. In 1912, the University of Saskatchewan also rented rooms from on the third flow of the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute.

In 1913, Dr. J.A. Sneel presided as principal of the Saskatoon Normal School.On Campus News  A.J. Mather was principal of the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute between 1908-1915, followed by A.J. Pyke. The Saskatoon Collegiate was erected in 1910, and gave up the name Saskatoon Collegiate when Bedford Road Collegiate was constructed in 1923 on the “Saskatoon side” or west side of the South Saskatchewan River according to Eric O. Burt. 55 students from were enrolled for the first session held between August to October, 1912. During this time, President Murray of the University of Saskatchewan provided lectures on the philosophy of education, and Normal School students attended lectures offered to the agricultural students at the U of S as well.


“There is one thing lacking in this country … I would like to see some way to make the teaching profession a real profession – a profession that a man or a woman can spend his or her life at – giving sufficient returns for the labor and brains demanded, and the time and money spent in preparation for it – carrying with it the honor that attaches to other professions, not the mere unwritten honour of work well done, but something tangible and recognized.

” ~ Chief Justice Haultain May 31, 1913. Bocking. 1979.

Buena Vista School opened 1913-1914, the Normal School rented four rooms and relocated to this location in 1914 Buena Vista School opened 1913-1914, the Normal School rented four rooms and relocated to this location in 1914

Buena Vista School

When Buena Vista School opened 1913-1914, the Normal School rented four rooms and relocated to this location in 1914 for two years. The Saskatoon Normal School began as did the Regina Normal School utitlizing temporary locations until a permanent building could be built. It was May 30, 1913 when the cornerstone was laid by Haultain for the permanent location of the Regina Normal School on College Avenue and Broad Street, Regina. It would be another ten years before the Saskatoon Normal School held classes in the Saskatoon Normal School building.

Construction began in 1914 on Student’s Residence No. 2 in the University Campus. When the building was completed by 1916, it received the name “Qu’Appelle Hall.” The University of Saskatchewan converted dormitory rooms on the first floor to house the Saskatoon Normal School. Classes commenced in the new location in 1916.

By 1916, the minimum number of persons applying for normal class rose from ten students to 25 persons who indicated a desire to attend third class school sessions. Only fifty students were to be accepted for third class classes in Regina and Saskatoon, however first and second class sessions were also offered in both Provincial Normal Schools in Regina and Saskatoon.

St. Thomas Presbyterian Church now St. Thomas Wesley United Church.  Classes for the Saskatoon Normal School relocated in 1919, to both St. Mary's separate school, and St. Thomas Presbyterian Church which provided space for classrooms. St. Thomas Presbyterian Church now St. Thomas Wesley United Church.    Classes for the Saskatoon Normal School relocated in 1919, to both St. Mary's separate school, and St. Thomas Presbyterian Church which provided space for classrooms.

St. Thomas Presbyterian church now St. Thomas Wesley United Church.

Classes for the Saskatoon Normal School moved again in 1919, St. Mary’s separate school, and St. Thomas Presbyterian Church provided space for classrooms. St. Thomas Presbyterian church was constructed at the intersection of Avenue H and 20th Street in 1908, and expanded in the fall of 1911. In 1934, the Riverside Methodist Church on Avenue G and 19th Street (later named Wesley Methodist Church) and the St. Thomas Presbyterian Church both united and became known as St. Thomas Wesley United Church. St. Mary’s Community School, now demolished, was designed by David Webster in a Collegiate style in 1913.

St. Mary's School built 1913. now demolished.  Classes for the Saskatoon Normal School relocated in 1919, to both St. Mary's separate school, and St. Thomas Presbyterian Church which provided space for classrooms.
St. Mary's School built 1913. now demolished.  Classes for the Saskatoon Normal School relocated in 1919, to both St. Mary's separate school, and St. Thomas Presbyterian Church which provided space for classrooms.

St. Mary’s Separate School

If 25 students submitted applications for Third Class sessions, then centers at Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton, Estevan, Prince Albert, Moosomin, Weyburn, Swift Current, North Battleford and Moose Jaw would establish classes for teacher training in addition to classes held at the Saskatoon and Regina Normal Schools. This was a change from the earlier minimum of ten students required to mandate a class at a Union or Normal school.

In 1919 discussions arose to the permanent location of the Normal School site, whether the teacher training school should be located on the University of Saskatchewan campus grounds or elsewhere. Discussions ensued between Walter C. Murray (President of the University of Saskatchewan 1908-1937), the Government of Saskatchewan Department of Education, University of Saskatchewan architect David Brown, Saskatoon Normal School board trustees especially Dr. J.L. Hogg, and Dr. George M. Weir Principal of the (Saskatoon Normal School 1918-1924).

The first option offered on the University campus consisted of four acres, however, ten acres were requested by the Saskatoon Normal School. At this same time, the University of Saskatchewan was considering requests by the government for a tuberculosis sanatorium and a School for the Deaf.

By the spring of the following year, 1920, the decision was made after consideration of several sites, to construct the Saskatoon Normal School of brick and Bedford stone in the gothic architectural stylings overlooking the west side of Saskatoon atop the hill on Avenue A North.

While the Saskatoon Normal School building was under construction, the teacher training sessions were held at St. Paul’s school on 22nd Street. St. Paul’s School had constructed a temporary building on the corner of 22nd street and 4th avenue in 1913 which was replaced by a permanent building in 1926. Prior to this, St. Paul’s school held classes in St. Paul’s church basement which had served since 1911.



E.A. Davies Building, Saskatoon Normal School, Saskatoon Teachers College, University of Saskatchewan Avenue A Campus



Saskatoon Normal School Building (now E.A. Davies Building)


The Saskatchewan provincial population continued to swell, reaching 757,510 by the time of the 1921 census count showing an increase of 265,078 persons since 1911, or 54 per cent growth. At this time, there were 538,552 persons residing rurally in Saskatchewan compared to 218,958 in urban centres. This represented an increase of 49 per cent in the rural population since 1911 and showed 66 per cent in urban growth.

It was February 12, 1923 when the Provincial Normal School was officially opened in Saskatoon. The cornerstone was laid on May 24, 1921 by Lieutenant Governor, The Honorable H. Newland following architectural plans drawn up by the provincial architect, Maurice W. Sharon. The Saskatoon Normal School was one of the projects undertaken by Saskatoon architect David Webster under the supervision of Sharon. The building opened March 1922 at 1030 Avenue A North (now known as Idylwyld Drive North).

Dr. George M. Weir, principal of the Saskatoon Normal School between 1918 and 1924, went on to become the “first professor of education at the University of British Columbia, first director of the UBC Department (later School) of Education, and co-author of Survey of the School System.”Lord p. 8

The provincial normal schools sought to increase the understanding the realities of rural life and teaching in a rural setting. To this end, Normal School students were offered opportunities to practice teaching under the watchful eye of their fellow normal school classmates and instructors. Weir was followed by Dr. J.S. Huff as principal of the Saskatoon Normal School, for a time period between about 1924-1927 which was actually Dr. Huff’s second term as Normal School principal.

Table Showing Number of Pupils, Teachers and Schools 1904-1920 in Saskatchewan, Canada
Table Showing Number of Pupils, Teachers and Schools 1904-1920 in Saskatchewan, Canada

Student enrollment during the 1923 school term showed 404 student teachers at Regina Normal School and 335 enrolled in the Saskatoon Normal School. This trend of a higher student teacher population in the southern portion of the province continued in 1924 with 466 student teachers enrolled in the Regina Normal School, with 381 in Saskatoon. The Saskatchewan Correspondence School arose in 1925 to offer classes for secondary schooling supplementing the province’s seven initial collegiate institutes.


“The purpose of education is to fit the soul of the child. No system of education can give an education to a child. He must get it for himself. All we can do is to provide the facilities for so doing and we never must lose sight of this fact; that the purpose of education is not to make people farmers or mechanics, not to keep them in any particular walk of life. The objective is to see the boy and girl gets the facilities for the development of his moral nature, intelligence and physical nature. Let him develop his intelligence so he may know; give him the moral training so that he can do properly; house that spirit in a body that is clean and sound. This is just as good for the non-English speaking people as it is for the English speaking people.” ~ Honourable S. J. Latta Minister of Education
The Morning Leader. Jan. 15, 1926.

The large number of students applying to the Normal School for admission resulted in additional criteria for acceptance and a higher competitive admission standard. To be accepted in 1926, students applying for classes must submit diplomas and certificates from Saskatchewan institutions attesting to their standing. The Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Estevan, Moosomin, Yorkton, and Prince Albert centers were to provide special sessions for third class teacher training if there are a minimum 25 students registering at each local rural center. In 1927, the Moose Jaw Normal School opened for teacher training sessions.

The staffing at the normal school consisted of permanent teachers along with school inspectors during the winter months. The school inspectors brought practical lessons and how to overcome problems faced directly in the country school. Serving at the Normal school, the inspectors kept in touch with the latest advances in education which they shared on their visits to the one room school districts. Following Dr. Huff, Principal Joseph A. Snell, M.A. LL.D. was appointed the principal of the Saskatoon Normal School serving the years around 1927 and 1929.


“I am not properly qualified to advise farmers as to the education of their sons, but being country born and bred I sometimes date to think what I should like my school education in the country to be if I had the privilege of living my life over again….I should like that there should come to me a leader or teacher – call him or her what you will – who could lift me out of my littleness, my narrowness of vision, my wrong conceptions, my crudeness in thought and manner, and make me able to appreciate the true, the beautiful and the good, make me able to understand the beauty and opportunity in my own environment and, above all, anxious to live and serve with the great and good of all time as my models and inspiration. I should not care to hear about crops and stock and poultry all day long. Virtue is more to be desired that prize stock and a happy home than a good bank balance. ” ~ A farmer’s letter quoted by the Honourable S. J. Latta Minister of Education
The Morning Leader. Jan. 15, 1926.

According to Karen Briere, “the College of Education with practice schools became a realty in 1927 when a School of Education was established under the College of Arts and Sciences.” In 1928, the University of Saskatchewan established the College of Education. The Saskatoon Normal School remained under the jurisdiction of the provincial Department of Education.

Mr. R. W. Asseltine as the Principal of the Saskatoon Normal School was quoted for his memorable speeches during his tenure 1930-1934. Saskatchewan recorded a growth in population in the decade 1921-1931 of 24.33 per cent reaching a population count of 921,785. The rural population was enumerated at 630,880 persons, with the urban centres at 290,905, over this decade, the rural areas showed a growth of 17% and the urban centres of 33%. Over the year of 1928, there were 4,489 more students enrolled in primary and secondary schools over 1927. Elementary schools grew from 211,599 pupils to 215,968, an increase of 4,369, high schools increased by 120 pupils. 51 new school districts formed over the 1927-1928 school year bringing the total to 4,826 in the province, (this number includes the eight Protestant and 24 Roman Catholic separate schools).

In response to this growth, 1,866 teachers received licenses in 1928 for Normal School Training. In the field there were 8,397 teachers and of these 7,192 were trained with higher than a third class certificate, or 86% of the teachers in the 4,826 school districts. The Department of Education’s Report dated December 31, 1928 urged increased Normal School accommodation, with the possibility of opening a fourth Normal School. “At the present time our Normal Schools at Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw are overcrowded and yet we are scarcely training a sufficient number of teachers to supply the demand.”The Morning Leader. Feb. 17, 1930


“Twenty years is a long time in the life of an individual; it is infinitesimal in the life of an institution. The life of either, however is important not so much on account of the number of years each has lived as it is for what each stands.” ~ Mr. R. W. Asselstine, Principal of the Normal School, Saskatoon
The Normal School’s standard yearbook – The light. 1931-1932

Estimate of Population of Saskatchewan 1931-1950 Chart
Estimate of Population of Saskatchewan 1931-1950 Chart

As the new year began in 1931, 7,619 pupils were recorded increasing by 140 students over the previous year. The enrollment broke records held for student population in Saskatchewan.
Principal C.P. Seeley served around the years 1935, 1937 and 1938.


The development of character is the supreme task and privilege of the training school of today. The future of civilization will depend upon human beings who know social righteousness as well as scientific truth. Enlightenment without ethics is a social menace and an educational fraud.” Dr. G.M. Anderson, Principal Saskatoon Normal School.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix June 22, 1951.

The number of school districts increased rapidly across the province with the influx of settlement. By 1937 Manzer reports 5,146 school districts, an exponential increase of 590%.

Examination results following the Normal School sessions were published in the local newspaper announcing the names of those students who successfully earned their interim first class teaching certificate, second class certificate or Third Class Licenses.


“The ideal of the Normal School…was to give the students some idea or ideal of the teaching profession and to help them build up the correct professional attitude.”
Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. May 15, 1933.

Seeley spoke to the advantages of converting rural one room school houses into larger school units enumerating several benefits; among them, the “ability to adjust teachers more wholesomely to the life of the community; elimination of the “army of amateurs” who experimented on the lives of children and provision for the possibility of better supervision.”Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. October 4, 1938.

The school term over the years 1939-1940 included 344 student teachers enrolled for teaching sessions at Saskatoon, 272 at Regina and 211 at Moose Jaw. In the summer of 1940, classes were relocated to Lakeview School in Regina, as the Regina Normal School was taken over for military purposes. However, classes proceeded as usual at Saskatoon and Moose Jaw Normal Schools.

Over the school term 1940-1941 there were 877 student teachers enrolled for teacher training classes. The decade of 1931-1941 showed the first signs of a dramatic population shift from rural areas to urban centres. Rurally, 600,846 were enumerated, compared to 995,146 representing a negative trend of 5 per cent rurally since 1931, and a huge 242 per cent growth to the urban centres over the decade. To compare the rural and urban populations since the beginning of the century, rurally Saskatchewan expanded from about 74,000 persons in 1901 to about 601,000 in 1941 a growth of 715 per cent, whereas, the urban centres swelled from 17,550 to 995,146 showing an increase of 5,570 per cent over this same 40 year time period.


Teachers according to Salary Received in Saskatchewan 1969
Teachers according to Salary Received in Saskatchewan 1939

“We can’t afford to neglect our children, …They are our greatest natural resource and we neglect them at our own peril and the peril of the future.” ~ Professor Carlyle King. Saskatoon Star Phoenix Dec. 2, 1942.

According to Professor King, there were five problems in the educational system, “the inability of many school districts to finance rural schools on a decent educational standard, inadequate facilities and rapid deterioration of rural schools, inadequate teachers’ salaries and scandalous arrears of those salaries which were forcing teachers to other fields, inequality of educational opportunity and the hopeless inadequacy of the present course of studies, particularly in high schools, to fit the student for modern living.” Saskatoon Star Phoenix Dec. 2, 1942.

In the summer of 1941 the Saskatoon Normal School officials surveyed vacant public school space for the continued operation of the teacher training classes in the event that the Normal School building is given to the Defence Department.

The Normal School gave up its building on Avenue A North (Idylwyld Drive North) to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, and the first class of the Initial Training School (ITS)#7 were held December 8, 1941 in Bedford Road Collegiate. The Normal School location was chosen as the site of the ITS administration office and Royal Canadian Air Force R.C.A.F. recruit dormitories. The Normal School and Bedford Road Collegiate were supplemented by new buildings beside the Normal School for additional training purposes.

Enlistment in the war effort drained the provincial educational staff of personnel. Summer teacher training classes were offered to address the teacher shortage. A huge enrollment of 800 students registered for one of these sessions.

During this time, Lorraine Blashill, relates that the School Board made accommodations at Wilson School for the Normal School sessions offered by the Department of Education. To further accommodate the war effort, students from Wilson School were then themselves relocated to North Park or King Edward Schools. Wilson school, in a new 8 room building, had opened for classes in the fall of 1928 had served the City Park area. Erected on Duke Street and located between Seventh and Eighth Avenue Wilson replaced wood frame school houses. North Park school was located on the corner of Balmoral Street and 9th Avenue. King Edward school built in 1904 by R.W. Caswell was located in Saskatoon’s down town (on 25th Street at the corner of 6th Avenue) six blocks from Wilson School. Used for public school classes, King Edward School was sold in 1911 and served as Saskatoon’s city hall, and the second Kind Edward built.

Even in these new temporary accommodations, the school year of 1941-1942 showed an enrollment of 950 students taking normal school sessions in the province of Saskatchewan, and 486 the following year, 1942-1943. The next school term showed a drop in student teachers electing to take teacher training with only 450 student teachers attending classes.

Education Minister Woodrow Lloyd announced that the Regina Normal School was to close in the fall of 1944 due to declining student enrollment. The Saskatoon and Moose Jaw normal schools remained open to continue teacher training services. In the 1945-1946 school term, the Saskatoon Normal School had an enrollment of 617 student teachers, 76% were women. During this time period, it was estimated that there were in excess of 2,500 teaches with temporary certificates teaching in the province of Saskatchewan.

During the second world war, a four-year undergraduate program was designed by the College of Education. Although teacher-training was conferred to universities across Canada, the declaration of war in 1939, put many educational policies and procedures of advanced education in the background. Military training, scientific developments and research into social problems were brought to the forefront for post-school education.


“Education….is not for ourselves. It is for the training of human personality to serve the community….You will by your example, create the moral force of human character, the basis of society.” Reverend A.B.B. Moore Principal-elect of St. Andrew’s College at the 1946 Saskatoon Normal School graduation.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix June 20, 1946.

Teacher training standards were raised to a two year minimum to receive certification, the classes could be taken at either of the Normal Schools or the University of Saskatchewan, College of Education. Classes could be shared between the two institutions, with a year taken at the Normal School, followed by a year at the University.

In the fall of 1948, the Moose Jaw normal school had 220 enrolled, and the Saskatoon normal school 280. Students were trained for the 38 week course rather than the six week short course, as there were already study supervisors in the school districts filling in for the teacher shortage. Students graduating from the 38 week course earned interim first-class certificates. In comparison, the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Education showed an enrollment of 400 students, 20 per cent less than the previous year.


“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William Arthur Ward.
Edudemic 2012.

Dr. G.R. Anderson served as principal of the Saskatoon Normal School until June 1954. Dr. Anderson noted that between the two provincial normal schools and the University education department 750 students would graduate in 1951. However, an estimated 2,000 places were expected to be vacated by beginning of the fall school term. The teacher’s shortage arose from matrimony, economic and social conditions. At this time, “500 rural schools in Saskatchewan were staffed by student supervisors, with limited academic and no professional training. Still another 400 to 500 classrooms were staffed by teachers holding temporary and conditional certificates. Worst of all, 1,000 of the 7,2000 teachers now teaching in Saskatchewan Schools [1951] did not intend to continue in the profession next fall.” Saskatoon Star Phoenix June 22, 1951

At the Saskatoon Normal School convocation in 1951, 75 percent of the graduates were women of the 348 receiving graduation certificates. Concern was raised over the number of teachers available in the teaching profession, if the shortage was due to matrimony along with social and economic conditions.


“You need never apologize for being a teacher. You have set your feet on the path chosen by many of the world’s truly great men. … The teacher takes the living mind and moulds it.” ~ Lorne F. Titus Chief superintendent of Saskatchewan schools.

“Teacher’s College” was the new name given to the provincial normal schools in 1953. Students received teaching education rather than teacher training. There was much call to re-open the Regina Normal School to assist the Moose Jaw and Saskatoon Teacher’s Colleges with teacher education classes. The Regina Normal School building on College Avenue and Broad Street re-opened its doors in 1957 under the new name, the Regina Teacher’s College, however this same year, the Moose Jaw Teacher’s College closed its doors.


“You are handling the most precious commodity in the universe, human personality.” ~ Premier T.C. Douglas.

By 1960, the Saskatoon Teacher’s College recorded an enrollment of 523 student teachers. Even though there were more stringent enrollment requirements for students registering due to the high numbers of students submitting applications, 584 students attended the Saskatoon Teacher’s College during the 1961-1962 school year. Across the province, the larger consolidated schools with many classrooms had replaced the rural one room schools serving districts approximately an area four miles square.


It is essential for the children to get better education, and we adults must practice what we preach, otherwise, no change will take place in our society.” ~ Dr. W. Steinson, principal of the Saskatoon Teacher’s College.

In 1964 both the Saskatoon and the Regina teacher’s colleges closed, and all teacher education came under the jurisdiction of the University of Saskatchewan. The architectural design for the original Normal School building accommodated 360 students. And although the Saskatoon Teacher’s College now came under the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Education, classes continued in the building at 1030 Avenue A North. The new name of the Saskatoon Teacher’s College became University of Saskatchewan Avenue A campus and the Regina Teacher’s College became University of Saskatchewan ~ Regina Campus. The building on Avenue A in Saskatoon remained in use until the University of Saskatchewan constructed an education building on campus.

The 1964-1965 school term received 8,070 registrations at for classes at the University of Saskatchewan ~ Avenue A Campus compared to 1,840 students expected at the University of Saskatchewan ~ Regina Campus. A quota was set at accepting a maximum of 450 students because of space available at the Avenue A Campus. “In 1964 the program of the normal schools was accredited by the University of Saskatchewan as a year of work toward the bachelor of education degree, and the institution became recognized as a junior college of the university.”

University of Saskatchewan College of Education
University of Saskatchewan  College of Education University of Saskatchewan  College of Education
College of Education University of Saskatchewan

The August 22, 1964 Saskatoon Star Phoenix reported that student teachers wishing to teach grades one through nine could achieve their Interim Standard “A” certificate after one year of education at either of the two campuses which were now amalgamated under the University of Saskatchewan. Certification of teachers remained with the Department of Education, and teacher education was placed in the domain of the University of Saskatchewan.

During the 1964 school year, 396 students received classes from the Avenue A Campus, and 6,927 applicants applied for classes in the 1963-1964 school term. During this same year, 1,003 students were expected.

Between 1967-1970, the Education Building was constructed on the University of Saskatchewan campus, with the first classes held in the spring of 1970. This new building was constructed to serve “2,500 university students, 200 graduate students, and 120 faculty members.”The Phoenix Sept 22, 1984 Teaching requires a post-secondary Bachelor’s Degree, such as a Bachelor of Education to be qualified as a teacher.

It was in 1986, that the building used by the Saskatoon Teachers College was re-named E.A. Davies building to honour Fred Davies, principal of the Canadian Vocational Training School, the precursor training institute of Kelsey Institute of Arts and Sciences (Now Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology SIAST.)


“This building was named the E. A. (Fred) Davies Building on February 10, 1986 by the Honorable George McLeod, Minister of Advanced Education and Manpower.
This building is dedicated to the honour of E.A. (Fred) Davies, pioneer of technical education in Saskatchewan since 1941. In 1947, he became the principal of the Canadian Vocational Training School, an early vocational centre located on the present campus of Kelsey Institute. In 1963, Mr. Davies accepted the position of Consultant to the Principal of the newly opened institute. After his retirement from post-secondary education at the age of 71, Mr. Davies was ordained as a deacon and served for another twelve years as the priest of St. Luke’s Church in Saskatoon.

In 1975, Fred Davies was honoured as Saskatoon’s “Citizen of the Year” in recognition of his outstanding contributions to education, community organization and church activities. This building, appropriately renamed in his honour, has served Saskatchewan residents since 1923, first as the Normal School and later as the Teacher’s College.

Government of Saskatchewan

Premier Grant Devine.”
~Plaque installed within the E.A. Davies Building along with the portrait of E.A. (Fred) Davies.

A reflection on the progress of teacher training and teacher education in Saskatoon, honours the era of the Saskatoon Normal School, and embraces the remarkable journey to the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan. As Dr. Fast, Director of Education says, the schools of today are building on the tradition of excellence begun by those of yesterday, preparing new generations for the challenging and changing world they will soon enter.”Blashill p. 155 Every generation, since time immemorial, has passed on its knowledge, traditions, values, skills and beliefs its stock of values, traditions, methods and skills to the next generation. The role, curriculum, and course of study for the teacher varies, however the main thrust; to facilitate student learning by a method of instruction remains the same. The normal schools provided the pioneering rituals, traditions and standards, nay the “norms” for teaching behaviours, specialized education, values, and code of ethics to maintain the teacher in good professional standing. Teachers colleges provided teachers with the ability to successfully meet or exceed the public expectations to educate the nation’s children. “The College of Education is the second largest college at the University of Saskatchewan and has graduated over 30,000 students in its 80-year history. To become an educator through the U of S College of Education is to join a tradition of excellence in teaching and learning.”~College of Education 1994-2009.


“In the long story of the struggle of mankind to fit its youth better for the activities of life, there has been a great variety of aims, and that the most common characteristic in all these was the tendency to throw the whole emphasis on some one factor. At oem time it was the acquisition of knowledge and information; at another the supreme importance lay in the development of the individual, then the welfare of society and the production of workmen skilled in some particular vocation by means of some specific study.
 

Probably a more fitting comparison could not be found than in the fable of “The Six Blind Men from Hindustan.” Like the elephant in this fable, education has many parts, many factors, none of which we can afford to neglect; and like the elephant, too, doubtless there are some of them of greater importance than others. The tail, the trunk, the leg do not constitute the elephant; it is something vastly more important than one of these or all of them put together. How much truer is this of the individual whom we wish to educate, and of the idea which we call education.

” ~ Mr. R. W. Asselstine, Principal of the Normal School, SaskatoonThe Normal School’s standard yearbook – The light. 1931-1932

Article written by Julia Adamson

Note the majority of sources gave the name Asseltine in this spelling, though it was given as Asselstine as well.
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Bibliography

Mirror Webpage on Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project


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Education is the movement from darkness to light. quotation Allan Bloom

William Wallace Gibson ~ First Flight of a Canadian Airplane

22 Nov

Shadow Dancing - Explore

William Wallace (Billy) GIBSON (March 28, 1876 – November 25, 1965)

Nothing ever built arose to touch the skies unless some man dreamed that it should, some man believed that it could, and some man willed that it must.

~Charles Kettering

William Wallace (Billy) GIBSON was born March 28, 1876 in Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland to William GIBSON and Margaret LEES. W.W. Gibson or Billy arrived in Canada on June 20, 1883 when he was just seven years old. His kites flew across the prairies as GIBSON learned the basic principals of aerodynamics succeeding at launching a craft heavier than air into flight ~ detailed crafts carried aloft behind a galloping pony ridden by a young boy with a dream.

These kites, powered by wind were instrumental in the research and development of airplane design. The GIBSON Twin Plane and GIBSON Multi Plane pioneer aircraft to come utilized both motor and propellor for their propulsion system. Without formal schooling, without a team of engineers, Gibson mastered lift, aspect ratio, stability and construction flying his gopher piloted kites – his initial tethered aircrafts before launching the first successful all Canadian airplane.

“Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives,”

~ Socrates.

LOGANSTON

“Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough.You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”

James Matthew Barrie

His father, William Gibson born February 14, 1847 in Auchinleck, Ayrshire, Scotland, was one of three stonemasons who arrived in the Moffat area of Saskatchewan June 1, 1883, and erected a fine stone house over the years 1884 to 1885, naming it Loganston, the very first stone house of the district. This stone mason, noticed the limestone and granite stones across his field, and decided to erect a kiln, and as Haensel wrote in Western People, Loganston house is still standing. The family followed these two years of hard labour with more, constructing as well a fine barn. Moffat, Assiniboia, North West Territories is reminiscent of the historic romance movie Brigadoon according to author Kay Parley of They cast a long shadow: the story of Moffat, Saskatchewan.

Forty families left from the shores of the Bonnie Doon river, and re-located near Wolseley on the banks of Wolf Creek. As William Gibson said of the Canadian North West, “Strawberry, raspberry, brambleberry, gooseberry, black currant, cherry, cranberry, saskatoon berry, and others. Mrs. Gibson has made over 100 lbs of jelly this summer from wild fruit” He also spoke of fertilizers, “I have used manure to a few potatoes to try the effect it had along with others planted without manure, and they did no better with it.” in the book “What settlers say of the Canadian North-West a plain document of the experiences of farmers residing in the country; The Canadian Pacific Railway Manitoba, the Canadian north-west testimony of actual settlers. GIBSON’s father also wrote a journal, which was published in the Ayrshire post from which the early experiences of these hardworking Scottish pioneer families is recorded and known.

BILLY GIBSON CHILDHOOD YEARS

“Pale Face Jumping Deer”

Oh, oh, oh!
Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Let’s go fly a kite!

— from “Mary Poppins” Written by Robert B. Sherman

Kites were always a passion, and gophers were his first pilots as they flew above the prairie fields. Known as the Bird Man of Balgonie GIBSON spent years on his hobby experimenting with flight. His power plant propelling his kites from the spring end of the window blinds encouraged to go further. One of his kites measured in at seven feet (2.1 meters) and carried a basket packed full of nine gophers. Just imagine GIBSON galloping across the Saskatchewan prairies on his little pony flying his elaborately designed kite in his wake, learning and studying the principals of aerodynamics.

In 1883, a small seven year old is often found playing with the grandson of the great Chief Piapot, the Cree Indian Reserve of Piapot being 25 miles northwest of Regina was near the Loganston Farm of Moffat. The book Silver Cloud by GIBSON reminisces about the friendship that had developed amongst these friends. Little Billy Gibson soon became friends with the children of Grey Eagle, and Billy received the name “Pale Face Jumping Deer” as he could outjump his playmates from page 22 of Canada’s flying heritage by Frank Henry Ellis (1896-1979.

GIBSON attended the Abbotsford School as a child, and the first school classes were held in the attic of Loganston house for the first month which began approximately the spring of 1886 under Andrew T. Fotheringham. The classes then took place in the abandoned Robert Yule log home under Mr. Argue, a University student. By December 18, 1885, the Abbotsford Protestant School District #37 was organized. The school building was erected in 1888, and classes began May 6, 1889. At the age of 13, (1889) he left school to assist the family on the farm located at the SE quarter of section 4 township 16 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian. The family adopted one of the many British Home Children, Johnny Vipond another 13 year old arriving in Canada from the Dr. Bernardo Home in the spring of 1889.

BIRD MAN OF BALGONIE

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

~Leonardo Da Vinci.

It was in 1900, when he set out on his own starting up a blacksmith in Wolseley. Purchasing hardware dry goods in Regina, he re-located to Balgonie and started a hardware venture there about a year later which had become quite prosperous. The very first automobile in Saskatchewan was owned by GIBSON IN 1902. Around 1903, at the age of 27, GIBSON blossomed. He invested in a railway construction venture. He accepts a contract to construct 42 miles of right-of-way; 20 miles north of Wolseley, and another 22 miles west of the Touchwood Hills. As a railway contractor, he completed 40 miles of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.[4]

GIBSON also founded a hardware business in Craven, Saskatchewan with a partner, Olin Abner Beach (1882-1966) in 1904, Beach and Gibson Hardware Store. Business warranted another hardware and implement business in Cupar, Saskatchewan.[1][2]

News of the Wright brother’s success in 1903 spurred GIBSON onward. During these years GIBSON had switched from flying kites to experimenting with model airplanes. The spring in a Venetian blind roller powered his model airplanes. He launched a large paper glider from the roof top of his hardware store in Balgonie using it as a prototype model for a man carrying aeroplane with engine.

Privacy was a determining Scottish trait inherited by the young inventor. He tested out aviation engines in the early hours of daybreak to avoid scepticism and mockery as well thus protecting his credit rating. It was in this time he developed a four cylinder air cooled engine, testing this aeroplane engine at Balgonie, Saskatchewan June 19, 1904.

The railroad fever had the potential for a large payoff, however GIBSON’s gamble failed. The Railway venture caused GIBSON to loose $40,0000 within a year and a half. To make ends meet, he was required to sell off his chain of hardware stores which had arisen in Balgonie, Cupar and Craven. William Gibson, his father, began employment with the Forestry Division of British Columbia’s Department of Education. GIBSON also left for British Columbia with his family in 1906.[3]

GIBSON, an adventurous soul, had traveled to Victoria seeking fortune in the gold rush. Around and about 1908, he meets Lucky Grant who had his gold mine prospect up for sale. GIBSON purchased a 17 foot boat and set sail up the ocean coast, arriving in Clayoquot eight days later. Here He re-united with Grant and they traversed overland to the Leora Mine. Immediately GIBSON purchased the prospect selling Locky, his boat, camera, rifle, field glasses and some cash. GIBSON knew what was required to mine this spot, and traveled back to Victoria for a water wheel driven small stamp-mill. The mining venture at the Blackpearl Mine was productive, and GIBSON was able to flip the mine for $10,000 cash early in 1910.

FIRST SUCCESSFUL CANADIAN AIRPLANE ENGINE

GIBSON TWIN PLANE

“”This plane can teach you more things and give you more gifts than I ever could. It won’t get you a better job, a faster car, or a bigger house. But if you treat it with respect and keep your eyes open, it may remind you of some things you used to know — that life is in the moment, joy matters more than money, the world is a beautiful place, and that dreams really, truly are possible.”

~ Lane Wallace

He was now financed for the era of “aeromania” fueled by the Wright Brother’s flight in North Carolina. Tristan Hopper of the British Columbia Magazine, relates that France’s Louis Blériot was embarking on his dream to fly cross the English Channel, Magician Harry Houdini was working upon a French biplane in Australia. Even the Canadian inventor Alexander Graham Bell assembled together an American engineering team and embarked on a mission to build a flying machine.

Now GIBSON had the means to return to his aviation hobby and settle in at Victoria B.C. He purchased a large home on 146 Clarence Street in the James Bay region of Victoria. He was able to make use of Beacon Hill for test flights. Neighbors would flap their arms and just at his experiments, so again he took to the early morning hours, and night time trial runs. His initial hand built engine did not take to the air, however GIBSON persevered. In an interview with the Victoria Colonist July 1909, GIBSON states, “The machine is [intended to be] 65 feet long and 14 feet width at its widest part. There it differs radically from all the machines hitherto made. They all present their widest part to the wind, proceeding, so to speak, sideways. I go straight ahead, like a steamboat or a fish.” Gibson was convinced that a long, narrow air craft was the best design promoting flight and diminishing the risk of capsizing in the air.

On the other side of the world, Bleriot was undertaking a flight across the English Channel, July 25, 1909. And coincidentally, GIBSON make a wager of $1000 that he would achieve a flight to Seattle or Vancouver before the end of the year crossing the Gulf of Georgia.

Working in a local machine shop, and partnering with the Hutchinson Brothers, he soon had a six cylinder, air cooled 40-60 horsepower aircraft engine weighing in at 210 pounds constructed. With the aid of Tom Pimley of the Plimley Bicycle Company, a four wheel undercarriage was fashioned from bicycle tires. Fred Jeune proprietor of Jeune brothers supplied the blue silk to cover the 20 foot wings which were mounted lengthwise providing 330 square feet of lifting surface area. The monoplane designed by Blériot had only 160 square feet. The plane is twenty feet long, and eight feet wide. GIBSON fashioned two propellers and mounted a saddle in front of the engine. The entire craft was 54 feet in length with contra propellers before and aft of the engine. Ahead of his time, GIBSON’s use of gull wings, baffle plates within the fuel tanks, and the direct drive contra-rotating propellers are innovations used in contemporary aeronautical design.

At Tolmie, Victoria, on September 8, 1910, GIBSON set off on his inaugural flight in the GIBSON twin plane on the Dean Farm, now the locality of the Victoria Landsdowne Airport. He reached a height of about 20 feet and a distance of 200 feet! As pilot of this craft, GIBSON cut short the flight early as he needed to cut the engine to avoid the trees at the far end of the runway. The landing completely broke the riding wheels.

GIBSON survived, having been thrown from the plane, but the aircraft hit the trees. GIBSON surpassed the initial flight record of the Wright Brothers which had maintained a distance of only 120 feet. Aviation pioneer A.V. Roe in England also did not meet this achievement with his inaugural flight of 100 feet.

“His flight this week was seen by several people who wondered what the enormous moving thing in the air could be as they saw it sailing across fields towards Mount Tolmie,” was the extent of the September 9, 1910 Daily Times newspaper write up. However this great feat is now reported thusly, “in 1910, William Wiallace Gibson of Victoria, without formal training, designed and built the first successful Canadian aircraft engine,” recognizing the contributions GIBSON made to aviation in British Columbia, GIBSON was inducted into The British Columbia Aviation Hall of Fame.

The first flight was followed by another on September 24, 1910. This flight recorded in the article Pioneer Flying in British Columbia, 1910-1911 by Frank H. Ellis in the The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, October 1939 related that the plane rose about fifty feet, “passing the shelter of a clump of trees a strong cross wind was encountered with the result that the aeroplane was drifted dangerously near some trees, Mr Gibson not using his rudder. He shut off his engine to avoid collision and came down, but unfortunately his wheels were not equipped with brakes and the momentum drove the aeroplane into an oak tree at the rate of about 25 miles an hour….on discussing the flight, Mr. Gibson said he was under the disadvantage of having to learn the art of aviation by experience, there being no “flying schools” in British Columbia” The National Aeronautical Museum in Ottawa has preserved this engine which powered his twin plane.[3] The Twin plane was re-built to size and is on display in the British Columbia Aviation Museum near Victoria.

GIBSON MULTI PLANE ~ THE FLYING VENETIAN BLIND

To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.

– anonymous

GIBSON sold his home for $14,000 to continue financing his aviation hobby. GIBSON honestly came by a true Scottish character, a “tenacious nature”, with a “willful stubbornness” and very patient to achieve his long term goal. Lieutenant Governor Thomas Wilson Paterson (1851-1921 Lt Gov 1909-1914) offered the use of the Paterson Ranch located near Ladner, British Columbia in the Fraser River delta providing a flat surface. It is here that GIBSON made test flights in his multi plane. The new design incorporated forty planes of Spruce wood which gave rise to the name; the flying Venetian Blind. Again, the craft had two propellers, and a new 60 horse power engine invented entirely by GIBSON. It was reported in the 1952 edition of The Beaver that this airship could bear the weight of twelve men.

GIBSON’s wife, now worried about his safely, made him promise to take no more test flights. On May 31, Paterson, joined by Frank J. McKenzie, M.L.A. and other residents were present at the Paterson Farm to watch the first attempt. J.B. Woods of the Western Motor and Supply Company in Victoria is to be the “demonstrator”.[5] In an unfortunate twist of fate, the day was calm resulting in a failed flight due to the lack of wind.

GIBSON tested his craft around Kamloops, B.C. before trying the drier air in Alberta, near Calgary. Partnering now with Alex Japp, GIBSON tries again. A new 6 cylinder air cooled, 2 cycle engine is developed producing 40 horsepower on a tandem, gull-wing monoplane. The flight on September 8, 1910, the landing gear is needing repairs. The on September 24, another flight, and a side wind took the plane resulting in a landing without power crashing into an oak tree.

The book Artificial and natural flight was published in 1908 by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, (1840-1916). Following his father’s dream to conquer the air, Maxim chose to construct an airplane rather than a helicopter. Maxim’s first attempt at flight was made August 31, 1894. Conveyed along railway tracks like a roller coaster, it did not lift off, and crashed at the end of the line. His next models were all tested in wind tunnels, but did not become successful.

Japp reads Maxim’s book, and makes design changes to GIBSON’s multi plane incorporating ailerons amongst other tweaks. on August 12, 1911 completing a flight of one mile in the GIBSON multi plane. He used Spruce for the wings, and tried it out on the flat plains near Calgary. Here GIBSON made successful test flights, and to settle his wife’s fears while she is abroad on vacation, Alex Japp became the pilot. Japp steers the aeroplane trying to avoid the badger holes on the runway upon landing, ditching the plane into a swamp, and the craft is destroyed. In honor of his flying feat, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington built a model of his airplane for display.[3]

Following these aeronautical experiments, GIBSON returned to gold mining along the Kennedy river Leora Gold Mine inventing his own mill and mining machinery. GIBSON was able to produce $20,000 worth of gold from a mine which was most active between the years 1902 and 1915.

GIBSON MILLS MANUFACTURING COMPANY ENTERPRENEUR

Genius is the gold in the mine; talent is the miner who works and brings it out.”

~ Marguerite Blessington

Gibson abandoned the mine in 1933, embarking on the GIBSON MILLS manufacturing company in San Francisco. A successful inventor, GIBSONs mining machines were successful and in demand internationally.

GIBSON RETIRES WITH JESSIE

In 1940 he was 64 and living in the Oakland Judicial Township, Alameda, California with his wife Jessie P, born in Michigan, 1895. Here GIBSON retires, and yet to quote Seneca, “many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come . . . . Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate.”

INDUCTION INTO THE CREE TRIBE AS A GREAT CHIEF

Kisikaw Wawasam ~ “Flash in the Sky Boy” ~ Great Chief Piapot

Name bestowed upon William Wallace Gibson

The traditions of our people are handed down from father to son. The Chief is considered to be the most learned, and the leader of the tribe.

~ Sarah Winnemucca Paiute

It was Thursday, July 15, 1948, when over 600 First Nations people were present at a large dramatic ceremony. GIBSON, now a resident of San Fransisco, was present, fulfilling the prophecy told to him in 1883, some sixty five years earlier. Now at 72 years of age, GIBSON received the name “Kisikaw Wawasam“, the name of the Great Chief Piapot which translated literally to English means “Flash in the sky boy.”

GIBSON was thus inducted as a great chief of the Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, the prophecy told to the seven year old boy, “Pale Face Jumping Deer” was now complete. First Nations of the Piapot Reserve, the Qu’Appelle and Crooked Lake Indian agencies unveiled a memorial cairn to Chief Piapot at the ceremonies.

This induction honour had only been bestowed twice earlier, upon John Phillip Sosa, the American band leader, and upon D.C. Coleman president of the Canadian Pacific Railway who had both been previously inducted as a chief of the tribe. GIBSON traveled to Ottawa on his trip to Canada, where he took in the Dominion Archives display of his first airplane engine assembled in British Columbia before returning home.

OTHER HONOURS

Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.

~ Ayn Rand

A commemorative cairn was erected on Richmond Road. According to Bill Irvine, the locations is ” former site of Landsdowne Airfield (Victoria’s first airstrip), beside Knox Presbyterian Church 2964 Richmond Road, Victoria BC, Canada” and it reads:

HONOURING

WILLIAM WALLACE GIBSON

WHO DESIGNED AND BUILT AND

FLEW THE FIRST ALL

CANADIAN AIRCRAFT AT THIS

SITE ON SEPTEMBER 8th 1910

*

ERECTED BY : EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION

CHAPTER 142

CORPORATION OF THE DISTRICT OF SAANICH

8 SEPTEMBER 1985

PUBLICATIONS

Authored by William Wallace Gibson

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”

~ Carl Jung

He wrote several books:

Title The Birdmen
Author William Wallace Gibson
Published 1923 republished 1942
Length 23 pages

Title Flash-in-the-sky-boy: From the Letters, Manuscripts, and Published Works of William Wallace Gibson
Author William Gibson
Editor with additions by Kay Parley
Published 1967

Title: Silver Cloud OR the Last Buffalo
by W.W. Gibson
It is the “story of the love affair of a young Indian girl and a white settler boy.”
The pamphlet has a photo showing Gibson attired in full Cree regalia
published 1900, and c1905
Regina Saskatchewan
Re-published c 1940 California

WILLIAM WALLACE GIBSON FAMILY TREE

All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.

~ Brian Tracy

The tombstone for William Wallace GIBSON’s parents is in the Ross Bay Cemetery

Erected
by
Margaret Gibson
In memory of
Her husband
WILLIAM GIBSON
Born
Auchinleck, Scotland
Aug. 23, 1847
Died at Victoria
July 11, 1918
MARGARET GIBSON
Born at Patna
Scotland
March 22, 1849
Died April 13, 1940

[Margaret – daughter of James F. Lees & Margaret McConnachie]

On the sides of this stone are entries for both – Margaret & Jean Gibson – their daughters –

Jean Wilson GIBSON
Ross Bay Cemetery
Vancouver Island Region, British Columbia

Also their daughter
Margaret
M. C. GIBSON
Born at Dalmellington
Scotland
July 18, 1874
Died April 9, 1921
Jean W. GIBSON
Born at Wolseley, SK
Sept. 8, 1886

[Daughters of William & Margaret McConnachie Gibson – their details on side of this stone. Jean died 16 Mar. 1973, aged 86. Both single & died in Victoria]

Photos of the Gibson family; Mrs. William Gibson, William Gibson, Hugh Gibson and William Wallace Gibson.

Parents:

WM Gibson 1847-1918 Margaret (Maggie) Mcconnachie Lees 1874-1940

  • Gibson William
    Head born Auguest 27 1847 Patna Ayrshire, Scotland died July 11, 1918 Victoria, British Columbia
  • Gibson Margaret McConnachie
    Wife born March 22 1849 Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland died April 13, 1940 Victoria, British Columbia Parents James Lees, Margaret Mcconnachie

Married April 6, 1871 in Straiton,Ayrshire,Scotland
emigrated to Canada June 1, 1883 settled on SE quarter of section 4 township 16 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian homestead in Moffatt, Assiniboia, North West Territories. (location changed names to Moffatt region near Wolseley, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1905)

Family Siblings

  • Gibson John Son born June 29, 1871 Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland died November 22, 1954 Victoria, British Columbia
  • Gibson Jas James Lees Son born November 11, 1872 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland died September 10, 1924 Essondale, British Columbia married to Maggie Campbell died 1903
  • Gibson Margaret McConnachie Daughter born July 18 1874 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland April 9, 1921 Victoria, British Columbia age 45
  • Gibson William Wallace Son March 28 1876 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland died November 25, 1965 Oakland, Alameda, California married to Jessie P died 1978
    • Lived in Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland 1881 to June 1, 1883>>Winnpeg, MB June 1 1883-June 20, 1883>> Moffatt, Assiniboia, Northwest Territories (later Saskatchewan) June 20, 1883 to 1901 >>Wolseley, Saskatchewan >> Balgonie, Saskatchewan (with ties to Craven, Saskatchewan and Cupar, Saskatchewan)>> Victoria, British Columbia >> Kennedy river region, British Columbia >>San Fransisco, California>> Oakland, Alameda, California
  • Gibson Hugh Wilson Son March 7 1881 Dellmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland died September 10, 1964 Victoria, British Columbia married Edna Catherine Robinson
  • Lees Thomas Nephew April 25 1884
  • Gibson Jeanie Jean Wilaon Daughter September 8 1886 Moffatt, Assiniboia, North West Territories (later province of Saskatchewan) died March 16, 1973 Ross Bay
    Vancouver Island Region, British Columbia

Grandchild of Wm and Maggie:

  • James Gordon Gibson born January 8, 1906 Craik, Saskatchewan died March 7 1969 Victoria, British Columbia s/o John Gibson and Jane Paul Loree married on June 10, 1927 in Craik Saskatchewan to Bessie Loree age 23 b1904 London England d/o John E. Loree and Alice Baldwin.
  • Baby Gibson died December 18, 1934 at Victoria, British Columbia c/o Hugh Wilson Gibson and Edna Catherine Robinson.
  • Margaret Gibson d/o James Lees Gibson and Maggie Campbell daughter Margaret was raised by wife Maggie’s parents Donald Campbell and his wife Helen Cameron; this family left the Moffat, Saskatchewan area in 1916

Family of Margaret Gibson nee Lees wife of William Gibson

William Wallace Gibson Maternal Ancestry

Lees, John Head married June 29, 1838, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
married McConnachie, Margaret

  • Lees James born May 1, 1840, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Jean born June 15, 1842, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Thomas born Oct 21, 1844, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Mary born Dec 22 1846, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Mcconnachie, Margaret born March 22 1849 Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland died April 13, 1940 Victoria, British Columbia
  • Lees John born May 10 1851, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees William born March 22, 1856, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Lees Janet Born August 29, 1858, Straiton, Ayrshire, Scotland

BIBLIOGRAPHY

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

~
Calvin Coolidge

[1] Title: Beach in Canada, A Pictorial Genealogy

Abbrev: Beach in Canada

Author: Mahlon W. Beach

Publication: Privately published, December 1978

[2] Title: A Brief History of David Beach and Phoebe Daniels Beach and their Descendants

Abbrev: Brief History

Author: Wilfred Warren Beach

Publication: Unpublished manuscript, Chicago, 1932

[3] Bridging the Past.
Wolseley and District. 1880-1980.

Wolseley and District History Book Committee.

ISBN 0-88925+27+0

Friesen Printers. Altona, MB.

Pages6 and 57

[4] Victoria Colonist, July 7, 1909

[5] Victoria Colonist, May 2, 1911.

[6] Victoria Colonist, June 2, 1911.

[7] Letter from A.D. Paterson to Frank H. Ellis dated June 1, 1939.

[8] Daily Colonist, Victoria, September 10, 1910.

[9] From Cordwood to Campus in Gordon Head 1852-1959

Ursula Jupp

ISBN 10: 0969065027 / 0-9690650-2-7

ISBN 13: 9780969065029

Publisher: estate of Ursula Jupp

Publication Date: 1975

[10] Title The Beaver

Contributors Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada’s National History Society

Publisher Hudson’s Bay Co., 1952

[11]People who lived in stone houses

Western People

August 26, 1982

[12] Understanding Saskatchewan through “Our Towns”

Publisher Leader Post
Date May 23, 2008

[13] Title Saskatchewan History, Volumes 28-30

Contributors University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan. Archives

Publisher University of Saskatchewan., 1975

[14] Title Canada’s flying heritage

Author Frank Henry Ellis

Edition revised

Publisher University of Toronto Press, 1973

Original from the University of Michigan

Digitized 12 Feb 2008

[15] Uncharted skies : Canadian bush pilot stories / Walter Henry and the Canadian Bush Pilot 1993.

[16] Riders on the wind / Laurence Swinburne ; illustrated by Dan Hubrich. 1980

[17] Canada’s aviation pioneers : 50 years of McKee trophy winners / Alice Gibson Sutherland ; foreword by C – Headquarters:
[18] Title Indian fall: the last great days of the Plains Cree and the Blackfoot confederacy

Page 203

Author D’Arcy Jenish

Edition illustrated

Publisher Viking, 1999

Original from the University of Wisconsin – Madison

Digitized 18 May 2010

ISBN 0670880906, 9780670880904

[19] Title Recollections of an Assiniboine chief

Authors Dan Kennedy, James R. Stevens

Editor James R. Stevens

Contributors Dan Kennedy, James R. Stevens

Edition illustrated

Publisher McClelland and Stewart, 1972

ISBN 0771045107, 9780771045103

Page 57

Frank Ellis, O.C., a noted aviation historian, Canada’s first parachute jumper and aviation pioneer who flew his own biplane in 1914 wrote several articles about GIBSON:

[20] Gibson, William Wallace. “William Wallace Gibson; a Canadian pioneer of the air by Frank H. Ellis, in The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, April, 1944.

[21] – Flash in the sky boy, by Frank H. Ellis, in Western Wings, July-August 1960.

[22] ” Ellis, Frank. “First Flying wing; the story of an attempt to conquer the air made by three ingenious farmers of Alberta in 1907-8, The Beaver, outfit 277 (March 1977), 6-9. illus.”

[23] Ellis, Frank. “Pioneer flying in British Columbia, The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, III (October 1939), 227-261.”

William Wallace Gibson: A Canadian Pioneer of the Air

[24] A biography

Author Frank Ellis

Published 1946-45

held at the City of Vancouver Archives

[25] Additionally, the Saanich Archives has a Gibson Displayset up honouring the achievements of William Wallace Gibson’s first flight at “George Deans’ farm near Mount Tolme.”[9] The photograph of the cairn and plaque erected at Landsdowne and Richmond roads in 1985 at Landsdowne Airfield. This commemoration came twenty years posthumously.

[26] Coming in On a Wing and Some Wire

The Montreal Gazetter
March 9, 1968

[27] AS well, Partners in Motion produced an episode “The Balgonie Birdman” for the one hour documentary series, The Canadians, Biographies of a Nation which aired on History Television NOvember 15, 1998.

[28] “The Balgonie Birdman”, a nine minute animation feature film, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, was directed by Brian Duchscherer and released in 1991.

[29] Photographs exist attesting to the achievements of W.W. GIBSON at the Glenbow archives. An image of his aircraft engine on display at the National Air Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, and his wooden plane built in Victoria, British Columbia, 1911.

[30] Also a photo exists of the very first airplane built in Regina, Saskatchewan by William Wallace Gibson in 1907.

[31] A photo (#8551) of the GIBSON twin plane is held at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

[32] On September 10, 2010, the B.C. Aviation Museum honoured the 100th Anniversary of Flight in Victoria B.C., (100 years Gibson’s flight) reported Bill Irvine, the event was hosted by Caroline Duncin of the Saanich archives, and Dave Marratt was the master of Ceremonies.

[33] Saturday July 17, 1948 a Canadian Press story entitled “Inducted into Cree tribe as Great Chief Piapot,” published by the Lethbridge Herald.

[34] The 1952 edition of The Beaver published by the Hudson’s Bay Company with contributions from Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada’s National History Society, quoting the Canadian Press Induction into Cree Tribe story first published in Regina on July 17, 1948

[35] Induction Ceremony Story published by the Winnipeg Free Press Page 2, Friday August 6, 1948.

 

________________________________________________________________________________

For more information:

Saskatchewan Gen Web Ethnic History – Scottish Roots

Saskatchewan Gen Web – Transportation

Yorkton Gen Web Region

________________________________________________________________________________

Related Posts:

•The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

•Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?
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Uncovering Historical Census and Cemetery Records ~ Quiz Two Answers.

29 Jun

Abundance Abounds

Uncovering Historical Census and Cemetery Records

Here are the answers to the Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames. Quiz Two. Along with the quiz, Saskatchewan historical information and invaluable resources to locate placenames in Saskatchewan were provided.

Genealogists have much to gain by studying a map of rural municipalities in Saskatchewan. Towns, villages, resort villages and rural municipalities are legislated under The Municipalities Act. The municipality provides services, and facilities necessary and desirable for all or part of the municipality. When seeking ancestral records, rural cemeteries are classified by their rural municipality. The cemetery may be privately run or under the stewardship of the village or local religious community.

Census records canvas individuals by enumeration areas. Rurally the census records the legal land description as the address for each resident. Additionally, the rural municipality has been recorded by the census representative as the residential address in some census years, particularly on the newly released 1916 census records.

Studying historical maps which show the evolution of Saskatchewan’s boundaries such as those in the Atlas of Saskatchewan are invaluable to the genealogist to understand the land areas of Rupert’s Land, and the districts of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and Athabasca (also known as Athabaska) in the North West Territories. The area was designated as the province of Saskatchewan in 1905, the North West Territories between 1870 and 1905, and Rupert’s Land 1670 to 1870.

Additionally perusing Saskatchewan historical places in conjunction with their modern area names along with rural municipalities and their names facilitates the location of local history and family biography books which were compiled by communities for the 50th and 75th provincial anniversaries.

Quiz Two Answers

1. Algae, Water basin. Answer. Green Lake. Green Lake is a northern village of Saskatchewan which had 361 residents in 2006, the last census. Located amidst the lakes region of Saskatchewan, the village is 17 km (11 miles) from the lake of the same name.

2. Sight, Summit. Answer. Eye Hill. The rural municipality of Eye Hill No. 382 was incorporated in 1910 and locates its offices in Macklin, Saskatchewan. The rural municipality reeve and councilors serve a population between 650 to 700 residents.

3. Grand earth. Answer. Goodsoil. Located in the rural municipality of Beaver River No. 622, Saskatchewan, the village of Goodsoil has a population of about 250 residents. Father J. Shultz and F.J. Lange Sr. came together offering land in the area in 1926.

4. Rapid, Waves. Answer Swift Current. The city of Swift Current makes its home on the banks of the Riviere au Courant or the Swift Current Creek. The creek and Battleford-Swift Current Red River Cart Trail encouraged settlement, and ranches sprang up which were further enhanced by the Canadian Pacific Railway depot and bridge across the creek. As early as 1881, the area had developed a Local Improvement District, and the settlement of Swift Current became a village in 1903. Currently a city of about 145,000 residents along the Trans Canada Highway. An early letter may show the address as SC, ASSA, NWT or Swift Current, District of Assiniboia, North West Territories.

5. Expansive panorama. Answer. Broadview. The town of Broadview, population 611 (2006) received its name from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company CPR in 1882. Historical documents may show the location as Broadview, District of Assiniboia, North West Territories until the province was formed in 1906. Abbreviated the location may read Broadview, Assa, NWT. Assiniboia was demarked as East and West Assiniboia on many historical maps, and Broadview would have been within East Assiniboia, whereas Swift Current (above) would have been located in West Assiniboia.

6. A bend or half turn. Answer. Elbow. The village of Elbow is located within the Loreburn No. 254, Rural municipality. With about 300 persons, Elbow is located on the newly formed manmade Lake Diefenbaker, originally the village was founded upon the South Saskatchewan River in 1909. Lake Diefenbaker is a reservoir created following the construction of the Gardiner Dam on the South Saskatchewan River and the Qu’Appelle River Dam

7. Gigantic, Watercourse. Answer. Big River.
The town of Big River has over 700 residents and is situated in the rural municipality of Big River No. 555. The river through the area was first named by the local Cree. Oklemow Cee-Pee translates into Big River. On historical maps this area would have been a part of Rupert’s Land 1670 to 1870. Later historical documents may show the address as either township 56 range 7 west of the 2nd meridian or Big River, District of Saskatchewan, North West Territories between 1870 and 1905. Abbreviated this would be Big River, Sask, NWT. Note; the provisional district of the North West Territories named Saskatchewan does not comprise the same land area as the current province of Saskatchewan. The District of Saskatchewan was only the central portion, between townships 35 and 70.

8. Colour, Meadow. Answer. Yellow Grass. Around 400 persons make their home in the town of Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan. Yellow Grass, had a post office as early as 1896, and it incorporated as a village in 1903 therefore, it would show up on historical documents as Yellow Grass, District of Assiniboia, North West Territories. Located in the south western portion of the province, the Greater Yellow Grass Marsh was responsible for mudslides, and spring flooding in the 1800s and early 1900s. Over 20 dams on the Souris and Qu’Appelle Rivers were required to alleviate the flooding of settlements.

9. Diminutive Mountains. Answer. Little Hills. Little Hills 158—517.20 hectares (1,278.0 acres), Little Hills 158A—38.30 hectares (94.6 acres), Little Hills 158B—131.20 hectares (324.2 acres) are Indian Reserves of about 5 persons located at township 70 range 23 West of the 2nd Meridian about 13 km (8 mi) from the town of La Ronge. These are 3 of the 19 Indian Reserves of the Woodland Cree Lac La Ronge First Nations. La Ronge & Stanley Mission Band of Woods Cree Indians signed Treaty 6 in 1889. Historically the location of the Little Hills reserves was on the border of the North West Territories’ Provisional District of Saskatchewan which encompasses township 70, and Provisional District of Athabasca which was north of township 71.

10. Colour, Soil. Answer. Red Earth. Red Earth 29 is an Indian Reserve of 383 residents as well as an unincorporated area or locality found in Carrot River 29A. Red Earth and Red Earth 29 are 5km (3 mi) from each other. Following Treaty 5, signed in 1876, the Red Earth Plains Cree First Nation reside at Red Earth 29 which was first surveyed in 1884 at townships 51, 52 ranges 6,7 W of the 2nd meridian. Carrot River Indian Reserve was surveyed 1894. This would place both historically in the provisional district of Saskatchewan, NWT before Saskatchewan became a province in 1905.

Learning more about the historical evolution of the country, its provinces and regions enables a genealogist to know where their ancestor lived, and where to find current records.

________________________________________________________________________________

Quizzes:
Test your knowledge of Saskatchewan ~ Quiz One.

The Value of Standardizing Placenames for Genealogists. Quiz One Answers.

Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames. Quiz Two.

For more information:

•Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project

•Online Historical Map Digitization Project

•Search Saskatchewan Placenames

•How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan?

•Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again
Saskatchewan Ghost Towns…

________________________________________________________________________________

Related Posts:

•The Value of Standardizing Placenames for Genealogists. First Quiz Answers.

•Test Your Knowledge of Saskatchewan’s Placenames. First Quiz.

•What can be found at the NEW Saskatchewan Provincial Archives website?

•The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

•Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

•How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

•Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•How to locate birth, marriage and death certificates in Saskatchewan, Canada

•Are there genealogy sites that can compete with Ancestry.com?

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