Showing 15 results

Authority record

Langton-Adams, John Edward (Ted)

  • Ath 21.07
  • Person
  • Circa 1915 - 2002

Ted Langton-Adams was a Canadian photo journalist based in Vancouver, BC. He was born in the United States and came to Canada to enlist in the military, having been unable to join in the US. He served as a reconnaissance rider during WWII. After the war, he was employed in the commercial airline industry by Trans-Canada Airlines (later Air Canada) and Western Airlines (later acquired by Delta Airlines). Ted Langton-Adams was the president of Trail North Foundation in 1978 and was part of a historical motorboat trip on the Athabasca River from the Town of Athabasca northeast to the Grand Rapids. Others on the trip included Town of Athabasca Mayor Herman Leicht, County of Athabasca Reeve Lee Melsness, several town and county councilors, and representatives from Athabasca and District Chamber of Commerce. Ted Langton-Adams was widely traveled and enjoyed a number of interests including photography, vintage motorcycles and automobiles, and breeding Boxer dogs. A book of his motor sport photographs, The Photographic Art of Ted Langton-Adams: Europe 1962, was published posthumously in 2009 by Thomas E. Johnston Ventures Inc.

Home Outreach Society of Athabasca (HOSA)

  • Ath 96.13
  • Corporate body
  • 1987 - 1990

In Athabasca Town and County, a need for an emergency support system for the elderly and those with severe handicaps was identified and the Home Outreach Society of Athabasca was formed to identify and fund raise for an emergency support system. The system was designed to summon assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and to be available in either private homes or institutionalized settings. HOSA opted for the Apello System which was Canadian made and did not require a central monitoring or answering service to forward distress calls. Society members were President, Barb Wilkinson; Vice President, Nola-Jean Paterson; Treasurer, Mike Chute; and secretary, Denise Armstrong. The society operated under the leadership of 14 directors with four representatives from the Athabasca General and Auxiliary Hospital, three representatives from the Athabasca Health Unit, one representative from Athabasca Family and Community Support Services, one representative from the Athabasca Senior Citizen’s Society and six representatives from interested community groups including the Athabasca Hospital Auxiliary. To raise funds for the project the first annual Athabasca Canada Day Canoe Race was conceived. Eight people in Athabasca Town and County were identified as being in need of an emergency support system and the system the society decided to purchase was the Apello System at a cost of $1,115.00 per unit.

Backstrom, Shirley

  • ATH 08.26
  • Person
  • 1934 - Present

Shirley Backstrom (neé Coleman) was born in Amber Valley, Alberta on July 7, 1934 and her parents were Isaiah and Velma Coleman (neé Adams).
Shirley’s great, great grandmother was Jane Bowen, born February 18, 1844 in Alabama, USA. She was half Black and half Cherokee. Her maiden name was thought to have been Thigpin, but discovery of her marriage license shows that her family name was actually Gregory.
The family myth is that great, great grandmother was the daughter of a chief; however, the most likely scenario is that great, great grandmother’s father had enslaved her mother, as the Cherokee Nation is known to have kept Black slaves at that time.
Great grandfather Columbus Bowen’s parents were “Big Daddy” and Jane Bowen. Descendants of this family have been unable to establish Big Daddy’s actual name. This is understandable given the fact that Big Daddy was most likely a freed slave. Slaves were sold from one owner to the next and took on the names given them by their respective owners.
Columbus was the first of eight children born to Big Daddy and Jane in 1870 in Pine Flats, Butler County, Alabama. The remaining children were twins Martha and Mary, Lulu, Silas, Ollie (known as Aunt Miss), Frank and Nellie.
Columbus’ wife, Martha Watts, was born in 1872 in Butler Springs, Alabama and he and and Martha were married in 1887 in Butler Springs. They moved to Montgomery, Alabama where four of their eight children were born: Minnie, Etheline (Ethel), Forest and Columbus (Lummie).
They left Alabama via Lee County, Texas for Guthrie, Oklahoma. They had four more children:
Willa, Ilean, Herman and Lovetta. It appears they remained in Guthrie for approximately 11 years from 1899 to 1910. Their second daughter, Ethel, born in 1888, received her teaching certificate from the State of Oklahoma in 1910. They moved yet again to Chandler in Choctaw County, Oklahoma to join a group who were immigrating to Canada.

The family arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1911 where Martha unfortunately passed away in 1912. Columbus moved his family to Pine Creek, Alberta, Canada (NE 15-66-20-W4) in 1912 where he and his cousin Willis Bowen would eventually settle. Pine Creek later became known as Amber Valley. Ethel taught school in Amber Valley at the Toles School, District #2895.

Ethel Bowen married Percy Adams in Vancouver, BC. Percy was from Cape Town, Africa, born in 1894. They moved to Amber Valley. They had two children, Shirley’s mother Velma Adams, born in 1916 in Amber Valley, and uncle Chris Adams, born in 1918, also in Amber Valley. Percy Adams was a porter on the Northern Alberta Railway from Edmonton to Fort McMurray for many years.

Velma Adams married Isaiah Coleman (born 1910) in 1932. They had six children: Corene, Shirley, both born in Amber Valley, and Ronald, Rodney, Jeanette and Carol, born in Edmonton, Alberta.
The family lived in Edmonton from 1935 to 1946 and then moved back to Amber Valley, the children attending Toles School until 1951. When the family moved to Edmonton, Isaiah Coleman got a job as a porter on the Canadian National Railway going from Edmonton to Prince Rupert.

Shirley married Sylvester Hinton of Amber Valley on April 30, 1951 and they lived in Edmonton. They had four children: Nadine, Terry, Randolf and Leon. September 7, 1957, Shirley and the children moved to Fort Smith, Northwest Territories.

Shirley lived in Fort Smith for 11 years, moved to Pine Point for 12 years, then Hay River for 11 years for a total of 34 years in the Northwest Territories. She was the Supervisor at the Information Centre at the Alberta-Northwest Territories border for six years. While living in Hay River, she worked as a highway transport officer at the weigh scale from 1982 – 1991. Shirley was Secretary for the Union of Northern Workers Public Service of Canada, Aboriginal, Inuit and Métis Workers from 1983 – 1990.

While in Fort Smith, two foster children were added to the family. Wilbert Boucher was two years old when Social Services asked if she could keep him until they found a place for him. He was born on June 03, 1963. In 1966, Shirley got Shawnee Mary Ruth when she was six weeks old. She didn’t find out until Shawnee was six months old that she was Wilbert’s biological sister.

When Shirley lived in Pine Point, NWT, she was the Secretary for the Mothers for Minor Hockey Club, Secretary for the Legion, and Craft Teacher for the Sanavisik Guild, teaching knitting, crochet and ceramics.

Shirley joined the Royal Purple in Pine Point on February 1, 1968 and held dual membership in Pine Point and Hay River until 1988 when Pine Point closed down. She received her 25-year-pin in 1992 from the Hay River Lodge. She received her 30-year-pin form the Athabasca Lodge. She received her Life Membership Pin from the Athabasca Lodge on April 15, 2000 and her 35-year-pin from the Barrhead Lodge in 2002. She received her 40-year-pin from the Lac La Biche Lodge in 2007.

Shirley moved from Hay River, NWT to Colinton, Alberta in July, 1991. She was a member of the Athabasca Native Friendship Centre (ANFC) since March 1991 and was elected to the Board of Directors in June 2007. She became Vice-President in 2008 and Board President in 2010. In 2010, Shirley represented the ANFC at meetings held in Edmonton, and youth and Elders gatherings in Jasper. She attended an Elders retreat at MacEwan University in 2011.

Shirley started the Drug and Alcohol Program at Athabasca’s Landing Trail Intermediate School, the Hutterite Colony School, and Rochester School in September 1993 for the Elks and Royal Purple of Canada. She ran the program until June 2010. The last year of the program she had 273 entries from participating students. Shirley also worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program in the Athabasca and area schools. The Elks and Royal Purple donated education kits on teasing and bullying as unacceptable behaviours to Smith School, Rochester School, the Hutterite Colony School, Whispering Hills Primary School, Landing Trail Intermediate School and the Athabasca Native Friendship Centre.

Harvey, Maureen (neé O'Neill)

  • ATH 23.01
  • Person
  • 1939 - Present

Maureen Harvey, née O’Neill, was born in Edmonton, Alberta on April 24th, 1939 and attended St. Joseph’s High School. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and obtained her BA majoring in Arts on July 7th 1962. Her studies included scientific drawing as related to anatomy and life studies. She married Dr. John Harvey in Edmonton in 1963 and the couple bought a farm in Athabasca County in 1973 as a weekend retreat. Harvey has an art studio at the rural property. Her work includes two books, “Basky” written by Athabascan, Dorothy Lane, and “The Silver Chain,” written by Edmontonian, Gerda Bako. She has also created murals on themes of heritage, pioneers, dinosaurs, and people, birds and plants of the Bahamas. The murals are in Alberta communities including Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Slave Lake, Calgary (Ferguson School), and Grande Prairie.

Ross, Olga (Fotty)

  • Ath 06.07
  • Person
  • 1939 - present

Olga Ross Nee Fotty) was born in Wandering River, Aberta in 1934 and moved to Athabasca, Alberta with her family in 1939. She graduated from Edwin Parr High School. In 1970, got a job in admissions at the Athabasca Municipal Hospital where she was employed for 23 years.

Athabasca Youth Talent Explosion

  • Ath 05.16
  • Corporate body
  • 1997 - 2003

Mrs. Evelyn McDonald and Mary Olson chaired the Athabasca Youth Talent Explosion committee, a subsidiary of Edmonton’s Klondike Days Exposition, where successful acts would be featured at Edmonton’s Klondike Days Exposition. Evelyn and Mary coordinated the local event, soliciting donations and participants, booked the event and created print materials.

Thompson, James (Jim) A.

  • Ath 93-02
  • Person
  • c. 1912

James (Jim) Thompson opened the Thompson Realty Company in Athabasca Landing in the new Woods Building on Strathcona Street in July 1911. In December 1912, he married Hazel Torrance Nicol of Guelph, ON. They lived in Athabasca and later in Mirror Landing.

Kowalchuk, Nickolas

  • Person
  • 1941 - 1942

Nickolas Kowalchuk, son of Matiy and Barbara Kowalchuk, grew up north of Athabasca, Alberta and attended Greyville School. Received his teaching certificate from Edmonton Normal School and his first post was Ferguson School, 1941 – 1942. He lived in the log teacherage. He married Mary Hawiuk in 1950 and they had four children: Sonia, Larry, Dale and Grant.

Beeston, Hildred (nee Rennison)

  • Person
  • 1907 - 1983

Hildred Beeston (nee Rennison) was born in Mirror Landing, Alberta in 1908 and moved with her family to Athabasca, Alberta at the age of three weeks. She married Frank Beeston and they farmed NE 04-67-21-W4 until he became too ill to farm. They moved to Athabasca and Frank passed away in 1960. Hildred passed away in 1983 at the age of 75.

Canadian Northern Railway Train Station

  • Ath 21.02
  • Corporate body
  • 1912 - Present

The Canadian Northern Railway train station in Athabasca, Alberta was built in 1912 and was the terminus of the rail line from Edmonton, Alberta. In 1914, the CNoR was heavily indebted to banks and governments, and its profitable branch lines in the prairie provinces did not generate enough revenue to cover construction costs in other areas. In 1917, the federal government effectively took control of the company and became the majority shareholder. On September 6, 1918, the directors resigned and were replaced by a government-appointed board. Subsequently, CNoR executive David Blyth Hanna and his team managed not only CNoR operations, but also the federally owned Canadian Government Railways (CGR). On December 20, 1918, as a means to simplify funding and operations, a Privy Council order directed CNoR and CGR to be managed under the name Canadian National Railway (CNR). The two railway companies would not formally merge and cease corporate existence until January 20, 1923, the date parliament passed the final act to incorporate the CNR. The Athabasca train station was in operation until 1973 when passenger travel from Edmonton ceased. The rail siding was in use until 1990. In 1973, the train station was leased by the Athabasca Senior Citizens’ Society and renovated for use as their centre. The Seniors’ Society built a new centre in 2009 and future use of the train station was discussed and imagined by several groups in Athabasca. David Murray Architect conducted a feasibility study in 2005. In 2010, the Athabasca Heritage Society (AHS) arranged a 25-year lease with the Town of Athabasca for the purpose of restoring the station to its 1912 condition and creating community space in the station for tourism and heritage interpretation. By 2021, the restoration of the interior was completed and AHS planned to finish painting the north side and landscaping the property.

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