Fonds 0113 - East Smoky School Division No. 54 fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

East Smoky School Division No. 54 fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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Reference code

CA GPR 0113

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1935-1991 (Creation)
    East Smoky School Division No. 54

Physical description area

Physical description

157 cm of textual records.

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1945-[ca. 1995])

Administrative history

The East Smoky School Division No. 54 was established February 19, 1945 by Proclamation of the Alberta Government Department of Education. The division covered schools east of the Smoky River with Valleyview as its eastern border, which in 1945 was 13 school districts: Calais No. 3992, Edson Trail No. 4082, East Smoky No. 4198, Ridgevalley No 4563, Sturgeon Heights No. 4606, Darwin No. 4639, Mountain Springs No. 4640, Clarkson Valley No. 4663, Smoky Valley No. 4682, Cornwall No. 4700, Simonette No. 4750, Ravenna No. 4822, and Sturgeon No. 4858. Until the division was formed, each school district operated under its own board: building schools, hiring teachers and collecting its own taxes. The formation of a school division was seen as a way for the schools to have collective power and economies of scale. Capital projects, school supplies, financial records and hiring of teachers was a responsibility of the division, leaving the local parent board able to concentrate on the upkeep and day to day operation. Mr. Carl B. Johnson was the first Superintendent of the East Smoky School Division and Robert Mehlum was the secretary-treasurer, operating out of the divisional office in DeBolt. He was responsible for getting supplies, both educational and janitorial, out to the teachers in each small school. Under the direction of the division, schools which were still using outdoor washrooms and barrel wood stoves for heating were modernized with furnaces and indoor plumbing. As teachers became harder to recruit, the small schools were combined into centralized schools, the final move being to Ridgevalley. With more settlers coming into the Peace Country, East Smoky School Division continued to expand as new school districts were added. Later the division was enlarged to include Valleyview and Fox Creek, and a new divisional office built at Valleyview, then a more centralized location. Eventually it was responsible for nine schools with students from approximately 75 school districts. About the mid 90s, school divisions in the Province of Alberta were re-organized, and the East Smoky School Division area was divided between Peace Wapiti School Division and the Northern Gateway Division.

Custodial history

The records were preserved by DeBolt and District Pioneer Museum and transferred to Grande Prairie Regional Archives in 2001.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of one Capital Account Receipt Book from the East Smoky School Division for 1956-1961 which records debenture, grant and capital information; and financial records and Daily Registers from School Districts around DeBolt, some of the earliest districts in the division: Clarkson Valley (4663), Cornwall (4700), Darwin (4639), East Smoky (4198), Edson Trail (4082), Harper Creek (4968), Mountain Springs (4640), North Goodwin (5002), Ravenna (4822), Ridgevalley (4563), Simonette (4750), Smoky Valley (4682), Sturgeon Heights (4606), Sturgeon Lake (4858) and Valleyview (Calais, Sun Valley) School District 3992. The financial records consist mainly of Cash Books from before the formation of the East Smoky School Division, and detail receipts and expenses such as government grants, teachers’ salaries and building costs. The registers record the name, birth date, post office address, parents’ names and addresses of each pupil. There are Annual Financial Statements and Audited Reports, teachers’ declarations, yearly summaries called teachers’ returns, and transfer, attendance and promotion records. The research files and proof copy of the book Beginnings are also included with the collection.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were preserved by DeBolt and District Pioneer Museum and transferred to Grande Prairie Regional Archives in 2001.


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Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions.
24 hour notice required to view—records stored in freezer due to some mold contamination.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Associated materials

Newspaper on the 1986 Valleyview School Reunion is included in Archives Reference Files.

Related materials


Alpha-numeric designations

Accession numbers: 2001.48; 2001.57; 2004.18

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South Peace Regional Archives

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  • English

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