We receive donations of artifacts and donations on a regular basis. Archives refers to documents such as letters and personal reminiscences and books. One recent addition is the book The Golden Trail published for the Alberta Golden Jubilee in 1955. The history covers many communities in east central Alberta, including Donalda.
Mike Vikse of Donalda who had a general store, wrote an article about pioneer life in early days of the Donalda and district, which I have paraphrased here: “All goods and supplies were freighted by wagon from Wetaskiwin, Lacombe or Ponoka. A round trip took four days. A break came when a branch line of the CPR was built in 1905 from Wetaskiwin to Daysland and another from Lacombe to Stettler. A trip to Stettler or Bawlf or Camrose could be made in two days. The construction of the Canadian Northern Railway in 1910-11 from Vegreville to Drumheller passed through what became Donalda and district.”
Vikse wrote, “… we felt we were sitting on top of the world, and rightly so, because a townsite was being surveyed on the banks of the beautiful Meeting Creek Valley.”
Many business were established so that early Donaldans could obtain most anything locally, or at least by hopping on the train to the larger centres. Donalda had general stores, hardware stores, a hotel, a livery, a blacksmith and a post office by 1913. For a dentist or doctor a day trip was needed.
How times have changed. Today, few services exist in Donalda although the population is greater than in 1925 when there were only 175 residents. Better roads have allowed easy travel to the larger centres. From Donalda to Lacombe takes only an hour today and half an hour to Stettler.
Sharon Lutheran Church is hosting an auction Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. Proceeds go to Operation Christmas Child and Lutheran organizations.
Ladies Night Out is an entertainment and musical event on Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Donalda Community Hall, with proceeds going to the Donalda School. The theme is the 1980s. Prizes for best dressed and 80s throwback picture. For tickets call Alison at 403-883-2397 or Sheila at 403- 883-2352.
Our Village Christmas is Sunday Nov. 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be a hot lunch, Festival of Trees at the Donalda Art Gallery, Santa’s Shopping Centre at the Donalda drop-in, a country market at the community hall between 1 and 4 p.m., and a parade of lights at 4 p.m. There is literally something for everyone, including pictures with Santa at 3 p.m. For more information call 403-883-2891.
“Happy birthdays” this week go out to Karen Williams, Mike Stewart, Remy Vargas, William Whiteside, Brett Rider, Emma Gebhardt, Terri Granigan, Frank Salmon, Heather Martini, Ryan Carroll, and Zachary Blouin; and birthday greetings to anyone we may have missed.