Business life in Donalda in 1921

A booklet in the museum produced by the Donalda Agricultural Society for the Fourth Annual Exhibition in 1921 reveals some interesting

Donalda Diary

A booklet in the museum produced by the Donalda Agricultural Society for the Fourth Annual Exhibition in 1921 reveals some interesting information about the village. Many ads were placed in the booklet by local businesses so that we have a good idea of who was operating at the time.

The Brown-Rodd Hardware Company Ltd. Donalda Motor sales specialized in Ford Cars. J. L. Christenson was a dealer in Chalmers and Maxwell cars as well as being Mayor of Donalda. N.J. Holt was a dealer for McLaughlin and Chevrolet vehicles as well as John Deere implements. The Donalda Garage, offering “high class auto repairing”, was operated by Chester Stanlake.

A.S. Woodside was a contractor and builder and agent for I.H.C. Farm Machinery. Revelstoke Sawmill Co. Ltd. provided all kinds of building supplies for houses and barns.

The Palace Meat Market specialized in fresh and cured meats and also dealt in hides and furs. The Downing Brothers were the proprietors.

The City Café sold ice cream soft drinks cigars and candy. The Anderson Brothers ran a Hardware Store. The Murphey Company sold patent medicines as well as cameras.

The Merchants Bank of Canada was managed by A.T. Richardson, Manager. By this time there was a lawyer in the Village – Jim Dempsey whose first office was in the Donalda Hotel. Sigurd Broughton was the licensed Provincial auctioneer and valuator.

The Hotel Spokely, named after the proprietor B. H. Spokely, advertised good meals and clean beds. Another hotel, The New Hotel, as it was named, stood across from the CNR depot. It charged $38 a month for room and board or good meals for just 40 cents. The proprietor was C.H. Jensen.

W.J. Coffin advertised himself as a drayman, who hauled loads with a long cart. A.L. Wallace was a painter and paperhanger.

T.C. Paterson was a general merchant who sold groceries, dry goods and shoes “at reasonable prices.” His competition was Vikse Brothers who advertised quality goods in their store. The Wilton Store Limited sold a great variety of clothes including Hartt boots for men and women, Arrow and Tooke shirts and collars, Stanfield underwear, and Robin Hood flour. Rhynes Pharmacy filled out prescriptions but also had an ice cream parlor.

A.C. Johnson was the general blacksmith who did horseshoeing and welding, as well as all kinds of woodwork. Ed Grice was a tinsmith and plumber.

The booklet was published by The Donald Review, the village’s weekly newspaper. Donalda was a thriving place in 1921, with a population of about 175.


If you are starting to decorate your home for Christmas, there will be a Wooden Sign Making event at the Sharon Lutheran Church on Monday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. Contact Julie Siemens (403-741-5295) by Nov. 24 to register.

A reminder that the Village Christmas is on Sunday, Nov. 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information call 403-883-2891.

The Annual General Meeting of the Donalda Agricultural Society is on Tuesday, Dec 2 with a potluck supper at 6:30 followed by the AGM at 7 p.m. All community members are welcome.

Happy Birthday wishes this week to: Dylan Swedburg, Matthew Swedburg, Tina Franklin, Adriana Sutton, Jennifer Bergstrom, Robert Bergstrom, Dylan Awe, Scott Anonson, Beth Crumly, Jesse Broemeling, Dan Hiller, Trevor Mueller, Remy Capanas, William Stewart. B’Day greetings to anyone we may have missed.