Stan Eichhorn and Jack Schulze are encouraging local residents to share their stories and photos for a Stettler history book project they and other committee members are working on. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent

Organizers behind the Stettler history book project seeking more input

Committee members are available to assist with story development

Organizers behind a Stettler history book continue to put out the call for the community’s input.

And they want to emphasize that they are available to help craft stories for the project as well. To that end, a spacious and bright new basement room is nearly finished adjacent to the P&H Elevator where folks can come and do research and work on their stories.

“That’s what our plan is – to help move things along a little quicker,” said Stan Eichhorn, adding there are several ways folks can help out with the project from proof-reading to typing to researching.

In terms of material, Eichhorn said the committee really wants to go right back to the community’s beginnings.

But it’s also important to remember that those who have called Stettler home for less amounts of time are certainly welcome to contribute stories about their families’ histories.

“Anybody and everybody who has been part of Stettler, whether it’s been for one or two years or for 100 years, please be a part of this,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be an epistle – it doesn’t have to be all flowery – just give us some basic information and we will help you put it together,” he said, adding that from here on in, committee members will be onhand at the P&H Elevator on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help people with their information.

Committee Member Tammy Menard said she believes that in some cases, people simply don’t know where to start when it comes to putting together a brief article about their family’s history.

She has put together an information sheet that is specifically designed to help steer people in the right direction.

“People say, ‘Well, I wasn’t born here. But I have lived here for 40 years’. So it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been here for a couple of years or whether your grandparents were born here. We still want your stories.”

Eichhorn agreed. “If you have lived in Stettler, you are part of the history. Whether you have lived here for two months or 20 years of 70 years – you are part of the history if you have lived in Stettler or the area,” he said.

Meanwhile, to date, the committee has about 340 submissions and they are putting out the word that the deadline for material is September.

But there are several subject areas that have yet to be explored and represented.

“We’d really like more businesses for one thing to contribute – present and past – we’d really like that,” said Eichhorn.

“Clubs are another one – we don’t really have a lot of information on some of the clubs. We also don’t have a lot of sports stuff – there’s been some really good sports people come out of Stettler, too,” he added. They are also on the lookout for the medical history of the community, and also more material about local schools, too.

Verna Rock, a committee member as well, agreed. “We don’t have anything on the Boy Scouts, which were huge here – as were the army cadets,” she said.

Rock has also pointed out that the book will also include stories about some darker chapters in the region’s history, such as the Cook murders in the late 1950s.

As to the overall purpose of the book, committee members say that it’s important for future generations to have a record of their community’s history.

Meanwhile, organizers are looking for stories 750 words or less per family generation about families, businesses, and interesting anecdotes that may have happened while they lived in the region.

Hand-written submissions are welcome, and since they will be using Microsoft Word, any material coming in that format would also be very helpful.

Organizers can also scan most old photos, some negatives and some slides.

As Eichhorn pointed out, providing material about one’s family is also a means of paying tribute to one’s grandparents and great-grandparents, for example.

“We want to try and give future generations more of an appreciation as to what went into this community, and why it’s a good community,” observed Eichhorn. “We think it’s worth talking about the people that went before us.”

For more about the Stettler History book project, call 403-742-2249. You can also check out www.stettlerhistory.ca or email stettlerhistorybook@gmail.com, vj.rock@telus.net or stan.eichhorn@gmail.com.

Find them on Facebook at ‘Stettler History Book’.

Submissions can also be mailed to P.O. Box 1437, Stettler. The postal code is T0C 2L0.

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