Stettler town hall. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

Town council receives delegation from Stettler History Book Volunteers for an update

‘As of tonight we have 766 files, and they are still coming in.’

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Independent

The Town of Stettler council received a delegation from the Stettler History Book committee during their most recent meeting.

Held on Feb. 2nd, council welcomed Stan Eichhorn and Jack Schulze into their meeting so the pair could provide an update on the history book project.

To date, the volunteers working on the project have amassed nearly 750 files containing photographs and historical narratives from families and businesses in the region, and they are still looking for more information.

“We’ve been working away,” said Eichhorn.

“As of tonight we have 766 files, and they are still coming in.”

In addition to the files collected, the dozen or so members have also been able to construct a 1000-line timeline of Stettler’s history.

Originally planned for publication in 2021, the group putting together the book is now looking at an early 2022 publication date. Due to the volume of information collected, and with it still coming in, the book, originally planned to be a single volume, will be a two-volume set, with an estimated price of less than $150.

The history books will only be sold as sets, and the first run is expected to be of 1,200 copies.

In addition to the information put together already, the books will also feature several indexes including a maiden name index.

To assist the development of this project, the P & H Elevator Preservation Society has donated office space, and expenses to date have been covered by cash donations.

As for the work of the volunteers, Eichhorn estimates that the volunteers have put in close to 10,000 hours of work over the last few years.

In addition to the cash donations received, the volunteers have applied for a $10,000 matching grant from the Government of Alberta. They should find out by May whether they are approved for the grant, and if so, they will likely receive the funds by fall.

One issue that has been plaguing the project is the lack of being a registered not-for-profit or society.

“We are not registered, and we need to be for some things,” said Eichhorn, though he did also say that the Elevator Society is allowing them to use their number, and they have helped the Stettler History Book volunteers apply for the grant.

Council was overall supportive of the volunteers’ endeavour.

“This is long overdue,” said Coun. Malcolm Fischer.

“I admire your tenacity. I support (the book) entirely. Thank you for your commitment.”

Mayor Sean Nolls echoed the sentiment, saying, “We appreciate everything you’ve done. This is a big task.”

Discussion of the Town of Stettler either providing a loan or a grant to the history book project will be discussed at the Feb. 9th ‘Committee of the Whole’ meeting.