Friday, July 7, 2017

Auburndale: Massachusetts to Alberta

I drove by this area on my travels, and since it would be wrong to pass by an old church or school without stopping, I stopped.

Auburndale is an unincorporated area in East Central Alberta, between Vermilion and Wainwright. Like many of these areas, it used to be the centre of a community. I spotted what looked like a school then the Church and cemetery. In reading more about this place, I found that a post office was in operation here from 1907-1944. The first postmaster was L.W.Crowe from Auburndale, Massachusetts.

More often than not, the community centre was once a school. The Auburndale School, as it was originally called, opened in 1908. In 1917 it changed names to become Battleview School. The Battleview School was centralized with 3 other schools in 1954. The Battleview Community Association then bought the school in 1955. I am not 100% sure if this is that school but with the original Auburndale name. I have seen that happen before so it is a plausible explanation.

Auburndale Community Centre

The Auburndale Church building was completed in 1924, but there has been missionaries in the area since 1908. Upon formation of the United Church of Canada on June 10, 1925, the Auburndale United Church was dedicated that afternoon, giving it the distinction of being the first church to be dedicated under the newly formed United Church. Boooom, HISTORY!

Auburndale United Church





Have a great weekend everybody! Alberta is in the middle of a 'heat wave', so I will be enjoying the sun and also enjoying my cool basement when I have had enough heat...the best of both worlds!

References: Pioneering With a Piece of Chalk; Earnest Minded Men: An Account of Local Government in the County of Vermilion River.

July 12th - Update! Thank you to everyone who has read and shared this post, it has reached more people than my usual posts, which makes my day!  If anyone has old photos of the Auburndale area, I would love to see them! My email is jktanaka@gmail.com

23 comments:

  1. Nice post Jenn. That looks like a quiet and peaceful cemetery.

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    1. Thanks Michael, I think it is.

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  2. The graffiti distresses me. What one community worked hard to establish someone defaced in moments. There is a lack of respect for what others built.

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    1. It bothers me too, I don't get why someone would do that but it seems like this type of thing is all too common.

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  3. Thank you for that Jenn. Been quite a few years since I was in that area. Would like to visit it again one day.

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    1. Me too Tim, I need more time there. I hear Paradise Valley is a nice area too.

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  4. Paradise Valley and also down around Edgerton and Heinzburg.

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    1. We visited the Edgerton Museum on that trip!

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  5. The buildings look so quaint and pioneer-like. May I say enjoy your heat wave? I'm still waiting on a big heat wave here! Summer stalled in the Laurentians this year, so I'll gladly sweat it out when things get hot and humid! :)

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    1. The heat was nice, the tornado warnings were not. Cool today and more heat in a couple days. More pioneer buildings to come!!

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  6. Thanks for the history. I grew up about a mile south of here. I presume my Dad would have gone to school here as he was born in 1911, albeit in Vancouver, but the Greens migrated to Auburndale shortly afterwards. He is buried in the cemetery with my granparents, cousins and other relatives.

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    1. Hi Susan, I am so glad when my posts reach someone with a connection to the area. I enjoyed driving through that area and wish I had more time to explore there. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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  7. Great post...the land where the cemetery and church are was donated by my maternal grandparents, William & Anne Hetherington, to be a center of faith and life in the Auburndale community. Their original homestead was just south of the current church/cemetery. The home still stands tho has been modified from original. They and my paternal grandparents, many aunts and uncles and 2 siblings are buried in the cemetery.

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    1. That is great! It's so nice to be able to see the contribution your grandparents made to the Auburndale community. Wonderful people formed these communities and I am glad to learn more about them. Thank you for sharing this information.

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  8. Some of your findings are correct but I would like to clarify a few things. This Auburndale building was never the Battleview School. I attended Battleview School as a child in the early 50's and it was located several miles away from Auburndale. Once consolidation of Battleview, Triangle, Basswood and Wildmare Schools took place in the mid 50's at a central location the new school was called Preston. The Battleview School building was then moved to asite adjacent to Preston Central, joined with another old school to become Preston Community Centre.

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    1. Hi David, thank you! I thought I had it figured out from the information I read but it was a bit confusing. Thank you for clearing it up, I appreciate it.

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    2. David, I'd love to ask you a few more questions if you have time. My email is jktanaka@gmail.com
      Thank you!

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  9. Nice post, a walk down memory lane, my Great Grandparent, Grandparents, an Aunt, a cousin, my Dad and brothers are all buried in the cemetery there and I suppose one day I will join them. The Macnabs came to that country in 1903 and still ranch just down the road.

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    1. Hi JB, thank you! I never thought my little blog post would reach so many people! I really love hearing from people connected to these places that I am lucky enough to see in my travels.

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  10. Thank you for this post. I grew up a few miles from this church & hall. I attended Sunday school & sang in the small children's choir in this church. My parents & many relatives are burried in the cemetery. Many community picnics at the hall. My 2nd marriage was in the church. A lifetime of memories. A very special place ... Home :)

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    1. I am so glad to hear about all the wonderful memories people have of Auburndale. Makes doing this blog even better!

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  11. I was wonderful to see a post from my childhood home! I have fond memories of Auburndale Community events. I went to the Auburndale Church as a child, was baptized there and sang in the choir. There was also a general store between the church and hall that was a major part of the community. I remember my Dad going to buy hardware there like fence staples, etc. We lived 4 miles from the hall.

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    1. Hi Nicole! From all these comments, it sounds like there are a lot of fond memories and a great community there. I am so glad my post reached so many people! Thank you!

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