Thank you everyone who contributed to and visited the SL History blog in 2012. I wish you a safe and warm New Year’s Eve and nothing but blue skies, green lights and fresh coffee in 2013. Reid Dickie
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Hello World! Welcome to Shoal Lake History
Shoal Lake Minute #31
MORE THINGS YOU THOUGHT SHOAL LAKE NEVER HAD
* A bird sanctuary? Sort of. When the Smellie Brothers bought the creamery in 1904, they hired John Nesbitt to run the operation, which included a farm. Nesbitt was fond of gardening and the farm and creamery grounds were always beautifully kept. He also loved birds and maintained a flock of about 50 wild geese and some ring-necked pheasants on the grounds and nearby lake. The area was a sanctuary for the birds to live and nest in but many didn’t return during hunting season.
* A Salvation Army band? Noted. The Army operated a mission in Shoal Lake into the 1950s with their most visible aspect being the band. The band was often enjoyed on village street corners, in parades and at special events.
* A square dance club? Do si do and swing your partner. In the 1950s and 60s, the local square dance club, now defunct, kicked up its heels on a regular basis.
* A lawn bowling club? Pastorally. An early institution situated just south of the United Church, the Shoal Lake Lawn Bowling Club, open to adults and children, had a luxurious green to play on and produced several provincially recognized players. Its 1928 tournament saw 18 rinks entered. In 1931, Shoal Lake bowlers captured the Adams Trophy from the Brandon Octette, the first time any small town had owned the trophy!
* Chautauqua? Huh? Not a term you hear much today, chautauqua was often the highlight of a small town child’s summer in the days before silent movies. In Shoal Lake, a large tent was set up on the northwest corner of Station Road and The Parade with a wooden stage and bench seating. Children delighted to music, comedy, puppets and animals including Rin Tin Tin.
Header photograph of The Drive in 1940s. Only one of these buildings is still standing. Which one?
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