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Bay Tree

Settlers started moving into the Bay Tree area about 1914, drawn there by homestead land, which cost $10.00 for a quarter-section. Many of the settlers were veterans of WWI who were offered free land under the Soldiers Settlement Board scheme.

The first public building erected in the Bay Tree area was Bay Tree School in 1921, with Minnie McNaught as the first teacher, teaching children from the Davies, Bourque, Bourdon, Smathers and Ryan families. By 1930, there had been an influx of settlers in the district and a new school was constructed on SE 4-79-13-W6.

People continued to be drawn to the area and by 1937 a new and even bigger school was built on the same site. There was a strong feeling of community among the people who arrived in Bay Tree. Homes and schools were constructed by neighbors banding together to support each other.

Sports teams and community clubs were supported by the local people who were proud of their achievements. In the early years, community events were organized by the Farm Women’s Union, later called the Women of Unifarm. After the Women of Unifarm disbanded in 1979, the Bay Tree Community Club was formed to continue community fundraising and events in Bay Tree. The meetings were held in the homes of club members.  Each year the members would make and raffle a quilt and raise additional funds with a bake sale. They also organized Halloween events at the Bay Tree Hall. 

The Community Club was generous with their fundraising, supporting charities like Camp Tamarack, Disabled Persons Society of Dawson Creek, and the Fairview College Foundation.  The Community Club also helped spruce up the Bay Tree Community Park in 1981,and appears to have had involvement with the Silver Valley Campsite. The Club disbanded in 1998. 

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With thanks to the South Peace Regional Archives

South Peace Regional Archives began operating in January 2000 as a project of the Grande Prairie Museum and a member of the Archives Society of Alberta. On July 30, 2007 the South Peace Regional Archives Society was formed.

All persons interested in having a voice in the preservation of archival records in the South Peace Country of Alberta are encouraged to become members. 

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Preserving Our History – Telling Our Stories

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Contact Us

Saddle Hills
Junction of Hwy 49 & Secondary Hwy 725
RR1, Spirit River AB
T0H 3G0
T. 780-864-3760
Fax 780-864-3904
Toll-free 1-888-864-3760

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