The Onoway Museum opened
officially in June 2008 but a museum had been a
dream of Eddy Dales, a long-time Onoway businessman.
Eddy had a life-long interest in history but his
"museum" began to take shape after he opened his
grocery store in 1950. He kept "old things" at the
back of the store and the tale is told that the
collection grew because customers who were short of
cash would give him something old instead.
Over the years Eddy's
wide-ranging collection continued to grow and the
Onoway Museum is the privileged beneficiary of these
historic objects. A matchless bonus was the stories
that Eddy told when he brought the objects over.
Here are a few of the Eddy Dales' gifts to the
In the early days of the grocery store, bananas
arrived in large clusters several feet long.
According to Eddy, this clump of bananas was hung
in the store and a special banana knife with a
curved blade was used to cut off the desired
number of bananas.
Cheese was shipped to the store in round wooden
boxes, about three feet in diameter with four
rounds of cheese in each box. The round of cheese
was set on a huge cheese cutter with a fearsome
looking cleaver. Eddy (or one of his staff) sliced
a wedge in the amount you requested.
Eddy's sister Teddy worked for NADP delivering
milk in Edmonton during the Depression. Her
leather "money bag" now lives in the museum.
The metal sole plate was found in a local field,
probably was lost by men trekking to the Klondike
in search of gold. It was nailed to the boot and,
despite being pretty uncomfortable, had the
advantage of never wearing out!
NADP "money bag"
Metal sole plate
Numerous battery radios and phonographs now have a
home in our museum. The Thomas Edison phonograph
with the cylinder recordings preceded the flat vinyl
records that later flooded the market.
From sickles to every imaginable
type of bottle (medicine, toiletry, food flavoring,
milk, etc.), Eddy kept them all. He had a vast
collection of memorabilia accumulated during his Boy
Scout leadership years. And the museum has the
original certificate issued to Frances Adlam in 1909
from the Fulham Midwifery and Maternity Training
School. A pair of homemade wooden crutches came from
Eddy, and he saved the original pews from the old
Eddy Dales' gifts to the museum
cross every aspect of life and work in this area.
You’ll find so many more at the Onoway Museum.