Looking Back



Eddy Dales' Dream became Onoway Museum


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 Onoway Museum.

  • 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!
                            money bag
Miner's sole plate
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 Anglican church.


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.


Edison phonograph and cylinders
Barrel of vinegar
Butter churn
Edison phonograph and cylinders
Barrel of vinegar
Butter churn

                                Certificate 1909
Midwifery Certificate 1909

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 Last updated: September 2, 2014