Looking Back


Snapshots Bring History to Life

Are you one of those people who took advantage of the unexpected stay-at-home time brought on by COVID to clean out some of the cupboards that haven't seen light for years? Or looked through those boxes of papers filled with greeting cards and letters, invoices, tickets for your beyond-Canada holidays, etc.? 

Perhaps you pulled out a box of old photographs, a photograph album or a scrapbook. It is these pieces of "paper" that bring our history to life; they make us aware of how life has changed and how lucky we are yes, even in COVID times. What was Onoway like in 1950? Or in 1920? Or even 1970?

The photograph collection in the Onoway Museum archives is not extensive but definitely takes you back in time. They make you think about the people who lived in this area, the homes they lived in, what they did for a living. The churches and organizations, the events, school days. Here are a few photos from the collection. Take time to look at the faces, the clothing, the vehicles, the surroundings.

The next time you drive west-to-east through Onoway on Lac Ste. Anne Trail then continue on Highway 37 toward St. Albert, remember that it was a trail even in the early 1900s! And the roads that ran through the main streets of Onoway were not paved until 1980. It didn't take much rain for them to become muddy tracks. Major flooding of the creek running through the village created havoc more than once. Major fires destroyed some key buildings in the hamlet/village of Onoway.

If you have photos of Onoway and district that will help today's community visualize what Onoway was like decades and decades ago, please consider donating them to the Onoway Museum to become part of the historical record of our town. Check the museum's website, phone the museum (780-967-1015) or email and help bring our history to life.

Road construction

Work on Lac Ste. Anne Trail

Road building crew at work in 1922-23 on Lac Ste. Anne Trail a couple of miles
east of Onoway, just across the Sturgeon River and up "Walter Schultz's hill"

1954 flood

Could the vehicles make it up 49th Street, then the
hill (48th Street) during this flood in 1954?

Alex LaFleur fishing

Gone fishing

It's 1941 and Alex Lafleur is showing off his catch of whitefish from Lac Ste. Anne. The photo was taken in front of the Lafleur home where Burger Baron stands today.

Stone Barn

Today the bottle depot and water shop sit on the property where Mrs. Gray's massive stone barn once stood "on Byden Estates on the eastern outskirts of Onoway". The barn was demolished in 1980.

Ted Johnson

Ted Johnson taught at Brookdale School 1938 1941 then joined the military. He came back and served as principal of Beaupr School 1945 1964. If you know the year or make of his (?) car, let the museum know.

                                School Curling
                                John's Anglican Church


This team came in 2nd in the first event of the high school bonspiel in 1970. Eddy Dales is shaking hands with skip Don Tyschuk. The lead was Cheryl Miles. If you know who the others were, let the museum know!

St. John's Anglican Church

St. John's Anglican Church was the oldest building in Onoway (built in 1914) until it was dismantled in 2015. It was the first home of the Onoway Museum (summer 2006) until the museum moved to its present location in 2007

Beaupre High School Class 

Beaupre High School Class Grade X XI class in front of Beaupre School 1949 1950. Can you fill in the missing names?
Back row: Joe Bellerose, Bruce Honert, Joseph Guretzke, ?, ?, ?, Doug Neilson, Fred Martiniuk, George Meyer
Middle row: Lawrence Truckey, Elsie Strobl, ?, Gertrude Gatzke, Patricia Singh, Sheila Armitstead, Mildred Cunningham, Lorna Hay, Ken Stobbe, Ed Camplin
Front row: Henry Tomlinson, Elfrieda Hetman, Wilma Denkhaus, Mary Woyewoda?, Ann Wolk, Dora Engelman, Leo Steinke

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Last updated: November 9, 2020