Looking Back


Our Village has Changed!

Photographs document the past; they are a record of places, people, events. The photograph collection at Onoway Museum reminds us of just how far our small rural community has come.


As you look at these photos, think of how those particular sites look today. And how will they look 50 years from now?

                                      School 1947

Beaupré School 1947
Onoway Museum is housed in what was originally Beaupré School. It began as a two-room brick building and opened in 1922. Two rooms were added in 1946. The handwritten note on the back of this photo (dated 1947) says "a new building in the village". Notice that the school is on an empty field with bush in the background – no other buildings around (where were the outhouses?!). What does that panorama look like today?

Creek flooding downtown

Creek flooding downtown Onoway

Most of us do not even realize that a creek flows through Onoway yet in the past, it flooded profusely and often. The photo of Babs Camplin beside the creek in flood in the early 1950s was taken at the bottom of "Snob Hill". This is 49 Street, the road south heading out of town. The house on the hill was John Demchuk's – that was the edge of town; there were no other buildings beyond. A couple of blocks to the right was the Anglican church.


Mrs. Gray's stone barn

Mrs. Gray's stone barn

Another Onoway icon was the stone barn. Its last owner was Mrs. Gray, one of Onoway's very respected personalities. The barn stood where the bottle depot is now and was demolished in the early 1980s.


These photos remind us of what Onoway looked like many decades ago. They also serve as a message that where we live plays an important role in who we are. Photos of the buildings, the streets, the parks take us back to those times.


The moral of the story – every now and again rather than taking a selfie, swing the camera/phone around and take a photo of your surroundings. Then print it!


If you have photos of Onoway – the streets, the buildings, events (natural or manmade) - Onoway Museum would appreciate adding them to the collection.

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Last updated: March 9, 2019