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The Aspenland Journal was first published in 1998 by the Central Alberta
Regional Museums Network, with the assistance of the Provincial Museum of
Alberta and the Red Deer and District Museum.
The Aspenland series aims to present new knowledge on the cultural and social
history of central Alberta. Aspenland I (1998) featured thematic essays on
education at denominational colleges that are currently or were historically
present in central Alberta.
Aspenland II: On Women's Lives and Work in Central Alberta (2003) presents
articles related to the lives and work of women in the region. The collection
brings together writing on diverse topics from rodeo to religious orders and
from oilfields to the arts.
Aspenland 1998 — Local
Knowledge and Sense of Place
Edited by: David J. Goa and David Ridley
Published by: The Central Alberta Regional
Museums Network (CARMN) with the assistance of the Provincial Museum of Alberta
and the Red Deer and District Museum.
The nephew of Armand Trochu, Jacques Bence received a letter from Lorene Anne
Frere as she retraced the lives of the men and woman from France who established
Sainte Anne’s Ranch and the community of Trochu. In this address given on July
26th, 1995 by Monsieur Bence on the occasion of the ninetieth anniversary of the
founding of Trochu, he brings a family perspective to the life of Trochu and the
relationship between a small prairie settlement and the young French aristocrats
The Aspen Parkland is a transition zone between grassland and boreal forest.
W. Bruce McGillivray provides a defining article on the natural history of the
region. Notably, the Aspen Parkland has always been a place of competing
interests, whether between grass and trees, or various human used of the zone.
The union of Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Churches in 1925 to
form the United Church of Canada resulted in vigorous debate. Walter Brown was a
forceful voice opposing the union of the churches, fearing that this would only
result in an ‘ecclesiastical machine’ rather than develop ‘national
righteousness.’ Ernest Nix’s study of Brown and the debate provides a historical
perspective on the politics of Christian unity.
In the first part of the 20th century, Alberta public schools recognized
their obligation to help shape good character in their students. Public schools
concentrated on the language of secular virtue to avoid language and issues that
might provoke sectarian conflict. In this essay, Amy von Heyking looks at what
students were taught about citizenship and the nature of society and how these
‘secular virtues’ changed over the space of forty years and through the course
of two world wars. This focus provides insight into the nature of Alberta
society itself and how it has responded to the challenges of the modern world.