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  • Honouring the Fallen

    Very shortly after the conclusion of the Second Boer (1899-1902), Sam Steele was intent on commissioning a monument to honour those men of Lord Strathcona’s Horse who had been killed in action during this war. An artist he consulted with, and whose designs he considered, was the French-Canadian artist and sculptor Louis-Philippe Hébert. Hébert, well-known at this time for his public monuments, wrote to Sam Steele on the 28th ... read full post
  • An Artist in the Family!

    Sam and Marie Steele’s only son, Harwood, loved to draw pictures from an early age. The family scrapbooks have drawings that both he and his older sister Flora drew, and very recently, I came across two envelopes of pencil sketches an older Harwood (ca. 1920′s) had completed to possibly accompany his writing about the history of the NWMP/RCMP in Canada. These sketches form part of the Steele family archives that is housed at ... read full post
  • A Night Out

    Sam Steele and his wife Marie enjoyed attending various cultural events, wherever they lived, and would make a point of taking in theatre and concerts even when apart; entertainment and culture was important to both of them. The Steele family papers have many saved concert programs, theatre notices, and even some of Marie’s filled-in dance cards (although Sam was not particularly fond of  participating in the dancing!) Marie, ... read full post
  • Photographs from the American South-West

    As mentioned in previous blog entries, the papers of  former NWMP officer, adventurer, writer and friend of the Steele family, Roger Pocock, were acquired by the University of Alberta at the same time as the Sir Samuel Benfield Steele papers. Recently, I have been looking at Roger’s archives related to his “long ride” on horseback from Fort Macleod in southern Alberta to Mexico in 1899-1900. Roger devoted a large part of one ... read full post
  • Sam’s Bookmarks

    Along with the letters, diaries and photographs that form the Steele family records received at the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, there are also – fittingly for a library – books! Sam Steele’s personal library contains a lot of military strategy and history books, and many have been inscribed by the author, or signed by Sam with his name, title, and date. While leafing through the books, the occasional interesting b ... read full post
  • Praise for Edmonton!

    Recently, In the Edmonton Journal,  there have been columns written about what Edmonton might do to change or rebrand its image in order to attract business investment and convince people of the value of choosing to live in our city. In a short span of time, I read an article about the Edmonton City Winter Advisory Council urging meteorologists and broadcasters to present the weather, especially in winter, in a positive way; ... read full post
  • Celebrations in Strathcona County, Alberta

    Strathcona County, located just east of Edmonton, is celebrating their 120th anniversary this year. The local Sherwood Park News has been detailing the events the County is hosting to mark the special anniversary, and in the past week a wooden carving of Sam Steele was unveiled on Sherwood Park’s Heritage Mile, along with events this past weekend around the honoring and participation of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse regiment. T ... read full post
  • A Wooden Sam Steele

    An article in a local Sherwood Park, Alberta  paper tells the story of a carving in process to create Sam Steele’s likeness from an eight foot tree stump. A tree had died and was being cut down from in front of the business of John Ashton, founder of the Sherwood Park Heritage Mile Society. Rather than let the stump go to waste, Ashton hired wood sculptor Heinz Zadler to carve an image of Sam Steele from the stump. The histor ... read full post
  • The Artistic Mr. Pocock

    An exciting  addition to the Steele Family papers acquired by the University of Alberta, were the records of the Steele’s family friend, Roger Pocock. Pocock is a fascinating individual, who led a life full of adventure (and misadventure)! He is perhaps best know as the founder of the Legion of Frontiersmen, and was an author of some note and renown during his lifetime. Sam Steele and Roger Pocock likely first met as members ... read full post
  • Kids and a Kitty!

    While Sam Steele was serving with the South African Constabulary in 1901, his young family remained in Montreal for a time, eventually reuniting with him later that next year in Pretoria. But while they were parted, Marie and Sam continued their custom of writing each other faithfully and lamenting the distance that separated them. Marie, knowing Sam missed seeing his three young children, booked photography sessions for hers ... read full post

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