Origin of Grahamdale's name:
A Post Office and Canadian National Railway point established by the CNR in 1911 and named after Samuel Graham, the first postmaster. It was first listed, however, in the 1914 Post Office guide on 15-28-8W, so it probably opened in 1913. Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names records indicated that it might have been named after J. W. Graham, a wholesale wood and lumber dealer.
"This wonderful land was given to the hearts and hands of those who came to start life anew................................."
Grahamdale, formerly known as Deerfield, was a center that provided health care at the Red Cross Post; education at the school; general supplies at Sam Graham’s Store, and a place to practice religion at the St. John’s Lutheran Church. It time there were additions to the services which helped make pioneer life more comfortable. The efforts of a community of individuals resulted in amenities for the pioneers, which are still with us today. They built a community for everyone to enjoy, and built character within themselves.
In conversation with Emma Ashley (age 93), she spoke of many miles walked to and from town to get supplies when she was a child. During winter months, she would ind herself arriving home at dark amid the howling of wolves nearby. She learned not to be unnerved by this. When asked what message she had to give to today’s generation, she said, Learn all you can, you never know when you’ll need it.
In speaking to Oscar Mangl (age 83), he recalled fond memories of the camaraderie shared with neighbors during the hauling of lumber from Reedy Lake to Grahamdale and surrounding areas. Oscar also recalls the howling of the wolves which could be quite ‘blood chilling’ on a lonely, frigid winter night. He has gained a respect for the land and believes the Interlake is a good place to live. His message to the generation of today is get a good education. He understands how the past calls people to learn about their environment and what it requires to create a balance of existence for all.
There are many other names who are worthy of mention, but space will not allow . One person in particular, Sam Graham, was instrumental in obtaining many of the community services. His store and boarding house were the focus for the town. I felt it was fitting to center my painting around the same.
Grahamdale is a lot smaller now, but stands as a landmark for all of the important people who carved their lives out of this wilderness, and provided a legacy that we can enjoy and appreciate today.