Priddis/Millarville/Red Deer Lake

Square Butte Community – Feb 2021

As we see a new year and a new outlook emerge upon us, the COVID-19 virus is dominating our lives, news, and work. It is not easy, so be supportive and try your best to comply with regulations. Helping each other is something we are used to and we may need to call upon the community to help us with the replacement of one of our Square Butte Hall’s foundation walls. Two of our board members, Keith Walters and Clayton Foster have compiled a budget for the basement wall replacement which has come in at $136,333. We can now move forward on fund raising and applying for matching grants. Volunteer labour can be put towards our portion of matching funding, therefore it is so important we all pull together to maintain our beautiful Square Butte Hall.

History of Square Butte Hall: A brief history of the hall is important at this time to ensure that the community has knowledge about the hall and gets behind the restoration of the basement walls. The Square Butte Community goes back to the early 20’s when the Square Butte School was built and served as the center of activity. In 1950 the school divisions were centralized and the local kids were bused to Millarville by Jake Reimer, a service he provided for over 2 decades. The very active community took over the school and it was used for 20 years until the building began sagging and required major repair. The community looked to the Kew district as they were not using their hall and an agreement was made in which they donated their hall to Square Butte. The community rallied behind this project. Tilly (Hume) Robertson donated land at the existing site on Hwy. 762 and the process was in motion to form a society to acquire title to the land (which took until 1966). The project of moving the Kew Hall was a mammoth undertaking but the locals were up to the challenge. Shoemaker was hired as mover, Bill Kendall supplied the timbers, and countless neighbors poured basement walls and prepared the site. The south end was extended to provide a stage and extra exit. In 1980, Bob Parkins headed up an addition which added a kitchen and much needed space. In later years an outdoor deck, washroom and entrance were added. 1961 saw the grand opening and the hall flourished.

The most important part of the community were the wonderful events that were held over the years. Socials, bridal showers, slide shows, turkey shoots, box socials, snowmobile races, quilting bees, Gingham Balls, 4-H activities and many more events. At first there were only outhouses for bathrooms and the new building site was a mud hole until they finally got some gravel. The people of this community have been very supportive and welcoming of newcomers over the years. Norma Lyall would welcome any new neighbors with a homemade pie, and she wasn’t the only one.

Submitted by Mary Ann Watson

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