Glen Park… 80 Years

Pipestone Flyer

    In 1933 the Glen Park Community Center was open for the residents of the area and today it is still providing local residents a place to celebrate weddings and other social gatherings. On Saturday, August 17th, the center held its 80th anniversary party from 11am to 5pm. A number of activities including a Mini Car Rally, a Show & Shine, and a children’s bouncy castle were just some of the events held to help celebrate the occasion. Members of the center also took some time off to enter a float in Calmar’s Fair Parade.

    In 1899 the area was known by the name of Buford and a large number of Swedish settlers from North Dakota had been attracted to the rich farmland. Among the first was J.E. Helgren, his wife, and seven children. The early settlers showed their ingenuity to prairie conditions when Gust Jonson decided to get an early start on his potato crop by planting the seed potatoes on the sod roof of his barn. By 1901 there were enough settlers in the area to start a school and in 1904 a post office was up and running with a Mr. L.O. Anderson postmaster. Karl Lindgren was hired to carry the mail between Calmar and Bulford. A sawmill just west at Conjuring Lake was established and would provide the needed lumber for homesteaders, which allowed them to move from log cabins to solid frame houses. 

    The community of Bulford continued to grow until the railroad came, or should we say didn’t come. When the railroad finally established their route to connect with Leduc it was discovered that it would be several kilometers north of Bulford. The business people knew that unless they did something their businesses were doomed. Being realists they decided if the railroad wasn’t coming to them that they would go to the railroad and Bulford moved west to the rail line.

    The original homesteaders and farmers were not able to move their operations but still wanted a place to gather and socialize, so in 1933 they built a community center and gave it the name Glen Park. The strong community bonds have seen the center survive today eighty years later, after the early settlers decided visiting and being with neighbors in a local setting was far better than travelling to another community. That bond hopefully will continue and see Glen Park Community Center celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2033.