History

Posted on April 7th, 2011 by cal.

History

The municipality was once home to Assiniboine Cree and their enemies, the Blackfoot. The area was also a part of the Palliser Expedition which declared the area unfit for cultivation. It should be noted that much of the land is now profitable farmland. Once this RM was part of the '76 Ranch', and today ranching still remains as part of the basis for the economy.

The first recorded local self government was January 2, 1911 at a meeting of L.I.D. No.139. Mr.J.Ohlheiser was appointed as Chairman and E.E.Spackman as Secretary-Treasurer. In 1912 with Chairman T.J.Armstrong and Secretary-Treasurer C. Lochead, a meeting was held at the Gull Lake Fire Hall. At this time the first membership was paid for in the S.A.R.M. Meetings that followed were held at the Lyceum Theatre, except in the months of June and July when the meetings took place at Whipps Hall in Tompkins.

Brome GrassAt 10:30 a.m., January 6,1913 the final meeting of L.I.D. No.139 was held and at 11:00 a.m. the first meeting of the RM of Gull Lake No. 139 was called to order. Councillor Whipps acted as Chairman and C. Lochead was hired as Secretary-Treasurer. Armstrong was elected as Reeve, and in April Oscar W. Howard became Secretary-Treasurer, a position he held until 1949. In October a motion was passed to pay F.W. Hinton $10.00 per month to rent the office opposite the Post Office.

In May 1914 at a meeting held in Whipps Hall in Tompkins the motion was passed to purchase a lot in Gull Lake and a suitable building was erected to hold a safe, and to house an office and Municipal Hall.

In 1920 the first adding machine was purchased at a price of $435.00 and in 1923 the first vault was built. 1930 marked another first as the first annual meeting was held in November.

In 1933 the Department of Municipal Affairs passed legislation that secretaries of the RM's were required to obtain a Provisional Certificate of Qualification.

At a meeting in September of 1938, the Reeve and Secretary-Treasurer were appointed a committee to arrange moving the Sydney Ward house to Gull Lake for an office. The old office was sold to R. O'Connor for $100.00.
During the mid fifties, for a period of about ten years, oil activity came to the area on a limited scale. Drilling increased in the mid sixties and continues today.

A joint meeting was held in August of 1968 with the RM of Gull Lake No. 139, RM of Carmichael No. 109 and the Town of Gull Lake. The decision was reached at this time to conduct a feasibility study into the possibility of a joint office. Eventually the town decided to remain in their own building. The two Rural Municipalities moved into their new shared premises on Lot 6, Block 65 in Gull Lake on January of 1970.

roadIn 1913 the road system consisted of miles of prairie trails. The roads gradually improved with the assistance of jointly funded Provincial and Municipal road programs such as the Grid Road program, the Main Farm Access program, and the Super Grid system which led to the eventual formation of Municipal Maintenance Areas. The RM's of Gull Lake, Carmichael, and Webb formed Maintenance Area No. 1, the first in the Province.