502-1 AVE - Golden & Silver Glades
Updated: Mar 16
The story of the cabin at 502-1 AVE goes back to the 1950’s, when lumber mills were a bustling industry and the area of Ma-Me-O Beach was booming with business.
Carol Magnuson and Gloria Fisher, both granddaughter’s of Edmund Nadeau, tell the first part of this story with Ron and Linda Wright rounding out the tale into the present day.
Edmund Nadeau, known to everyone as Ed, owned the property for a number of years along with the BA Garage at Ma-Me-O Beach. Ed worked in the lumber mills in the area of Battle Lake, Winfield and Buck Lake along with running a personal mill right out of the backyard of 502-1 AVE. Ed’s son Earl, known as Bud, married Shirley Burtch in Wetaskiwin and they soon moved out to the cabin known as Golden Glade with their daughter Carol who was born in 1951. They soon began to enjoy lake life year round. Shortly after in 1953, Gloria was born and added new joy to their growing family.
The cabin was originally built in the late 1920’s and was a 2-bedroom set up with a wood burning stove to heat the interior. Kerosene lamps were used for lighting and thunder mugs were ready when the trek to the outhouse was just too far. Thankfully, in 1956, plumbing was installed which was a major upgrade from the tub in front of the wood stove for bath time. A phone installed directly in the cabin came in 1960, which was a big deal for the whole family. Before this, Marriott’s store was the only place to call out from. The official Nadeau phone number was 9. Imagine only having to dial one number to reach someone!
Bud and Shirley worked diligently to provide a good home for their growing family. Yvonne Adair and Shirley cleaned many cottages for whoever would hire them during the busy summer season. Periodically, they would find the door open at some of the cabins and were not always sure if it was a break-in or rogue wildlife trying to rummage through the interior. Shirley also ran a smaller cabin rental on their own property called Silver Glade.
Carol recalled being able to stay in the cabin in the spring to make it her own space and felt very grown up while doing schoolwork and sleeping there on her own. Bud kept busy running a sand and gravel pit called Ma-Me-O Sand and Gravel which was owned by Waddie and Brod Broderick. This left plenty of time for Carol and Gloria to have the run of Ma-Me-O Beach along with the other children who were either out for the summer or lived there year round as the Nadeau’s did.
The favourite activities of youth in Ma-Me-O were playing ball and going to dances. Those days, if you couldn’t throw a ball or two-step, you had no social life as a kid! Summer dances were a big thing for Carol and Gloria. Carol would meet the bus at the town hall to watch the bands unload. One time they gave Carol money to pick-up hamburgers for the whole crew which made her feel like a big shot for sure! Some of the acts that came through were Lenny Richards, The Privilege, Southbound Freeway and Barry Allen and the Rebels. The drummer from the Barry Allen band was Carol’s favourite. Gloria always enjoyed having Bud and Shirley walk the girls to every dance and meet them at midnight for the walk home. In those days, you could leave your kid at the dances without having to hang around and wait all night for them. Mr.Crawford was the appointed ‘bouncer’ for all the dances at the hall and he would make sure no kid left without their parents at the end of the night. Mr. Crawford was great with kids and made sure things didn’t get out of hand while enduring the music at every dance with no complaint.
The magic of youth and being blessed with nature all around, while being brought up at Ma-Me-O Beach was truly unique. The moon always shined brighter and there were diamonds sparkling in the snow. The girls were convinced the snow diamonds showed Santa where to go each Christmas to deliver presents. An imagination erupted in the Christmas season living out at Pigeon Lake and Gloria has continued the tradition for her grandchildren. One of the most exciting times in the winter was when the wind would whip across the lake with such high velocity it would create snow drifts as high as the cabins. Gloria remembered having to the highway to catch the bus for school and climbing snow drifts that reached the top of the power poles! Not recommended to get that close to high voltage lines but of course being kids they were fearless.
What the Nadeau’s remember most was the sense of community and safety felt wherever they went in Ma-Me-O Beach. No babysitters were needed as it was so safe and no one worried about the kids because you could walk into anyone’s cabin for a snack or glass of Kool-Aid. Everyone would come together for a family in need with potlucks, family dances and fundraisers if someone’s place burnt down or they were struggling to make it through winter. Every lemonade stand and saskatoon sale saw great success thanks to dedicated customers. This was a community that the Nadeau’s were sad to move away from but were sure to visit often as they didn’t go too far.
In 1968 Bud bought the Westerose Store from Charles and Pearl Wright and the cabin at 502-1 Avenue was included in the sale. Bud moved his family south of the store two lots down from Ruby Hoyle’s place. The Westerose Store was located directly across from what is now Backstreet Antiques. Unfortunately, the store burnt down April 1, 1973 after the Nadeau’s sold it. Gloria and Carol still try to come out as often as they can to the place they called home all through their childhood – which leads into the Wright story.
The Wright’s moved from Fabian, AB, when they purchased the Westerose store in 1959. It was a family endeavor since it included the post office, mail routes, groceries, feed, gas pumps, hardware, telephone exchange and even clothing items – a real General Store.
After the sale of the store, Charles and Pearl moved to the cabin with the intent of staying only long enough until they decided where they wanted to retire but ended up staying for almost ten years before moving to the Rimbey Seniors Home. After their passing it was left to all their children – Chloe Metcalfe, Stan, Harold, Wilf and Ron Wright. In 1988, Ron and Linda purchased what they refer to as Silver Glade, from the rest of the family.
Ron lived with his parents above the store and helped out in the store while attending Lakedell Elementary and Pigeon Lake Regional High School. Linda grew up on a farm close to Falun and both have family still living in the area so they continue to enjoy summers at ‘the cabin.’
Ron and Linda both remember spending time when they were young going to Ma-Me-O Beach in the summer. It was a very busy place in the 1960’s. ‘Ma’ Samborski’s Restaurant was a popular meeting place after basketball and volleyball games at the high school. ‘Ma’ used to swim to the island every year by the May Long Weekend no matter what the weather was. The earliest she braved the icy waters was April 8th, which was quite the feat! There were dances every Saturday night, trampolines you could rent, horse stables, and of course the pier. The pier was a special place for everyone as you could take a stroll out there to look out at the lake and enjoy the sunsets. Many lake folk docked their boats to come in to have an ice cream or just enjoy the nice sandy beaches.
The cabin at 502-1 Avenue has always been a meeting place to gather with family and friends every summer. All who came out have enjoyed boating, fishing, lounging at the beach, barbecues and of course the campfires. Ron and Linda’s children – Jeffrey, Darin & Amber enjoyed the lake while growing up. They spent every sunny day at the beach and always seemed to find friends to play with - not even wanting to come up for lunch. The boys also liked to spend a lot of time playing video games at the arcade by the pier and visiting ‘Ma’ at her restaurant. Another favourite thing was to take the huge tractor tube down to the beach and ride the waves or just float around. Even though the kids have grown up and are busy with their own lives and families, they still take time to come to ‘the cabin’ each summer.
The Nadeau’s and Wright’s have built amazing memories thanks to their time at Golden and Silver Glade. A lifetime of dancing, swimming and soaking up the sun is what Ma-Me-O Beach became all about for these families who truly embraced lake life at its finest.
That's all for now folks! Stay tuned for our next post as more stories are collected and submitted.
~History Book Team~