Alberta’s Archives send you Valentines

The Archives Society of Alberta have asked our members to share their favorite Valentines. Here are some lovely Valentines from the vaults:

Galt Museum & Archives, Lethbridge
19891053006. Young couple chalking hearts onto a tree, Valentine’s Day. 1944.


Photograph donated by Laura E. Hicks of Lethbridge, who served oversees as a member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC) during World War 2. Sergeant Laura E. Hicks was a Photo Librarian for the Canadian Film & Photo Unit!


Glenbow Archives, Calgary


ASA Valentine Blog

This letter was written by Colonel J.F. Macleod of the North-West Mounted Police to his wife Mary. Yes, the famous Mountie who led the newly-formed force to the West in 1874 and negotiated Treaty 7 at Blackfoot Crossing in 1877, had a romantic streak. On a visit to the Crossing in February 1884 he thought not of the historic treaty signing, but of the tent he had shared there with his beloved wife. He searched out the very spot and wrote her name in the snow with his moccasin.


Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre





University of Calgary Archives

James Wheeler Davidson Family fonds, 2012.004

This is a page from a notebook containing messages written in 1933 by Lillian Dow Davidson to her recently deceased husband of 26 years, James Wheeler Davidson.  Lillian’s notebook clearly reveals the love she had for Jim and how desperately she missed him after his death.  The messages give researchers a glimpse into the private lives of a couple who were often in the public eye, and thus allow the other records in the fonds which document their public activities to be viewed from the perspective of an insider.



Between Me and Thee, my precious Jim

I want, dear, to be sweet and gracious and to keep myself up to date and looking nice for I am still Jim Davidson’s wife and proud to be and want to justify your selection of me as your wife.

You are my ideal of a man, my dear, one who had just plenty of force of character but not so much as to be domineering and tyrannical. Every woman loves a man she can look up to and be guided by. You were an ideal combination of all that is most admirable in the male character. 


The City of Calgary, Corporate Records, Archives 

CalA 2013-029-008


Love in the flood? The ‘HMS Cupid’ being rowed near the flooded out Langevin bridge in Calgary, July 5, 1902. While this doesn’t particularly look like a pleasure outing, we’d like to think some romantic souls made use of the boat prior to the flood.


Provincial Archives of Alberta, Edmonton

PR2000.0248/26 from the Housiaux family fonds. Undated, but possibly 1920s or 1930s.

PR2000.0248.0026 (front)    PR2000.0248.0026 (back)

It’s animated! It’s not often we come across archival records that move (if we exclude moving images, of course). The little dog will move his mouth to speak into the microphone. The fingerprint (paw print?) “mark” on the back is interesting, especially since there is a matching dog Valentine in the file with Nelly’s fingerprint/paw print “mark.”


Museum of the Highwood, High River

MH001.004.563 (1)

High River Active 20-30 Club Valentine’s queen and king contestants, circa 1975.


Legal Archives Society of Alberta, Calgary

LASA Image #47-G-40


The Honourable J.V.H. Milvain, Q.C., O.C

The Honourable James Valentine Hogarth Milvain, known as ‘Uncle Val’ to his
friends, was born during a snow storm on Valentine’s Day 1904, on a ranch
near Pincher Creek, Alberta.

Milvain graduated from the University of Alberta Law School.  He moved to
Calgary in 1927 and was admitted to the bar that same year.  In October
1959, the Ranchmen’s Club held a dinner in honour of his appointment to the
Supreme Court of Alberta, Trial Division.  Nine years later, Milvain became
Alberta’s first native-born Chief Justice.  He retired from the Bench and
resumed private practice in 1979.  In 1987 Milvain was appointed an Officer
of the Order of Canada.

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