Summer Village of Gull Lake
SILENT AUCTION & HAPPY HOUR
JUNE 15, 2013
7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
The history of Gull Lake began long before the white man came. In fact, most of Alberta's lakes were formed during the last glaciation, about 12,000 years ago. Over the past 150 years, it is known that the water levels in the lake have fluctuated to a large extent. The earliest written records of Gull Lake water levels date back to the 19th century from traders who followed a track not far south of the lake. Apparently winter traffic crossed the lake on the ice to shorten the trip. In the early 1800s the lake level receded slowly and steadily such that by the 1850s, summer crossing became possible over a narrow gravel ridge that led southwest from near McLaurin's Beach. By 1860 this ridge was fully exposed. By the turn of the 20th century, high water levels were again recorded and the lake supported a lumber industry. A 26 metre long steamboat, built in 1898, was used in a sawmill operation at Birch Bay on the west shore of Gull Lake. Passengers were often carried on this and other steamboats on the lake. However, since that time the water level has slowly receded again to present day levels.
Homesteaders first settled the region south and west of Gull Lake in about 1895. The Summer Viillage of Gull Lake is located on the south shore and is the oldest Summer Village in Alberta. It was incorporated in March 1913. Traditionally, Summer Villages were formed from 'Summer Resort' areas. Their residents were predominately summer residents or "cottagers". A number of today's cottagers in the Summer Village are descendants of the first owners. There are stories and memories from the early days of the Summer Village about the men and women who built the hotels, who managed the first stores, who provided the ice and the wood, and those who went up and down the back lane to sell milk, butter, vegetables, chickens, and home baking.
Today many of the old summer cottages are being replaced by permanent residences. It is a very thriving Village, governed by a Council (Mayor and 2 Councillors) and a part-time police officer. There is a Community League which organizes various social and cultural events. The Community Hall is a very active hall for village events, as well as weddings and receptions and other family functions. There is an Emergency Response Program in effect in the Village (get details from Angel). A valuable asset to our community is the recycle area - a well-used site!
For further facts and figures about Gull Lake, please follow the links which are posted on this web site.