Get your Highlands Historical Society Plaque – October 31 deadline

What a great time to hunker down and cozy up with a warm cup of cocoa as you sit by the fireplace to research the history of your home.

A Highlands Historical Society Plaque is a beautiful way to pay hommage to the history of your home.

Our blog outlines a few quick steps to get your submission ready for a decorative plaque –

You have time to do the research before the deadline to get your plaque this year. The next submission deadline will be late May.

It’s a simple 3-step process. Look up Henderson’s directory, retrieve the land title, and submit your findings to the Plaques Coordinator. If you have any hiccups along the way, we’re here to help. You can send us an email or message us via our blog or Facebook with any questions.

This is a great opportunity to learn about the history of your home while applying for a decorative plaque to celebrate your home’s unique history.

Share with us in the comment section below some of your stories or what you have learned so far about your home. Some have connected with the children or even grandchildren of the original owners of their home!

There’s ample time to gather your information and make the October 31 deadline!

We look forward to reading your stories and receiving your plaque applications!

Mary Parris – Highlands Watercolour Artist

It all started with an old photo! When long-time Highlands resident and historian Ted Smith came across a gentleman holding an old photo on the stairs at the Highlands Golf Course, a conversation naturally ensued! It turned out the gentleman was Glenn Parris and the photo, circa 1947, was of Glenn’s mother, Highlands artist Mary Parris.

Ted’s further research lead him to the following information from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Painter Mary Parris was born February 11, 1914, in Edmonton, Alberta. Parris became an active member of the Edmonton Sketch Club in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and decided to further her art education
at the Extension Department at the University of Alberta. She also attended a workshop at the prestigious Banff School of Fine Arts (today The Banff Centre), where she studied alongside Edmonton artist Thelma Manarey. She also studied at Emma Lake in 1959 with John Ferren, and at the Edmonton Art Gallery in 1962 and 1972. Parris was an active contributor to the Edmonton art scene, as she was a member of the Edmonton Art Club and the Alberta Society of Artists. Parris is known for her abstract watercolour and acrylic paintings. Parris did not consider her work to be entirely abstract, as she found inspiration in the weeds and the landscape. Parris was also one of the founding members of the Focus
Gallery, which was the first artist co-op gallery in Canada. Parris and Marion Nicoll exhibited together at the Focus Gallery in 1962. Her work was exhibited frequently in the 1960s, at the Edmonton Art Gallery,
the Calgary Allied Arts Centre, and in a travelling watercolour exhibition curated by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Mary (nee Hunter) grew up on 74th Street in Virginia Park. She married Jim Parris, and their first home (built in 1941) was in the Highlands on 65th street and 114th avenue. Then in 1946 they built a home at 11307 – 65th street. They raised two children, daughter Marion, and son Glenn. Jim ran a plumbing company, Parris Plumbing.

The Parris family has deep connections to the Highlands community, to Highlands School and Highlands Golf Course. Mary attended Highlands School from 1925 to 1931. Son, Glenn, and daughter, Marion, both
attended school at Highlands and Eastglen (Glen at Highlands from about 1951 to 1961, with a couple of elementary years at Eastglen and Mount Royal, and then Eastglen from 1961 to 1964). Glenn’s wife Marlene (nee Maslanko) also attended Highlands from 1961 to 1964 and Eastglen from 1964 to 1967. Marlene’s sister Shirley attended both Highlands and Eastglen as well.

Both Jim and son Glenn golfed at Highlands Golf Course. Glenn played as a junior member, and Jim was still golfing at Highlands in his 88th year. Jim passed away in 1998 at 88 years of age.

This photo of Mary Parris sketching would have been on display at a gallery during one of her art shows. She sketched and painted all her life. Mary Parris passed away in 1988 at 74 years of age.

Written by Diane Smarsh

Think the Highlands Historical Society has been quiet this summer? Hardly!

Highlands Historical Society Self-Guided Walking Tour

Over 450 “Highlands Edmonton Historical Walking Tour” booklets have been distributed! 

We thank Ted Smith for most of the distribution. You can walk by his house (111 Ave and 56 Street) on a nice day (or any day!) and there is a little sign and a box with the booklets inside. If you are lucky, Ted will be working on his garden and he will strike up a conversation! Ted is passionate and knowledgeable about all things Highlands. Recently, the ladies who were watering the boulevard trees were fascinated about what Ted had to say, especially about Heritage Tree Avenue (pg 61 in the booklet).

Highlands Historical Society Plaque Month Winners

Decorative historic plaques adorn many homes and businesses in the Highlands neighbourhood. The plaques reflect the interest and support our community has for its history by identifying the year the building was constructed, as well as the original owners of the homes and businesses and their diverse occupations.

This spring, the Highlands Historical Society challenged our members to see who could locate and record the most plaques. Our contest winners each received a gift certificate to a local Highlands business.

Congratulations to Bernadette Stolte, Karen Teghtmeyer, Carissa Morrissey and Vicky Smith!

Up and Coming!

Decorative Plaque Deadline – October 31, 2020
Make sure to submit your decorative plaque applications before our bi-annual plaque deadline! Please browse our many blog posts for more information!

Annual General Meeting – November 28, 2020 at 2 pm
Via Zoom
Free Eventbrite tickets – information to come soon. Watch this space.

In challenging times, the work of the Society continues. We as a Board are looking for innovative ways to provide events and help document the stories of this great historic neighbourhood.  Now is the time for you to become involved. One of the easiest ways to contribute to this work and to become involved is by becoming a member and attending the AGM. Annual memberships expire October 31.

Watch for our upcoming post entitled, “The Edmonton Normal School.”

Introducing Buttercup the Cow

“[…] Up until the Second World War this area between 55 Street and 60 Street and 112 Avenue to 118 Avenue remained farmland. Clyde Smith, an auctioneer, was the first resident of [Buttercup Farm House] and lived there from 1919 to 1942. His home was named after Buttercup the cow, a resident of the barn at the rear of his property. Henderson’s Directories does not list any neighbour to the Buttercup Farmhouse until 1950 when the area was further developed as a residential district […]”

Artwork by Irina Kruglyakova