It was a fine day for a picnic when the Smales and Dale families met in the picturesque Qu'Apple Valley, west of Fort Qu'Appelle, circa 1905. Shown wearing her best white dress is H.G. Bartlett's mother, Dolly (Dora) Smales, born in 1893 in Regina. Bartlett's uncle, Allister Smales, sits on his horse, which is being steadied by Bartlett's grandfather George M. Smales. Both men would serve overseas during World War I.
Bartlett's grandmother, Alice Smales, is seen in the buggy enjoying a tete-a-tete with Mrs Dale, a Qu'Appelle Valley pioneer. Dale's daughters, Beatrice and Alice, are in the right foreground with their faithful horses. The Smales family arrived in Regina shortly after the building of the CPR but like the Qu'Appelle valley so much that the moved there in 1900.
The region was first home to Cree and Saulteaux buffalo hunters. The first North West Company fort was built in the area in 1787, and the last one closed in 1819. A Hudson's Bay Company fur trading post was established in 1864.
The valley region is as beautiful today as it ever was.
H.G. Bartlett's mother was Dolly Smales. Bartlett resides in Bay-Sah-Tah near Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. Text by Beverley Tallon.