B I T T E R N   L A K E   /   H A L L E Y

Most of the early settlers that settled around Bittern Lake were of English decent. People with names like Gould, Roper and Ladell etc. The first Bittern Lake post office was located directly east of the lake at SW-16-47-21-W4th and was set up in Mr. Earnest Roper in his home. Mr. Roper had built his home on this quarter of land in 1888-89 and in 1889 a post office was established. In those days the Roper store was a post office outlet but he also had many items to sell and he also bought furs, mostly muskrats and many of his customers were natives Indians or Metis. Roper had found it necessary to build another building to store the furs he was buying. At one time there was also a blacksmith shop operated by Frank Langston was near this store. This store and post office operated from 1899-1904. Earnest Roper resigned as postmaster in 1904 and it is thought that is about when he closed his store. This date is indeterminate but it is known that Roper did sell this property to Josh Kaser some years later. A.H. Ladell had taken over the Bittern Lake post office from Earnest Roper and set up his post office in his house on SW-7-48-21-W4th., this being some miles due north of the lake. Mr. Ladell’s place was first known as the “Ladell and Butcher” general store. In 1910 Mr.

Ladell decided to rename his store and post office to “Halley”, probably as a result of the news of the comet Halley that had orbited the sun that year. You will note then that Halley was located at SW-7-48-21-W4th. A.H. Ladell sold his farm in 1917 and moved away. The post office in Halley still operated a few more years but then closed in 1920. The Bittern Lake post office was operating in the new hamlet of Bittern Lake and still is currently in operation.

It should be noted that many communities were expanding at this time such as Camrose and Hay Lakes and this was the death knell for Halley. In 1904 the railway was advancing west from eastern Canada and a survey was determined that a depot site was to be established as SE-36-46-22-W4th. This bordered the south shore of Bittern Lake. So when the rail way came through this site grew rapidly and also spelled the death knell of an established hamlet near by called Rosenroll. Rosenroll had been established some years before and was a thriving community. Most of the surrounding post offices such as the Bittern Lake of Earnest Ropers and later at Halley had received their mail via the distributing center of Rosenroll. Those at Rosenroll had hoped that the rail way would come past their hamlet but that wasn’t to be. Many of the buildings that had been erected in Rosenroll were then moved to the new site of Bittern Lake including the hotel.

Historical information courtesy of   David Moore