VALHALLA CENTRE - History, Location, Population, Camping, Melsness Mercantile Provincial Site. Northern Alberta.
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VALHALLA CENTRE GOOGLE MAP

VALHALLA CENTRE
ALBERTA, CANADA



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Welcome to Valhalla Centre Alberta. Located in the County of Grande Prairie.



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Coming into Valhalla Centre from the east on Highway 59, a special sign has been erected to acknowledge one of the residents, Christine Nordhagen, six-time World Champion Freestyle Wrestler.


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When visiting Valhalla Centre, you will most likely see many buffalo in the countryside. There are 125 bison producers in the Peace Region. The Peace Country Bison Association was established in 1984. The Peace Region is home to 50% of all bison raised in Alberta.


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There are many farms that surround the Hamlet of Valhalla Centre. Just a few kilometers east, a farmer combines his crop in mid September


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Valhalla Curling Rink was the centre of community life in winter for many years. First opened in December 1945. Finally closed . Did not have artificial ice.


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Valhalla Skating Rink. Skating and hockey is enjoyed by all ages. In the summer it is used for roller blading. The fist skating rink was an outdoor one until 1944 when steps were taken to cut the timber required for the building.

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Valhalla Cemetery is located a few kilomoters to the west of the Hamlet.

 

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VALHALLA CENTRE

Located approximately 60 km north-west of Grande Prairie, Alberta is the Hamlet of Valhalla Centre at the crossroads of Highway 59 and 723. 14 km west of La Glace. The population is 45 people (2011 stats) living in 19 dwellings.

Photo taken along Highway 59, looking east. Right along the highway to the left is the Melsness Mercantile, to the right is the convenient store. Further down the highway, is the Chuch on the left and then the school.

Valhalla Centre got its name from Reverend Halvar N. Ronning, a Lutheran pastor who founded the settlement where many Scandinavians settled. They came over the Edson Trail in 1912. Valhalla means "home of the gods" in Norwegian. In Norse mythology, Valhalla is the home of Viking heroes after death.

Ronning Log Homestead
The Ronning 2 1/2 storey log homestead, built in 1914 by Halvar and his son Chester Ronning still stands today located about a mile from Valhalla. It has been declared a Provincial Historical Site. The Ronning family played an important role to help settle the area. (Valhalla-Hythe District) Halvar Ronning was the founder of the Norwegian Lutheran community in the Valhalla region while Chester served as a missionary to China, became involved with politics, the air force and participated in the international commissions on Korea, Laos, Hanoi, Saigon and Vietnam. For his accomplishments he was designated an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967, became a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1972 and inducted in the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1983. (picture submitted)

Fifty miles south of Minneapolis USA, is the FIrst English Lutheran of Faribault, Minnesota. In the basement is a picture of Reverend Halvar Nilson Ronning who served a congregation in that area from 1887 to 1890. The first post office was opened in 1916 in the Valhalla settlement with G.R. Owens the first postmaster.

Valhalla Centre was known for the Valhalla Cooperative Creamery. Homesteaders sold their cream to the creamery which made it into butter. The butter was then shipped by train to Edmonton. Because the Creamery did so well it attracted other businesses and the hamlet grew. In 1945 the creamery was sold to the Grande Prairie creamery. From 2006 to 2011 the population of Valhalla Centre has declined by 25%.

NEW FEATURE
DUAL CAM VIDEOS

Valhalla Centre VIdeo featuring the Valhalla School, Lutheran Church and Melsness Mercantile along Highway 59:
View Video>
(3:25 min)  

Melsness Mercantile, a provincial historic site. Pays tribute to the area's Scandinavian heritage. Built in 1925 and later bought by the Ole Melsness family who operated it until 1943. In those early years it served as a general store and post office. The post office operated at that location until 1951. The Valhalla Troll Park surrounds this site and features many Trolls.
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The Mercantile is now a coffee shop, museum, studio for local artists and a meeting room. It is open year round. (Mercantile picture - enlarge)
The Heritage Garden is located to the west of the Mercantile with day-use area.





Valhalla Heritage Society was formed in 1988 to help preserve some of the history of the area. (780) 356-3535.

Valhalla Centre is surrounded by many Gas Plants that employ many in the area. Suncor and AEC West are just a few of the many in the area.

Some of the homes in Valhalla Centre (pictured above) located on the west part of the Hamlet.

EVENTS: NOW POSTED 2014 Events of the Peace Country
Each year the Canada Day Parade is held at 11am on main street Valhalla Centre. Also there is fun, games and races for everyone as well as hotdog's. This event has been going since the mid 1990's

On old barn that took a lot of craftmanship to build still stands next to the Hamlet. (enlarge picture) An old Threshing Machine from the area is next to the Malsness Mercantile. (enlarge picture)


VALHALLA CENTRE ALBERTA


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Valhalla School and Community Library. Kindergarten to grade 6. About 36 students attend this school. The first school was log and was built by volunteers in the community in 1916. The local elected school board set up their assessments for the school and each dad was required to build desks for his own children. The present school was built in 1954.

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In 2011, work began on the new Library-Community Centre in Valhalla. The 15,000 square foot building was constructed on the west side of the school.


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AP Onestop located on main street also known as the Valhalla Co-op. In 1942 the community formed a co-op and purchased the Mercantile Stock.

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Valhalla Lutheran Church is the only church in this community. The Lutheran Congregation was formed when the settlers arrived. First in a tent, then in homes, then in the log schoolhouse. In 1926 the church was built almost completely by volunteers except for the construction foreman.







VALHALLA CENTRE - Alberta

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