A Blackfalds woman is being recognized for her work documenting the town’s history.
Judy Carleton, Blackfalds and Area Historical Society president, recently received an award from the Historical Society of Alberta for her contribution to preserving history and heritage.
“It was a very pleasant surprise and I’m humbled by their recognition. But I’m just doing stuff I’ve come to love doing – it doesn’t feel like work at all and I’m going to keep going,” said Carleton.
Carleton said she “came into local history later in life.”
“I helped the town with its centennial celebration back in 2004, and was invited onto a committee. I saw Blackfalds didn’t have its own history book, which I couldn’t believe, so I thought that would be a great project.”
She founded the Blackfalds and Area Historical Society in April 2005.
“I didn’t want to operate all by myself, so I started the … society. This way, you could qualify for grants and do more things than an individual could do,” she said.
“I was just trying to rectify the fact that no one had been preserving Blackfalds history.”
Since the society’s creation, Carleton has been involved in a number of projects in Blackfalds, including building a veterans’ monument, developing an archive with thousands of photos and documents, and helping in the preservation of the Wadey Centre.
“I’m always on the lookout for Blackfalds history,” she said.
“It always astounds me that I don’t even consider it work. I enjoy it so much that I can’t foresee not doing it. We’re totally turning around that people didn’t know much about Blackfalds history.”
Carleton’s family has lived in the area for more than 100 years.
“My family came here in 1905 – my great grandfather with my grandfather, who was maybe only 16 at the time. Then my father spent his whole life in the Blackfalds area as a farmer.
“I’ve lived my whole life in Blackfalds, other than getting my education, and I raised my kids here. So that’s five generations all in the same place. I’m sure that’s why I’m so passionate about it.”