A young school teacher vanished without a trace more than a century ago and her disappearance still baffles historians.
Maude Waldbrooke was a teacher at the old Indian Industrial School, which stood west of Red Deer on the north side of the Red Deer River.
She vanished one Sunday, never to be heard of again.
The date was Aug. 27, 1899.
Some thought she had drowned in the Red Deer River.
But a number of disturbing and baffling incidents occurred following her disappearance.
Cases of arson near the school where she worked were reported.
As well, someone opened gunfire at a staff member at the school.
No one was ever apprehended in either case.
Years before, in another part of Central Alberta, there was one particular bloody massacre on the shores of what is now known as Pine Lake.
An encampment of Cree First Nations were slaughtered by a Blackfoot war party.
The people in the area concluded the lake was haunted by the ghosts of the tribes people who were murdered. For many years, the lake was known as Ghost Pine Lake or Devil’s Pine Lake because of the ghosts and apparitions that were claimed to have appeared.
On Wednesday, Red Deer historian Michael Dawe threw in bits of history between short anecdotes on the mysteries and the untold tales of Red Deer.
His stories dated back to the early settlers in Central Alberta.
Dawe said there’s a lot of untold and unexplained mysteries in the area. Many haunted tales revolve around the city’s oldest and former hotels like the Arlington, the Windsor, the Alberta and the Alexandra.
Dawe said because there were a lot of unexplained deaths and tragedies, people have claimed to have seen ghosts or that the buildings were haunted.
Dawe’s talk was one of several Lunch and Learn sessions hosted by Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE) at the Hub on Ross Street this month. Contact CARE for information on the next Lunch and Learn session at 403-346-8818.