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Historic baseball picture from McCarty, Tom. (1977, c1974). As We Remember Big Valley. Big Valley, Alta. : T. McCarty. p. 124
Big Valley in the 1920’s was a very entertaining town. Big Valley had many sports teams, such as baseball, hockey, boxing, basketball, and curling.
Big Valley’s baseball team was called The Big Valley Bugs. The Big Valley Bugs were an awesome team. They played some of the best baseball in Alberta. Big Valley played against towns such as Drumheller, Stettler, Rumsey, and Scollard. In the playoffs, Big Valley played against cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Lethbridge.
Big Valley also had a band, a theatre, and a hall called The Vopat’s Hall. Big Valley also had another hall, the billiard hall. The pool hall was located on Railway Avenue, and people always enjoyed going there to play pool, and cards.
Vopat’s Hall was a place where people could gather, possibly for elections, suppers, meetings, and dances.
Big Valley Baseball Uniform
Big Valley Museum
Boxing was a very popular sport. Big Valley’s boxing teams competed at The Lyceum Theatre. Boxing lessons were held in the gym, and in the old Caldwell barn.
Big Valley also had acrobatics and tumbling, taught by Ernie Frost. They too would sometimes perform at the Lyceum Theatre.
Curling was played by many students, as a sport for P.E., since the first rink was made in 1919.
At Big Valley’s Frontenac Hotel people would go to the bar to play poker, and gamble.
In my study I didn't find what all the people of Big Valley did, but we can make assumptions that they walked, went on horse rides, and bike rides, and enjoyed going to the neighbors house, to play cards, and have a nice visit.
Recreation in the 1920’s was not much different from recreation today. People still play hockey, basketball, baseball, golf and curling. The Big Valley baseball teams were very successful even with having many people leaving and being injured. The Big Valley teams usually consisted of 10 to 18 players.
Big Valley also had boxing, a sport were two people enter a ring and punch each other until one gives up.
Curling was not very popular at the time because of the snow and no money to put in a curling arena. Big Valley did not have a football team that was competitive; it was mainly baseball and hockey in Big Valley.
People also did other things than sports in there spare time, like gambling, swimming or playing a game of pool. Farmers were also very important to sports because most farmers had cars or horse drawn buggies that took teams or people to places. Equipment was expensive so teams had to either share or buy their own equipment.
Recreation is live and well in Big Valley today. There are many sports teams in the vicinity of the town. There are groups and clubs such as the explorers and the 4-H club.
The hockey teams of Big Valley has been very successful in the past. In The 2002/2003 season the novice team went undefeated. This year there are 6 league teams; the mites, the novice, atoms, midgets, also a Big Valley/Byemoor combined peewee team and the pride of our agriplex the Big Valley Oil Kings. The Oil Kings are a senior men’s hockey team.
Big Valley has been active in the 4-H organizations since the 1920`s. There are horse and beef 4-h this year.
The Big Valley School has a great P.E program and many students participate in school sports.
Recreation is alive and well in Big Valley. The town has many promising young
athletes. So bring it on!