Fonds 0039 - Bert and Miriam Tieman fonds

Buffalo Lakes General Store Tieman Home in Grande Prairie The Student Prince Little Theatre Production Homesteading in Buffalo Lakes Snowshoeing Hauling Firewood Family Outside Christ Church Anglican Christ Church Anglican The Flying Dutchman
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Bert and Miriam Tieman fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Moving images

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  • Source of title proper: Title of fonds based on contents.

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CA GPR 0039

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Physical description

6.5 cm of textual records
146 photographs
624 postcards
35 sketches
9 video recordings

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Bernard John Tieman was born in Delfts, Holland in 1898. At the age of 21 he immigrated to High River, Alberta. The year was 1920, and the trip was made by ship. On board he met Miriam Hutchinson, who had been born in England in 1898, and was also immigrating to Canada. The couple were married in Calgary in 1926. In 1927, the Tiemans came to the Peace Country. They filed on NE 31-74-7, north of Buffalo Lake and farmed there until 1946, when they moved to Grande Prairie. Miriam Tieman was a long-time member of the Alberta Women's Institute and became involved with the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire soon after her arrival in Buffalo Lake. In Grande Prairie, she assisted the first teacher at the Peace School of Hope when it opened in 1955. Bert worked as a carpenter. The Tiemans were very active in the community. They attended Christ Church Anglican, where Bert handcrafted the pews, the tables and the bishop's chair in the old church. They served as volunteers for the Peace School of Hope, where Bert taught woodworking and served on the board, while Miriam's group of the Women's Institute sewed all the curtains and quilts. Barrydale House, the dorm for handicapped children which opened in 1960, was named after Barry Ferguson and Dale McQuaig, two handicapped boys from outside of Grande Prairie who had lived with the Tiemans for a number of years. Swan Industries, a woodworking shop for the handicapped, which Bert also supported, opened in 1973. Bert and Miriam were also involved with the Drama Festival, Bert as actor and stage manager and Miriam in the cast or designing and sewing costumes. Later, Bert served as president of the Museum Board for some years. It was due to his persistence that Tieman Road was opened as an access to the museum. In 1952, Bert was elected to the Town Council, a position he maintained for 11 years. He was a councilman when Grande Prairie became a city in 1958. Bert's many interests included woodworking crafts, theatre and art. He was also an amateur paleontologist, with a self-taught knowledge of fossils. His greatest discovery was a fossilized pike fish which, after examination by University of Alberta professor Dr. Mark Wilson, was given the name, 'Esox tiemani'. Bert and Miriam's only child died as an infant. Miriam passed away in Nov. 21, 1979. Bert passed away on September 20, 1984. Because they had no family in Canada, the Tieman estate was willed to the Grande Prairie Museum.

Custodial history

Records were bequeathed to the Grande Prairie Museum along with the entirety of the Tieman estate. Grande Prairie Regional Archives assumed responsibility for the archival portion in 2000. An accrual of paper records in 2011 was donated by William H. Rollans, Edmonton, executor for Mr. Tieman's estate.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of some personal papers of Bert and Miriam Tieman; a folder of unframed pencil sketches and paintings; a large photograph and postcard collection, including personal photographs of the Tiemans and their homes; films of their life and activities; and documents relating to their hobbies and their volunteer work with the South Peace Operatic Society, the Grande Prairie & District Association of the Mentally Handicapped, the Town of Grande Prairie when Bert was Alderman, and the Grande Prairie Museum. Also included is a handwritten "Handbook for Wireless Telegraph Operators" c. 1920. An accrual includes birth certificates for Bert and Miriam, a marriage certificate and records of Bert's including a typing certificate (1914), a military draft certificate (1917), a Lay Minister's License (1981), City of Grande Prairie Alderman card, a news clippping showing Bert donating his personal art collection to the Prairie Art Gallery, a thank you letter for service on the Grande Prairie Health Unit Board, a page of Bert Tieman Woodworking letterhead and a memorial card.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

South Peace Regional Archives assumed responsibility of the records from the Grande Prairie Museum in 2000. An accrual of paper records was donated in 2011 by William Rollans, executor of Mr. Tieman's estate.


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No access restrictions

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Associated materials

Some original documents are housed in the memorial to Bert & Miriam in the main museum. Many artefacts from Bert's fossil collection, his artwork and the Tieman estate are in the Grande Prairie Museum collection.

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No accruals expected

General note

This fonds has been identified as having Indigenous related content. Researchers may encounter language that is outdated and offensive. To learn more about Indigenous records at the South Peace Regional Archives please see our guide:

Alpha-numeric designations

Accession numbers: 1994.17; 985.1-3; 2011.70

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South Peace Regional Archives

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  • English

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