The weekly newspaper has always been a popular publication in every district, as far back as the early 1900s when settlers started arriving. These weeklies provided us with many interesting local news items not found in larger publications. With their advertising system they have provided the public with a way of disposing of their goods or purchasing of additional ones. The surrounding weekly papers have all served our district well.
The oldest weekly in our immediate district was one started by William Blaisdell Cameron, the lone white survivor of the Frog Lake Massacre. It was known as the Vermilion Signal and was founded in 1906. It suspended operations a year or two later. In 1909 the Vermilion Standard was founded by Sextus R. P. Cooper who arrived in the Vermilion district in 1907 from Baldur, Manitoba where he published another weekly newspaper. Mr. Sextus R. P. Cooper operated the Vermilion Standard until 1953 then turned it over to his four sons, Ashley, Vernon, Doug and Percy. This weekly paper has operated continuously for 85 years but is no longer owned by the Coopers.
The first known weekly paper published in nearby St. Paul was called the St. Paul Star. It began operating about 1922 but lasted only for about two years before it folded. It was published by the Star Publishing Company of St. Paul, Alberta. Its yearly subscription rate was $1.
The St. Paul Journal was founded in 1924 by Gilbert H. LaRue. In later years it was operated by his son George. During the second World War it was taken over by a Mr. Thivierge who ran it for about two years before it was turned back to George LaRue. It changed hands again on December 2, 1949 when it sold to Lucien Droum. Lucien published this paper for about 35 years before retiring about ten years ago. It is still owned and operated by the Droum family.
Over the years, Elk Point has had many weekly newspapers, most of them printed elsewhere. In 1926 an entire page of the, St. Paul Journal was devoted to the Elk Point district and was known as the Elk Point Journal.
Next came the Elk Point Hunter (about 1962.) This weekly was published in Edmonton, Alberta by T. W. Pue - the local editor was Mrs. Niki Riemer.
The Elk Point Star made its debut in the early 1970s. It, too, was published by T. W. Pue and printed in Edmonton. The local reporter was Marlene Nettleton. The Elk Point Star was followed by the Elk Point Reflections, which began operating in 1979. Its publishers were Heather Calder and Ethel Schreyer of Mannville, Alberta. This weekly operated only a short while.
The Elk Point Sentinel started up in 1980. It was published every Wednesday by Erik Nielsen in the back part of the old Coop building across from the Post Office.
Ten years ago, in September, 1983, the Elk Point Lake-land Review started up in those same premises. It was published by Kathy Howard, who also published Mannville Reflections at that time, and the editor was Fija Schwab. John McGregor sold advertising and Donna Boothman was also on staff. In March 1984, the Review was bought out by the St. Paul Journal, and published by Darrell and L. H. Droum of St. Paul. Vicki Brooker became managing editor in September of that year. Today, this weekly publication is known as the Elk Point Review and is still edited by Mrs. Brooker.
Over the years, there have been many interesting news happenings printed in the above mentioned weekly papers. The Vermilion Standard in its April 10, 1918 issue describes Vermilion's biggest fire which occurred a few days earlier. In all, 28 stores and business blocks, involving 38 business firms, were destroyed.
Another weekly paper printed in 1954 warns the public not to forget to put 5 cents postage on all mail addressed outside of your town or district. This rate change went into effect on April 1, 1954.
The St. Paul Journal of August 19, 1981 mentions that a temporary ferry service was being installed at the Elk Point bridge to carry traffic across the North Saskatchewan River. The bridge was damaged on July 30 when a semi trailer tanker carrying 7000 gallons of crude oil went out of control approaching the bridge, skidded onto the bridge and burned for 15 and a half hours. Complete repair work on this bridge would take about four months.
In February, 1984 the Vermilion Standard reported that the federal and provincial energy ministers had announced that a $50 million oil and sands recovery project would take place in the Elk -Point district. A prospect of development was in the air as by 1990, the town of Elk Point was expected to reach a population of 5000 on account of the project (Someone must have been dreaming.)
Another item of interest appeared in a 1952 St. Paul Journal. It reported that "a fire of undetermined origin swept upon 20 acres of standing oats on the farm of Fred Andrishak last Thursday afternoon and destroyed it completely. Fred was to start combining it the following day."
It is true that our weekly newspapers keep us informed of various happenings in our district and provide us with much interesting reading material, whenever news happens