Although not the earliest school, the Marconi School
is the only one in the area that has been restored and designated as a historic site. Built in 1922, the school was named Marconi after Guglielmo Marconi who developed wireless telegraphy. The J.J. Crow Lumber Co. in Rossburn built the school for $3,201 with the help of carpenter Frank Kennedy and local farmers who used horses and wagons for the 15 mile haul and were paid $6 per trip. The school opened with 69 students and closed with eleven. The first teacher's monthly salary was $1000 and the last was $237, with drops in the '30's and '40's as low as $45/month. More>> From Valleylands.ca
Hidden away in Olha, MB lived Mike Swistun. A genuine Canadian folk hero. Billed by Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus (one of the more famous circus in the world) as "The Strongest Man in the World" , toured with the world famous troupe during the summer of 1923. Mike could once bend iron bars in his teeth, support five men on his stomach, and hold two automobiles to a stand-still with his massive arms.
Some townsfolk feared Mike because of his hypnotic powers - a gift fueled by his personal friendship with no less than Harry Houdini, possibly the greatest illusionist of all time.
Until Mike's death in 1980, he remained a vital human being. He still performed many of the illusions which astounded rural crowds across the West during the 1920's when he toured the small towns each winter.
There was a short film produced and a documentary telling Mr. Swistun's story. It's a true fairy-tale story of how a farm boy from Olha became a star in the most famous Circus in the world! From Valleylands.ca