Wednesday, December 24

Christmas Past

Christmas makes me think about the past and traditions.  My grandmother and her sisters sent each other handkerchiefs . One year I got a handkerchief holder. As a teenager I was not impressed.  Many years later I remembered it and said something to my mother.  She had saved it and now it is one of my prize possessions.

My mother used to display all the Christmas cards on strings mounted wall to wall. The next year mom would cut up the cards for Christmas present tags. That is a tradition that is disappearing not only because of the cost of postage, but because of the internet be it email, facebook, twitter etc.  I am sure I saved a couple in a box somewhere. I must look for them as winter is upon us. 

Wednesday, December 10

markinch cupar dysart

Markinch, Cupar, and Dysart were named by CPR officials for towns in Scotland. Cupar and District Heritage Museum does have a few souvenirs from Cupar in our collection.  Cupar  in Fifeshire, Scotland is located north of Edinburgh and local residents who have visited it say it lies in a slight valley.  It is an agricultural town. The museum website is  Check it out or you can go to google maps and wander the streets this winter.

A bit different looking than us but still. I guess 110 years ago someone may have been homesick, or just wanted a bit of Scotland in the New World.  We did get a number of families from Scotland coming here in the early years.

Sunday, November 16

2015 Cupar buildings and business people

2015 marks the 110th anniversary of the incorporation of Cupar as a village and Saskatchewan as a province. The town, various organizations and individuals have started to make plans. July 4th has been set aside for the majority of social activities. I started thinking about how I as an individual might contribute beyond any organization I belong to.

In the early 1980's many towns across the province published history books that included family histories, but alas some families that included “founding fathers” aka business men, were missing. In 1965 for the 60th anniversary of Cupar a compilation called “Pioneer Portraits” was published on legal size paper on gestetner machines. I can't even spell it and can't find it in the dictionary but found it on google. What does that say? Anyhow there was some valuable information about the development of the town I found intriguing.

Like many small towns the physical look of our main streets have changed mainly due to fires and in our case also a cyclone in 1946. I decided to focus on buildings and businesses in Cupar over the years, how they have changed, who owned them and stories about the owners. Our museum is fortunate to have a sketch of the down town business section from 1914, Wrigley's Saskatchewan Directory from 1921 and a fire insurance map of the same area from 1929. So I have some reference to start with.

 According to Roy Pengelly in “Pioneer Portraits” Hastings and McLaughlin operated a store on the N.W. 7 Tp 22 R16 W2, and hauled this building to the new town-site to start the first general store.

 In the Cupar History book pages 254 to 256 gives a fuller account of Adam Luther Hastings who moved his store into Cupar in 1905 when the township of Cupar was established and the Grand Trunk came through. Hastings also had the first post office from 1906-08, and was elected the village's first overseer.   

 The write up portrays an intriguing man I would loved to have met.

Friday, October 31

White City

Seems odd to say I love going to network meetings, but I actually do. They are only twice a year and are held in different towns so it gives me a chance to see places I might not have gotten around to going to. Qu'Appelle Valley Network had their meeting Oct 18 at White City. I confess White City was not high on my places to visit list, so it was a pleasant surprise. I did not know there had been a Dad's Cookie Factory there. Long gone. Oh well. Rebecca and 2 other women have formed a committee and received a grant from Sask Culture to do a study on what kind of museum the community wants. They are getting input from town council, businesses, schools etc. White City is evolving and growing rapidly.  Good luck to everyone. A very exciting time.

Wednesday, October 15

In Search of Grandpa


Recently we had the granddaughter of James Duncan visit our museum from Alberta. She donated 2 wedding photos. She didn't know who the people, other than her grandparents, were or what church they were married in. She knew it was April 1920. We went to our paper copy of the Cupar Herald and found which church they were married in and who the rest of the wedding party were.

  She also brought 2 photos from different angles of Duncan's   store from the 1920's. We found the name of his store: The Busy Bee, when he bought it and from whom, even who he worked for before. Then we started to find ads for his store, a couple of calendars and a thermometer listing his phone number as 26.

We also provided her with his affiliation with the Local Masonic Lodge. Something she had not expected to find.

 We had a fun 3 hours before she and her son headed to Indian Head.

A few days later I was still excited and dragged the photos around to show to anyone I could find.
I showed the wedding party photo to one person who said that's my dad and my aunt.

I took the 2 photos of the Busy Bee Store to coffee row and the men had a great time trying to figure out what the other businesses were. Someone figured out Fred Jarvis, a local policeman, lived in a small house several doors north of the Busy Bee. Before I knew it the men were listing off all the constables who had been in Cupar.

 I think we all had a wonderful time. Photos are great for triggering the memory and getting answers to questions you never asked.

Tuesday, October 7

WWI Cupar school display

A condensed version of the WWI display, from the Cupar Museum, has been installed at the Cupar School for the benefit of the teachers and Kindergarten to Grade XII students. It is on prominent display in a centrally located glass fronted cabinet and will remain there for October and November. The Museum has also provided Principal Bruce with WWI Cupar soldiers information including: photos, attestation papers, Killed in Action, letters from the front and other local news articles from the Cupar Herald that have been accumulated by a museum volunteer over the last couple of years

Wednesday, October 1

Harvest Lunch

Cupar And District Heritage Museum

Annual Harvest Lunch
Saturday October 4, 2014

Homemade Bread – Soup – Pie
Tea – Coffee

Town Hall – Cupar

11:00a.m. To 1:00p.m.

Admission $5.00 – Preschool Free
Door Prize

**Elements from WWI exhibit for those who missed it at the museum this summer will be on display **


Tuesday, September 9

Funeral Announcement Donation

     Thank you to Peter Reiss for his donation of funeral announcements that Annie Reiss had collected over an 18 year period from 1993 to 2010. There are 202 in all.
    It got me thinking about a number of things. If Cupar's population was 600 in 1993 and today 2014 it is still 600 then we must have grown.
    It was not until I moved to Cupar that I began to notice these announcements and thought that it must be a small town practise. They would appear at most businesses in town. I would stop and look at them and think about the person and their family. Of course there would usually be an obituary in the newspaper, but I don't get the paper I go online.
    Then I realized, as I have with many things, that we are in a transitional phase. As the generation before the baby boomers die will these cards continue. We tend now to get our information through social media and one day the people who are not connected will be gone. I hope that doesn't sound morbid. Still I think I will kind of miss the announcement cards, but then I miss the horse drawn milk wagons. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 3

Shalom Tour

Nine Shalom residents came for a tour of the museum on Tuesday. After cookies tea or coffee were served, people were asked to guess what the mystery items were. There had been a tour earlier in the summer but I missed it.
  Fall then winter will soon be upon us so we are planning a visit to Shalom with a museum in a suitcase. The museum at Dysart has been doing this for some time and it really makes their day.

                   Many of us suffer from cabin fever with our long harsh winters  but it is even worse for those who can not get out.

Thursday, August 28

Chris Jessup donation

  In October 2013 the Cupar Museum 
 had their Harvest Lunch and a Cultural Expo
 featuring sports in the community over the past 100 years. 
 I had found a number of articles about the formation of
 a football club and games played in the area. 
 I was disturbed that we had no football artifacts.
 It was not until recently that I discovered, 
 because of a photo donation by Chris Jessup from England
 of a winning soccer team from Cupar in 1912,
 that football meant soccer. I stand corrected.

  Mr Jessup also donated a marriage certificate of his grandfather Clem Jessup of McDonald Hills. A farm called Mitcham Court was mentioned in a wedding write up I found in the Cupar Herald in October of 1912. I went back again to the Cupar Herald and was able to send him information on life in the McDonald Hills District at the time. Too often we look today at these districts as remote and isolated, but in reality they were active and lively areas with dances, derbies , church socials etc.

Tuesday, August 26

Every Man Remembered Project

A friend of mine Terry Brown told me about a project called : Every Man Remembered. He brought up the fact that some of these men because they were single had no wife or children to remember them.
He states: “In this, the 100th anniversary of the start of World War l, The Royal British Legion is working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to keep alive the memory of those who fell in the First World War, for future generations. They would like every single man and woman from across the Commonwealth who fell, to be individually commemorated by those alive today. This is your chance to take part in a truly historic and incredibly significant act of remembrance.”
Cupar Soldiers KIA WWI
Chambers Joseph Arnold #426219 8th Bn. (not married) d. 2.6.1916 age?
remembered with honour Ypres ( Menin Gate) memorial
Galloner Roger

Jack John William Clyde  #907063 16th Coy (not married) d. 12.3.1917 age 24
remembered with honour Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-Au-Bois
Hardiman John Patrick #1069189 46th Bn. (not married) d. 2.9.1918 age?
remembered with honour Vis-En-Artois Cemetery Haucourt
Holdsworth (Oldsworth) C 195th Battalion CEF

Hope W

Keyser Lloyd #3353545 Depot Bn. (Saskatchewan) (not married) d. 16.11. 1918 age 23
remembered with honour Cupar Cemetery
Lewis Daniel Andrew # 427311 58th Bn. (not married) d. 6.10.1916 age 35
remembered with honour Contay British Cemetery, Contay
Little (Lyttle) Andrew #907411 5th Bn. (not married) d. 11.4.1917 age 21
remebered with honour Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension
Luck Hayward James # 426521 3rd Bn. (not married) d. 7.9.1916 age 30
remembered with honour Sunken Road Cemetery, Contalmaison
McCrimmon Norman #908002 9th Bde. (not married) d. 25.10.1917 age 23
remembered with honour Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
MacMillan #195th Battalion CEF

Mole Walter Stanley #234440 44th Bn. (not married) d. 11.5.1917 age 32
remembered with honour Vimy Memorial
Morton R.

Murray E.A.

Neale Arnold Selwyn #234753 52nd Bn. (married) d. 1.10.1918 age 32
remembered with honour Canada Cemetery, Tilloy-Les-Cambrai
Smith A.

Taylor Duncan McCallum #907363 5th Bn. (not married) d. 26.5.1917 age 26
remembered with honour Braco Churchyard
Trafford Norman Frederick #551439 “C”Sqdn. (married) d. 3.7.1918 age 36
remembered with honour Barlin Communal Cemetery extension
Weatherup John (Jack)#907326 “A” Coy 52nd Bn. (not married) d. 24.5.1917 age 23
remembered with honour Petit-Vimy British Cemetery

Information on gravesite, type of headstone, any inscription can be found at Commonwealth War Graves Commission

There are also photos of the cemetery.

Monday, August 25

Hardiman Killed in Action WWI

John Patrick Hardiman was killed in action 2 Sept 1918. He was buried at Vis-en-Artois a British Cemetery at Harcourt France. He was born in Liverpool England but at the time of his enlistment
6 Dec 1916 he was listed as living in Cupar and a farmer.

Tuesday, August 5

Early Cupar Recruits WWI

Over the last couple of winters I have tried to gather as many WWI attestation papers for men from Cupar who enlisted in the war. I found over 70. 35 of these men were in the 195th. It helped that the Local legion, United church and Anglican church have honour rolls, but there are still men missing. Part of the problem is sometimes there is no first name, just an initial. There appears to be 2 different attestation forms one asks for present address, the other does not, I therefore may have missed some.

I was also curious as to who were among the early recruits. The Cupar Herald 15 Oct 1914 lists 3 men who left “in the past week” to enlist in Regina. They were Bernard Hitchcox, Donald L. Copeland and George Watkins. It appears from an early paper dated 20 Aug 1914 that Bernard Hitchcox and W.M.Gawley had left their names with Captain Anderson of the 95th Saskatchewan Rifles.

But the earliest Cupar recruits appear to have gone directly to Valcartier . Eustace E. Wallis ( later to be postmaster in Cupar) enlisted 21 Sept 1914 he was listed under 1st Brigade CFA , and Frank Whiskin Reg. # 21902 (printer) 23 Sept 1914. He was designated with the 11th Battalion CEF.

Frank Whiskin in reality was a journalist who worked for a number of small papers in the Cupar area.
He wrote a number of letters home from the front. The letter he wrote 21 Aug 1915,  is the most descriptive I have found, appears in the Cupar Herald 30 Sept 1915.

Sunday, August 3

Summer a time for anniversaries and re-unions

Congratulations to Bob and Donna Turner who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Weddings and anniversaries are also a time for impromptu reunions. We were fortunate to have a number of the Turner clan, including two 3rd or maybe 4th cousins from South Dakota, visit our museum. Joan Turner ( Bob's sister ) who lives in Ontario, donated a scenery tile painted by Isabel Gould, who taught music in Cupar. The tile was given to Joan in 1947. If you are interested in more information on the Gould family their is a very good write up in the Cupar history book.

Joan also donated a photo album compiled by her aunt Iona Turner. Iona was part of a group of journalists who toured war ravaged Europe in 1924. Also included are reception announcements, new articles etc. It is an amazing and beautiful snapshot of a moment in time as seen through the eyes of a local resident.

Friday, August 1

WWI hundred years ago today

I found this clipping from the Leader Post Regina, dated November 1918 in a scrapbook that had been donated to us sometime back and found it interesting.
At the end of WWI these were the most significant key events.

Tuesday, July 29

Chaps Donation

Thank you to Delores ( Kaytor) Johnston granddaughter of Gasper Nistor ( 1894 – 1984 ) for a set of his working chaps.
 He was born in Hungary and came to the Cupar area to farm north of town about 1905. He married Marie ( Bacsu) ( 1908 – 1983 ) Sometime in the 1930's they moved to the Arbury district, RM of Touchwood # 238. They are buried at St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church Cemetery.

Sunday, July 27

Busy Summer Student Worker

Tenaisha, our summer student, is a busy young woman, who besides the day to day maintenance requirements of the museum, is also assisting in cataloguing new artifacts, and under our volunteers' supervision is also restoring some recently acquired artifacts.
 She has also conducted a number of tours. It is a shame we only have her for 8 weeks.
In this photo Tenaisha is busy digitizing our catalogued artifacts. They will be cross referenced under catalogue number and name of donor.

Tuesday, July 22

Kevin Bonish Donation

Thank you to Kevin Bonish for his donation of sports and school memorabilia. The acquisitions committee is in the process of sorting and deciding what can be kept according to our mission statement and limited space.

I am quite excited by the photo record of one room school houses taken circa 1949 for Cupar School Unit #28.  Many if not most of these schools no longer exist.

We are fortunate to now have a record of 73 schools and one day we hope to find those that are missing.

Wednesday, July 16


The silhouettes designed and constructed by Jim and Linda Adam have been restored by Mike Lorencz and Wes Bailey. Once again they grace the exterior of the museum.

Saturday, July 5

WWI Display

This summer's special display on WWI has been completed and is now up at the museum.


After the summer many of the framed items will be kept in a binder for future reference
and accessible for future displays and research. Also of interest are numerous attestation
papers and letters from the front between 1914-1918 written by local soldiers serving overseas.

Thursday, June 26

Cupar School Tour

Mrs. Wiers and her 27 kindergarten/Grade I students toured the museum June 25.

They were full of energy, yet very attentive.

 What is a school room without students.

Each student keeps a journal, so when they returned to school each had to note down 5 things they learned.

I was impressed with Mrs Wiers approach to our artifacts, linking them to items the children see in their daily lives. Such as a wall crank phone to an i phone or a chalk slate to an i pad.

Tuesday, June 10

Memory of Fallen WWI

This curtain still hangs in the Cupar Town Hall, a little worse for wear and many years of people smoking.  It was painted by L. Hazelaar in 1951.

Friday, June 6

Normandy 1944

Cupar has a connection to Normandy in the sacrifice of a number of young men.  I was able to find information on 2 of these men.



Monday, June 2

WWI postcards

Canadian soldiers in World War I spent many long hours in the trenches just waiting.

To help pass the time some soldiers like “Uncle Bill” did embroidery. This particular embroidered post card was sent July 10, 1917 from France.  Soldiers were not allowed to disclose their exact location. 

 Bill was engaged to Nellie, the Aunt of Edna Elliott ( age 4 ). Bill never returned from France.

Another kind of postcard was basically a form or fill in the blank style.