Thursday, February 26

Jewish settlers in Cupar

The Cupar Historical Committee made a valiant effort when accumulating information for the Cupar History book to contact Jewish settlers in the Cupar area. Unfortunately the results are minimal, but what they could find was included on page 509.
Since then the internet has come into being and there is information on Jewish settlers around Cupar, Dysart and especially Lipton, but in the future much more needs to be done. Today we are also able to access for free census records of this time.
Small town newspapers can be a wonderful resource, but too often they are overlooked. It requires time. They may contain only a kernel of information, a possible hint, that can lead to something bigger elsewhere. I was not looking for Jewish settlers in Cupar when I found some. They need to be included as part of our 110 years of history.
Sadly there is reference to a news article from 2 March 1910 which attests to the harsh conditions of an isolated farm life, especially for a woman.

I found in the 1911 and 1916 Cupar census a number of Jewish settlers in Cupar who were businessmen. I have included only 4 because I have ads or other information for their businesses. I do not know when they left. Also the census records are rather hard to read. According to the Cupar History book Mr. Nadler was a councillor 1913, and W. Pechet mayor 1921.

From the 1911 and 1916 census records I found the following:
Max Baratz: Roumanian, immigrated to Canada 1902, Hebrew, watchmaker.
William Pechet: Roumanian, immigrated to Canada 1902, Hebrew, merchant.
(for a time Max and William would be in business together)
Leon Nadler: Roumanian, immigrated to Canada 1902, Hebrew, taylor.
(I wondered did these 3 men know each other in the old country)
Samuel Freedman: Russia, immigrated to Canada 1906, Hebrew, liveryman.

  Cupar Herald ad 22 November 1907

Cupar Herald 22 September 1910

 Cupar Herald 3 November 1910

 Cupar Herald 8 June 1910
Sadly the Pechet and Baratz store would succumb to fire in 1911, and Pechet's store would be destroyed by fire in 1921.

 Cupar Herald 2 December 1915

Saturday, February 21

110th anniversary methodist church cupar

This year the town of Cupar will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the incorporation of Cupar as a village. July 4th is the official day for the town celebrations but the museum will be open all summer. The museum will have a number of special exhibits on the early years, one of these will be on The Methodist Church which will include artifacts, photos and other documentation.

Monday, February 16

The CPR Cometh

In 1905 the Canadian Pacific Railway ended at Lipton, but tracks were being laid west toward Cupar.
It was therefore a 20 km overland trip to Cupar by horse.
According to Mr. John Donald in Pioneer Portraits “... everyone seemed to be going to Cupar. That was the first time I had heard of Cupar.... Cupar at that time looked to me like a small farm, the only buildings were a small livery stable, one store which had been moved into the village from the country just before the snow had melted, a pool hall and four small houses, the lumber for all these buildings being brought from Lipton. Cellars were being dug for the Hotel, the Red Store and George Meldrum and Son Hardware, which did business in a tent until the buildings were finished, their living quarters also being in a tent. The Gibson Lumber Co. were also building an office, getting ready for their first car load of lumber. There were no streets, no sidewalks, nothing but the prairie....The first night I spent in Cupar, I slept on the bald prairie, but finding it rather cold, I decided to spend the next two weeks in the hay loft of the livery stable, not too comfortable, but an improvement on the prairies...”

Although I have been unable to find a photo of Cupar in 1905 the photo below, taken in 1906 shows the rapid growth in one year. Notice that the hotel has not yet gotten it's brick veneer.

By the late 1800's settlers were claiming homesteads in what we now call the Cupar Plains, but it was the coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway which made Cupar a central hub for the surrounding rural farming communities. Over the years freight of all kind and passenger service expanded. Times of course change. The passenger train is gone as is the train station. At one point Cupar boasted 7 elevators. There is only one elevator now. The CPR freight train still stops here, but the arrival of a train is no longer a major social event.

The Cupar Museum is fortunate to possess an important artifact from this by gone time. It is a CPR platform baggage cart from Cupar. The process of restoration has only just begun. Hopefully it will become, along with other train artifacts and photographs, a focal point and teaching aid on the role of the railway in the development of this town.


Friday, February 13

Eddie Shore before Hockey

What true blue hockey fan has not heard of Eddie Shore who played as defenseman for the Boston Bruins from 1926-1940, jersey number 2. But what of Eddie before hockey?

Below is a photo of Eddie age 13, about 1915 as cowboy. The photo was taken in Cupar.
Another photo this time in a Cupar baseball team photo from 1923 shows him front row left

Like many small town sports heroes Cupar has their own special display, many of the items were contributed by the Shore family. If you are ever in the area this summer come check it out.

Saturday, February 7

Yesterday's Immigrants - Today's Immigrants

Excerpt Pioneer Portraits 1905 – 1965
Ernest A. Kemp
“ In 1905 the people of Cupar were of all nationalities. Indeed, there were many people in the area around Cupar who could not speak English, many more spoke only broken or accented English, Scotch, Irish, or American, all could be told by their pronunciation . European folk mostly depended upon the phrase “ Nicht's Versteh” to help them over an awkward moment. But there was one thing they all had in common. It was the ability plus the inclination to get along with each other and make a common brotherhood of our people. It is amazing when one looks back sixty years to note the wonderful success that was to come of this preliminary agreeableness.
Sixty years ago when immigrants were the rule and not the exception, one could almost tell a man's nationality a block away or as far as one could hear a conversation. There were differences of dress, walk, features, and conversation that it would seem were irreconcilable, but they had in common
many virtues which were not at the time so noticeable. These were a bold, never say die attitude and a willingness to co-operate with their neighbors, forgetting the things that divide, remembering only those things which unite, and above all, it seems to me that they practised to a large extent that simplicity of religion that tended to be the advance guard of the ecumenical spirit now so mush talked about.”

After reading this I thought about today's immigrants.  They should not be feared or shunned but welcomed.  They are critical in the continued evolution and progression of our country into the future.

Friday, February 6

Tobacco for Heroes

Some years back my husband did a video called Prairie Echo. It is linked to this blogspot. One of the participants was Harold Shore. He talked about WWII. Seems he had a lot of fun playing baseball and chasing girls while in England training. He also learned to smoke. 
I found an article in a 1915 Cupar Herald called tobacco for heroes.

 Seems in 1940 things really hadn't changed much. Found 2 ads for smoking. I noticed the McDonald's woman is saluting. 

Tuesday, February 3

Cupar downtown fires 1911

In 1911, within one month, Cupar was hit twice by fires on Main St. (Stanley St) They were on the same block, closest to Railway St. but opposite sides of the street. How absolutely devastating for a quickly growing town. We are fortunate to have photographs of each side of the street, and a write up from the Cupar Herald, one dated 23/Feb/11, the other 9/Mar/11.

 February 23, 1911



  March 9, 1911


Below is a sketch of Main St. in 1914, the vacant lot is where the livery stable was. On the opposite side of the street is the hotel and new buildings between that and the Drug Hall.