Monday, March 30

Sask Culture Grant

On behalf of the Cupar and District Heritage Museum I would like to thank Sask Culture for awarding us a Sask Culture Museum Grant for 2015. Our Board and our many volunteers have spent countless hours in meetings, assisting with programming, fundraising , communication, research, social events, and up keep of our building and grounds. These monies are greatly appreciated and will be well used.
We also realize that Sask Culture support is also assisted by Saskatchewan Lotteries.
Thank you.

Thursday, March 26

cupar herald online

The Saskatchewan Archives in collaboration with Sask History Online have started to put on line The Cupar Herald.  At the present 1914 and 1915 are available.  Please understand it will take some time to have them all up, after all Cupar was not the only small town to have a paper. Our paper went from Nov. 30, 1906 to approximately 1954. Unfortunately not all years were saved. Although we have paper copies at our museum they are disintegrating as they were not meant to last.  I have told people that copies exist on microfilm at the archives in Regina, but many people live too far away to access them.  Having these papers online is critical for historical research, for families, for church groups, sports groups etc. 
Please check the Saskatchewan Archives site for these papers.  Or better yet go directly to and search the name of the community.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to those involved for beginning this process.

Just an after thought.  I spent a week slowly and carefully photographing  local items out of the 1914 Cupar Herald knowing that it was too fragile to probably ever look at again. We have a sketch of the downtown businesses in 1914 and I obsessively was searching for ones that might not be listed. Sigh.  I think I hurt may back trying to photograph and then label each file.  How wonderful it will be too access them online.

Friday, March 20

Alone in the Cemetery

I am one of those people who have spent a great deal of time in cemeteries. Originally my family would go out to the cemetery where my relatives were buried and we would have a picnic and clean the grave sites. There is just my sister and I left and we still go out in the spring, get rid of the weeds and have a picnic. It is a family tradition, but I don't know what will happen after we are gone. My sister and I have also searched throughout Saskatchewan to find and photograph headstones of extended family members. 

A couple of years back I was searching for graves of WWI vets in the Cupar cemetery and I came across a grave for a child named Stanley Robert Whiskin who was not even 3 when he died. There was no mention of his parents and there were no other family graves. He was totally alone. I found it sad. 

                                                                                                            Cupar Herald 19 February 1914

Since then I have found out a lot about the family and about his death. 
 His father was B.R.(Bert) Whiskin from Great Yarmouth Norfolk England.
 He came to Cupar in 1905 and opened one of the first businesses here, a barbershop and pool hall.
 Later he had a land company. 
Three other brothers came later, one (Fred) would become editor of the Cupar Herald.
 Two (Arthur and Frank) would serve in WWI and survive. Both young men sent letters home, which were published in the Cupar Herald.
 A sister (Cicelyn) would also come and marry a fellow from Saskatoon named William Simpson. The grandfather (Robert) of little Stanley would also come later but returned frequently to England, especially in the winters, and eventually stayed in England. 
None of the descendants of the Whiskins live in the Cupar area, but they are an important part of it's history. 

credit and cash

I found this article in the Cupar Herald dated 5 March 1914 and wondered about how applicable it is today. Today credit cards can be got through banks and hopefully businesses are now in a better position.  Unfortunately farmers still rely on mother nature for a good crop, that hasn't changed.

 I am not really sure that big banks are our "friends"

Saturday, March 7

Yesterday and Today

As I go through the early photos of Cupar one significant feature strikes me, there were no trees. It was farmland. Through the years the town and individuals planted trees and today it is one of our most welcoming features. I found a brief article in the Cupar Herald dated 6 March 1908 about the purchase of land for the Cupar Cemetery out on the bald prairie. You would not recognize it today.

Monday, March 2

Off on a Tangent

So. I decided to spend the winter researching and putting together a display for Cupar's 110 th anniversary celebration. I thought, well I can't do the full history, so I will concentrate on the first 5 years, that is possible. However, even that could take a lot of effort so I will narrow it down to early businesses, the people who ran them, possible ads and location of buildings. I can manage that. I found what I believed were the only existing photos from that time period at the museum, I added ones I found in Cupar's history book and put out a call for photos. As I began to go through the Cupar Herald from 1906 to 1910 I thought, well I really should include the churches, and maybe about the school and of course about the Masonic Order, maybe I should include the overseers in the village. Then I came across the first 17 bylaws, well that is important too. Well of course information on the elevators, oh yes and fires in the village. No I will stay away from the development of a rural telephone system, won't deal with districts outside Cupar like McDonald Hills, although it is really interesting, no to the concern to find safe drinkable water. Sports and sports days no no no stay focused. Oh look, marriages, funerals and births no no no. Stay focused. What is the Canadian Order of Foresters Cupar Court # 1184, and what is the Cupar L.O.L # 2053. ? No no no. I'm losing it, time for a long break to refocus. .................................
Okay, I'm back, I'm focused and I can continue.
Then I found the following article dated 12 April 1907.

Oh, interesting. Roumanians, what, this is basically Hungarian in the Cupar area. So I check in the Cupar history book page 8. Bukovina, an eastern European territory. I was rather confused by the end and the map didn't help. So the borders have been shifting for years, either we have Roumanians from Hungary or Hungarians from Roumania, or a local english journalist thinks they are the same. I think I am getting a headache. I will pursue another avenue. The group of 80 travelled 20 miles north. Where is that? Someone said well that would be Gordon Reserve, and that is impossible so it must be Lestock. Well I'm sure the roads were different so how far is that? Obviously a homestead map with townships would be helpful. Another tangent as I not only work through how big is a section, how big is a township, actually 36 sections, a range – which way do they run? Then where is ground zero, Cupar, located. Eventually I find myself somewhere near Lestock. Then I think okay 1907, I'll check the census records for 1911, how hard can that be? Skip to the punch line there are no Roumanians just Hungarians in the area. Scream. Okay the Lestock history book, that will have the answer, so off to my neighbour's to borrow the book. Another distraction, found 2 sets of my husband's great grandparents, and great grandparents of a woman across the alley. I'll just mark that for later. So it seems in the Lestock book, anyone who arrived in 1907 seemed to come through Lipton. Just great. Finally success, maybe, Joe Buki Senior and family arrived in Cupar by train in the spring of 1907. Okay that is not 80 people, but................ Wait a minute what was I doing, oh yes, the first 5 years of Cupar and the early business men and there businesses. By the way I've taken up shuffle board as a distraction..... Oh look, Church of the Nazarene, I wonder, no no no.