Thursday, July 2

From early building to a park

The history of the park
on the North West corner of Stanley St. and Assiniboia Ave.

In 1905 George Meldrum set up his hardware in a tent but soonconstructed a 2 storey building which existed until a fire in March 1996 destroyed it.

Over the years many hardware stores occupied the building including:

Meldrum and sons,
Meldum, Ellis, Shepperd Co.
(Frank) Hesketh Hardware (& undertaking)
M&M Hardware (H. Muscovitch & D. Munn)
Munn Hardware
Dale Banman Hardware

For many years apartments were upstairs and existed at the time ofthe 1996 fire. The main floor was occupied by Prairie Bake Shop (Mark Steininger) and Kids Connection ( Barb Richea)


In 1999 the Cupar Rec. Board with many volunteers built the park that exists today.

Wednesday, July 1

museum annual general meeting

Cupar and District Heritage Museum
Annual Meeting

Date: Wednesday July 15

Time: 10:00am.

Where: Cupar Museum

Everyone is welcome and we appreciate your imput.
How can you help us and us help you.

Discussion: Past and future directions of the museum.

Because of Covid 19 it is important we maintain physical distance of 6 feet.
When not possible please wear a mask for the consideration of others.
Hand sanitizer is available on site.

Sunday, June 14

photo display drug store

1912 post office on left

I.S Bricker Agencies on right

George and Carol Stuart in Dr. Stuart's buggy from 1906

Carol sorting blister packing pills for Shalom 2005

George in dispensary

customer appreciation day 2008 and George retirement after 40 years

George, mother Helen, brother Kent

Kelli Kemp receives keys to business from George 2008

covid 19 shields for store : front counter and dispensary area

Monday, April 27

Cupar Museum 25th Anniversary

As a museum we collect artifacts and stories from our community, but it is easy to forget that the museum itself has a history, that is the history about actually forming the museum. Kathy Weisbrod spent the winter going through hand written minutes from 1989-1995 that her mother Alma recorded.
I thought it would be a good idea to share it here. What it shows really is the cooperation hard work and dedication of the entire community to see this goal through.
Enjoy the read.

The idea for a museum started with Wes Bailey when he realized the property where the Masonic Hall stood on Lorne St was going to be sold and the Hall would make a good museum. Then others add their thoughts to that, brainstorming happens, a lot of hard work and meetings occur, and that single idea comes to fruition.

That is what happened over 25 years ago, when the idea was to have a museum in Cupar. A lot of initial thoughts and questioning had already happened when the first group of 12 interested persons gathered on November 8, 1989 to seek out the feasibility of a museum. That group was Wes Bailey, John Gaber, Bill Adam, Sandra Ermel, Marie Reed, Lola Weisbrod, Dorothy Blackbeard, Alma Weisbrod, Caroline Hall, Alma Mihalicz, Steve Mihalicz and George Bereti. It was decided this group would be known as the “Cupar Museum Committee” and the museum would be the “Cupar & District Heritage Museum”. Wes Bailey accepted the position of president, and Alma Weisbrod as Secretary-Treasurer.

The Masons donated the Masonic Hall to the town and this could be used for the museum. The town donated $2,500 towards moving the building, with an additional donation of $2,500 from the Cupar Historical Society. It was decided to move the building south of the old rink, on Aberdeen Street, and to dig a basement to place it on. Estimates for the basement were between $14,000 and $16,200, movers estimated $500, and plumbing at $2,800.

The group met with Wendy Fitch, the advisor for Saskatchewan Museums Association, who outlined what all was required to set up a museum. It would need to be legally created through a by-law with the town ( by-law 2/90 ) and would operate as a non-profit organization. A statement of purpose and policy was to be drawn up, and assistance with volunteer labor could be obtained through grants. Alec Lazaar drew up an initial sketch of the layout of the museum.

Memberships were sold for the museum at $2 each, which remains the same today. The first fundraising for the museum was a raffle of a quilt donated by Caroline Hall, and won by Sally Komar. All monies raised were turned over to the town. A public meeting was held in April 1990 to outline what the committee was proposing. Costs were given, a sketch presented, and questions and other suggestions proposed. A motion was made by Brock Turner at that meeting to go ahead with the museum. An official board was formed: Wes Bailey (from Town Council), John Gaber, George Bereti, Lola Weisbrod, Dorothy Blackbeard, Alma Weisbrod, John L. Smith, Brock Turner, and Sandra Ermel.

Contact was made with other museums on how to set up, and it was decided to join the Last Touch Network in order to receive information and help from the networker. Various grants were looked into, as well as various ways to raise money. For most grants you need to spend the money first to obtain the grant, so we need to have money on hand to spend. The rink committee no longer had time to take in bottles and cans for recycling so allowed the museum to take over this task. Another raffle, with prizes of an oil painting by Clarice Rodgers, a handmade clock by Rob Woolsey, and ceramic pitcher & bowl by Marion Fordon, was decided on. Cupar hosted a Farm & Home Show in March 1991 where the museum had a booth, selling raffle tickets and memberships, as well as a “guess what” article.

In May 1991 it was decided that the Museum Committee would affiliate with the Rec Board. This would allow them to apply for money for specified projects through the TIP Program (Trust Initiative Program). Also at this time, a proposed interior design was drawn up by John Gaber. A lot of salvageable plywood and 2’ x 4’s was rescued from the inside of the old skating & curling rink. Some of this was used to make shutters for the building and show cases for inside. Donations started to come in from various people. Placemats were ordered through the Museum Network, with a sketch of the proposed museum, calling it the “Project of the Future”. Wes attended a very informative workshop on “Managing Volunteers”.

In June 1991 the Board made an offer to the rink committee that they would take out the bottles, etc. from the zamboni building, sell them, and turn the money over to the rink in exchange for the building. The rink committee was in agreement, so a motion was made to move the zamboni building (flooding machine) to the museum site. (This is the present furnace room for the museum. And the rink kitchen is the present day hospital display) It was also suggested that perhaps the old curling rink could be used for the future museum; pending what insurance costs would be. Town council recommended that all committees or organizations pay their own insurance on buildings. The museum committee paid their insurance on the Masonic Hall through the Rec Board.

In October 1991 the Cupar Historical Society gave $4,105 to the Museum Committee, with the remainder of their historical books as well. Their note with the cheque read: “The balance of the funds from the Historical book committee to be turned over to the Museum Board with stipulation that they will store the books and files and one book to be kept on record; the balance of the books to be their responsibility.” Also at this time a second general meeting was held for the public to update them on progress. The grant structure has changed, where a community is given a lump sum, about $13,800 per year, to divide between its various organizations. This would not give us a lot. The community also asked if there would be a basement put under the Masonic Hall. Although it would be an ideal place for restoration of artifacts and storing archives, it will likely not happen due to the high cost. The old curling rink was mentioned since it has a large waiting room and the back end could be used for antique cars and machinery. At present the roof needs bracing with a main beam, and the outside edges need repairing for insurance purposes. It has water in the washrooms, furnace, duct work, and temporary sewer line, but would need an appraisal before insurance could be purchased. Raffle draw was made at the public meeting with winners – painting won by Irene Ermel, clock won by Bill Adam, ceramic bowl & pitcher won by Donna Silzer.

New board member, Wilf Paidel, was welcomed in November 1991. Wes completed a recycle bin that would be set up on Main St. for the public to donate to, and bottles and cans from the zamboni building netted generous funds. Plans were drawn up for attaching the Masonic Hall onto the west side of the curling rink, to be presented to town council for their first meeting in 1992. It was decided the museum would open in 1995, since that would be the 90th anniversary of the town, and the 90th anniversary of the province. They would suggest this to the Rec Board and town council, and to have a Homecoming in 1995. This would give the museum about 3 ½ years to get everything put together.

At the town council’s February 1992 meeting the museum’s drawings and proposal of using the curling rink and Masonic Hall for a future museum was accepted. They gave the Museum Committee authority to use the rink as they saw fit. Several work bees occurred after this, to get up a retaining wall in the rink before the skating rink was demolished, and to remove anything else that was salvageable from the skating rink. The town agreed to pay for an engineer to look over requirements for the curling rink, if they could use the north end of the rink for storage of machinery. Another raffle was decided on to raise funds. Items included an oil painting by Blake Langford, a framed needlepoint picture by Jackie Erikson, and a wooden flower vase by Andy Rakai. The town was having a Trade Fair in March, and the museum would have a table at this.

On April 1, 1992 the old skating rink was taken down, with a cement pad left as part of the foundation to set the Masonic Hall onto. With these changes, placemats ordered now had a revised sketch of the proposed museum. Lorne Drugs in Regina were selling some used showcases, and these were purchased and stored in the town hall basement until set up started. An application was made for TIP money, which was received, to help cover costs of the showcases.

The summer of 1992 meant a lot of work, in preparing buildings for moving, getting gas lines moved, footings poured, the rink roof patched and shingled, and more public exposure for the museum committee at Funarama Days. A list of all the tasks required was posted in the rink, and anyone that had time could work on any of these and check them off the list. Fordon Construction poured a grade beam for the Masonic Hall to sit on, and on September 17, 1992 Jim Hackowich moved the Masonic Hall to the west side of the old curling rink on Aberdeen Street, at a cost of $900. The town offered 600’ of chain and 12 posts to use around part of the rink and hall.

A general meeting was held in October 1992 to update the public on the museum’s progress. The town built up dirt around the rink to help with drainage. Some shingle repair was done on the south side of the rink, with shingling remaining on the west side. An engineer found the rink structurally sound. There would be a lot of inside work to be done through the winter, if the gas line could be connected. Special thanks went to Brock Turner for all his work in organizing work crews up to now and to Wes Bailey for looking after cans and bottles for recycling, which has been a great fundraiser. Raffle winners were announced: Erhart Siebert won the painting, Gab George won the vase, and Brock Turner won the petit point picture.

By November 1992 the west side of the rink roof was shingled where needed, flashing was installed next to the Masonic Hall, and eaves troughing was in place. Mike Karpa dug the trench for the gas line, and the gas department installed new piping around the building to the furnace. John Gaber did the wiring for the building, having a contractor check it out and fill out forms. A New Year’s Eve Cabaret was planned by the Rec Board, and they asked the Museum Board for assistance at the door.

During the winter of ’92-’93, the Funeral Home did some renovations and donated dividers for the museum to use. Wes Bailey and Ernie Weisbrod attended a workshop on making mannequins, and made a model for display. People were asking about storing RV’s and boats in the rink, but a proper door would need to be fitted on the north end. Len Springer hooked up the furnace. Inside the Masonic Hall, partition walls were removed and a doorway cut leading into the rink. The men allocated Thursday’s as “working day” throughout the winter, for anyone to come and assist in any way. With many repairs now happening, and materials needing to be purchased, expenses for 1992 were $4,755, with income of $1,650. Grants are now handled through Sask. Lotteries and are strictly for operating. You have to be in operation for a year before you can apply for a grant, at no more than 50% of your operating costs.
Wiring, lights, ceiling grid kept the workers busy into the summer of 1993. It was suggested to make a deck, so holes were dug and a deck and wheelchair ramp assembled. A lot of work was done, but there were still windows to finish, lights to put up, and walls & ceilings to wash and paint. Funarama Days were again held in June, with many of the museum people staffing the gate. By the fall, another fundraiser occurred, this time in the form of a rummage and bake sale, held in the new museum. October 16, 1993 saw many people show up to purchase donated items, have a coffee and donut, and view the progress of the building. The day netted close to $900.

The end of 1993 saw a small change in board members, when Wilf Paidel stepped down, and Ralph Rein and Ernie Weisbrod joined the board. Enough work had been completed at the museum that the board was now able to hold their meetings there, since they had heat and light. The floor was sanded and varnished. A motion was made that storage be made available in the back of the old rink, at a cost of $10 per month per unit.

In February 1994 the artifacts from the hospital were moved to the museum, and in March all the other items stored in the town hall basement were moved to the museum. A Sno-Pitch was held in March, and again volunteers from the museum helped out. A donation also came from the Lions Club, in the amount of $2,000, and from the Hungarian Culture Club in the amount of $590. All active groups that belong to the Rec Board were asked to pay an assessment of 10% to the Rec Board. The assessment was $1,200, so the museum paid their portion of $120 per year.

With items now in the museum location, cataloguing and marking of the articles started in April 1994, as well as some needing restoration and cleaning. Carpeting was purchased for adjoining rooms. Volunteers were needed to assist with horseshoes at the Gopher Drop Day July 23, 1994. We received $195 TIP grant for 1994, and sent in an application for, and received, a New Careers Grant that would pay wages and benefits for a full time employee for 21 weeks. He cleaned the exterior of the Masonic Hall and gave it two coats of paint, and also painted the roof and interior of the waiting room area of the old curling rink. He also helped with some furniture restoration, making display areas and cabinets, and replacing nails in the medal siding with screws, all tasks that were greatly appreciated. At this time contractors were working on the new rink, and asked if they could use the north end of the old rink to set up some of their items. In exchange for the power used, they donated lights, plywood and planking to the museum. Posts and chain fence was put up in front of and on the west side of the museum in the fall. Also a successful auction sale, which netted over $1,100, was held October 1, 1994, with a bit of a display set up in the museum so people could see the progress. Rental spaces in the old rink were another source of income, as more people were starting to use this option. Lola Weisbrod, who was the museum representative on the Rec Board, left to move to Regina. The museum also got their own post office box from Canada Post in the fall. Many volunteer hours were put into getting the buildings converted to a museum.

1994 ended with a date of June 3, 1995 set for opening day, to coincide with the town’s 90th Anniversary celebration. Hours would be from Victoria Day to June 30 – Sunday & Wednesday 1:30 – 4:30, manned by museum workers. July 1 to Labour Day – Tuesday to Saturday 1:30 – 4:30 & Sunday 1:30 – 8:30, manned by students. Pictures were taken of the museum, and submitted with a short history to the Last Mountain Touch region, to receive some money for placemats. A desk and typewriter were donated by the school to assist in these tasks.

The New Year welcomed board member Lorraine Fenwick. Also a donation of $200 from the Cupar Snowmobile Club. Advertisements were placed in the Times paper asking people to donate their antiques. A raffle of Jacqueline Berting’s glass wheat picture was the fundraiser for spring 1995.(which was won by Woody Blaser) Also the museum board’s involvement at the Rec Board Snow Pitch in March and Community Hockey Tournament in March. Souvenir cups and plates were ordered from Nova Distributor of Indian Head to be sold at the June 3rd opening, as well as souvenir buttons from Kevin Bonish that would be handed out with the purchase of a membership.

Official opening of the museum was June 3, 1995. A parade was held that day in conjunction with the festivities. Frank & Gabe Daradich donated their threshing machine to the museum, and it was in the parade. Also John Gaber used two of his convertibles for the entire executive to ride in. The mayor, Val Orb, and town council were present to participate in the ribbon cutting and official opening, as well as Gail Hipperson from the Saskatchewan Museum Association. Musicians for the day were Steve Domokos, Ernie Molnar, Nick Costea (Dysart), Alec Benesh (Dysart), Bill Szeles, Tony Lorenz, and Irvin Hart. Steve was thanked for organizing the musicians, as well as his many paintings that were in the museum. An old time family dance at the town hall ended the evening.

It was also at this time that the first soup and homemade bread event was discussed, and decided on for September 1995. A quilt donated by Kathy Weisbrod would be the raffle item for the fall as well. Discussion took place regarding taking over the sale of the birthday calendars, as the Rec Board has dropped this fundraiser. This the museum did for almost a decade.

Many visitors have passed through the doors since then. Many artifacts have been added to the collection, and many students have worked the summer months with a grant received for employment purposes. Many people have volunteered their time, as board members, or workers. Many people have been fed at the Strawberry Socials and Harvest Lunches that have been fundraisers for many years. The museum still continues their membership in the Saskatchewan Museums Association. Originally the Cupar Museum was a member of Last Touch, but sadly it ceased to exist. Presently the Cupar Museum is a member of the Qu'Appelle Valley Network liasing with other museum members in the group.

And it all started with one little idea: “What do you think about starting a museum in Cupar?”

Saturday, April 4

spanish flu 1918

As I think about Covid 19 I think about how the Spanish Flu affected the people of Cupar in 1918.
Have chosen some articles that show many similarites to today.

Cupar Herald October 17 1918. (51 victims)

Cupar Herald October 18 1918 (businesses close)

Cupar Herald October 24 1918 (3 more victims)

Cupar Herald October 31 1918 ( first town victim)

Cupar Herald October 31 1918 (flu regulations to be observed)

Cupar Herald October 31 1918 (postpone auction)

Cupar Herald November 7 1918 ( 2 Articles regarding innoculations)

Cupar Herald November 21 1918 (emergency hospital)

Cupar Herald December 5 1918

Monday, August 26

photo album

Originally I put together a photo album to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Cupar.  It consisted mainly of the businesses located on Stanley St, churches, fires, and cyclone. I showed it to
Lloyd Macnack a local resident, businessman and photographer. On his suggestion I am continuing to add photos and information. Thank you Lloyd.

Thursday, August 22

Museum Fencing

The fencing around our farm equipment is almost finished. Another thing off our checklist before winter

Friday, July 19

Cupar Recreation Hall

I noticed that the Cupar Recreation Hall is getting a much needed paint job. Here is a look at what it originally looked like finished. Notice the size of the evergreens.  Check out the museum to see the display of who built it and the tools used.

Monday, July 15

It made her happy

One never knows what they will find at the museum or what memories it will stir in them.
Donna (Hildebrand) Silzer came to our Strawberry Social and toured the museum with friends.
In the hospital display I pointed out a wooden wheelchair. She got excited because that was the wheelchair she pushed Lornie Mueller to sports events in. I asked if she would like to sit in it.
Oh yes. She was so happy and let me take a photo of her.

summer student

We would like to welcome our new summer student Meigan. We put her to work immediately, and are so happy with her efforts. She has been with us 2 weeks and 6 more to go.
We received money from the federal government through Canada Summer Jobs. So very helpful for a small town museum basically run by volunteers.

Wednesday, July 3

Strawberry Social

As part of the town of Cupar's July 1st celebrations we had our Strawberry Social. Special thanks to everyone who contributed their time in preparation for the event, to our volunteers who served our guests and to Blue Country for their wonderful old time music. We also thank the people who came out to support us. There were tours of the museum and our extended ball exhibit. We continue to be appreciative of SaskCulture and Saskatchewan Lotteries for their financial support for making these kind of events possible. We further thank the town of Cupar for their financial support as part of the town's Canada Day Celebration.