THE WESTERN DEVELOPMENT MUSEUM AT SASKATOON, CANADA.


| March/April 1972



Western Development Museum

George Shepherd

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The same old girl in a new dress. By George Shepherd, Museum Curator.

Most readers of the Iron Men's Album are aware of the agricultural Museum at Saskatoon 'The Museum fartherest North' in fact many have visited it. The coming year of 1972 marks a historic turning point in the history of the Museum. On July first and second the Museum will be holding open house in a new million dollar building just across the South Saskatchewan River from the old Museum site.

The new building is the culmination of years of hopes and dreams and will be a fitting tribute to the homestead people of Western Canada, who came from all over the world to turn the former desolate buffalo ranges into fruitful farms that we have in Saskatchewan today.

It was almost thirty years ago that a movie was being made in Saskatchewan called 'Soil for Tomorrow'. This called for the restoring and operating of some of the old style steam and gas tractors that helped to open up the prairie lands at the turn of the century. After the filming the idea was born that the restored machines should not be abandoned again. This was the germ of the idea of setting up a pioneer agricultural Museum.

Dedicated men and women in all walks of life pooled their ideas to see what could be done. There was in Saskatchewan, at that time, a number of airplane hangars, used to train airmen during World War Two. After the war was over the hangars were standing idle and empty, most suitable buildings for storing and displaying the cumbersome machines of the homestead age, a period that was fast slipping away. After considerable time, thought and effort, vacant hangars were secured at North Battleford, Yorkton and Saskatoon, the last named being the focal point of the activities. In 1949 the Legislature of Saskatchewan set up a Western Development Museum Act and since then the Museum has seen continuous and amazing growth. The Museum has been a leader in its field on the North American Continent and has achieved an International reputation.