THE WESTERN DEVELOPMENT MUSEUM


| May/June 1974



St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church on the Museum street. Fully accredited. Several weddings have been solemnised in the Church. More are planned for this June. Courtesy of George Shepherd, Western Development Museum, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

George Shepherd

Museum Curator.

The Western Development Museums in Saskatchewan, the Museums in the North, are happy to report to the readers of the Iron Men Album another year of great activity and progress. It is most encouraging to note the great interest being shown by the general public and all forms of government, and the business fraternity, in the efforts being made to preserve the story and the machines and tools of the pioneer days. In this endeavor the Western Development Museums in Saskatchewan have played a leading and helpful part.

As recently as one hundred years ago the former buffalo ranges of Saskatchewan were unpeopled and unpoliced. Today all land in our province is raising either grain or live stock. The main settlement of Saskatchewan did not really get into full swing until around the year 1900. This vast and interesting change took place in less that a man's lifetime and some people are still around who saw this transformation.

The Western Development Museum at Saskatoon has now settled into its new million and a half dollar building. It comprises three acres, all under one roof, big enough for three football fields, kept at an even temperature the year round. The Yorkton branch of the Museum has a full display of pioneer agricultural machinery but stresses Ethnic displays representing the life of the European settlers who came to that area in the 1900's. Under able management Yorkton is forging ahead rapidly. An expenditure of over one hundred thousand dollars had made this possible.

The branch of the Museum at North Battleford has recently received a grant of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This will upgrade the Museum building making it possible for a year round operation. In addition to all this the city of Moose Jaw, in the southern part of the province, is going ahead with a million and a half dollar branch of the Western Development Museum. This will be mainly devoted to a theme of transportation including rail and aviation. This Museum is to be located on the Trans Canada Highway and is planned to be open sometime during 1975.

As well as pressing forward with its own activities the Museum has encouraged the growth of local Museums in Saskatchewan and some striking results have been achieved. It may come as a surprise to many people to learn that there are over one hundred local Museums in our province at the present time. Many of these are housed in former school buildings. The Museum at Duck Lake occupies a two story brick building. The driving force behind the Duck Lake Museum is Fred Anderson, a pioneer of the district, still going strong at 90 years of age. These local Museums are scattered allover the province and, as used to be said of the early implement agencies, the further away you get from one Museum the closer you are to another.