Thursday, November 21, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Museum Friends

It is not easy to say goodbye to long time friends of the museum. 

Museum boards in small towns tend to accumulate dedicated people who give years of their time and energy. And we are so grateful that they did because the museum would not exist without their many volunteer hours.

This year some have chosen to retire and though we are sad to see them go, we understand. Retirement is not a bad thing if one does it voluntarily. They can look back and see much that they accomplished. 

We wish Orval Ens, Lloyd How and Azelia Tesolin many more years of happy and healthy retirement. Your dedication to the Clayton McLain Memorial Museum will be remembered and appreciated.

As well this year we have had to say goodbye to Walter Pooler who passed away September 30, 2013. Walter was such an integral part of the museum it will seem strange without him.  From Christmas Lights, a ticket in his pocket for sale,  to lively dance music, Walter's ideas kept life interesting. His tours left visitors with a smile on their face and always with a bit of poetry. The following poem will forever be linked with Walter, a good man who loved his community and who gave it his all. 

Leetle Bateese ~ by Henry Drummond

 YOU bad leetle boy, not moche you care
How busy you're kipin' your poor gran'pere
Tryin' to stop you ev'ry day
Chasin' de hen aroun' de hay–
W'y don't you geev' dem a chance to lay?
        Leetle Bateese!

Off on de fiel' you foller de plough
Den w'en you're tire you scare de cow
Sickin' de dog till dey jomp de wall
So de milk ain't good for not'ing at all–
An' you're only five an' a half dis fall,
        Leetle Bateese!

Too sleepy for sayin' de prayer to-night?
Never min', I s'pose it'll be all right
Say dem to-morrow–ah! der he go!
Fas' asleep in a minute or so–
An' he'll stay lak dat till de rooster crow,
        Leetle Bateese!

Den wake us up right away toute suite
Lookin' for somet'ing more to eat,
Makin' me t'ink of dem long leg crane
Soon as dey swaller, dey start again
I wonder your stomach don't get no pain,
        Leetle Bateese!

But see heem now lyin' dere in bed,
Look at de arm onderneat' hees head;
If he grow lak dat till he's twenty year
I bet he'll be stronger dan Louis Cyr
An' beat all de voyageurs leevin' here,
        Leetle Bateese!

Jus' feel de muscle along hees back,
Won't geev' heem moche bodder for carry pack
On de long portage, any size canoe,
Dere's not many t'ing dat boy won't do
For he's got double-joint on hees body too,
        Leetle Bateese!

But leetle Bateese! please don't forget
We rader you're stayin' de small boy yet,
So chase de chicken an' mak' dem scare
An' do w'at you lak wit' your ole gran'pere
For w'en you're beeg feller he won't be dere–
        Leetle Bateese!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hi! Pie and Coffee Thursdays

This summer we thought we'd try something different at the museum to attract more local residents to the museum on a regular basis. One of our new board members came up with the idea to host a weekly social event at the Duvall House, include pie and coffee, and have an ongoing silent auction.

It has been a great success bringing about 30 people each week to enjoy the visiting and of course, the pie.

Organizer, Gale, has enlisted the help of many pie makers in the community. Our capable summer staff have helped with the setting up, serving and cleanup each week. Two of the young staff members even made pies without being asked!

The exhibits in the museum and the sales shop has had more traffic as well. As well as locals there have been outside visitors.

It goes to show how just one new person with new ideas to try can really make a difference. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ancient Trail from Eagle Hills to Manitou Lake Mapped

Lloyd How's interest in local history and archaeology is reflected in a new acquisition to our archives.

Ancient trails crisscrossed this country mapping the routes that were used by the First Nations, the European explorers, the North West Mounted Police and then the immigrants that followed. One such trail crossed the lands that Lloyd and his wife, Noreen, lived on before they retired to the town of Cut Knife. They both grew up seeing the evidence of the trail as indentations in the prairie soil and recognizing that it is disappearing.

This ancient trail was used by the local River Cree as they travelled from the area where the Battle and Saskatchewan Rivers joined at the Eagle Hills (Battleford) to Manitou Lake, Sounding Lake and further into Alberta.  These lakes are considered sacred by the First Nations and were often visited via the trail.

Anthony Henday used this trail in 1745 as he made his way  through what is now Western Canada.

Along the trail are many areas that were used for centuries for camping, hunting and trapping.
Lloyd consulted local Cree elder, Wally Simaganis, written historical accounts, and locals who remembered seeing the trail. Then he spent countless hours exploring and mapping.

Thank you, Lloyd and Wally, for all of your work in the mapping of this ancient trail to keep alive stories of this corridor and the fading memories of those who walked or rode along it.