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Other Name
CANDLESTICK TELEPHONE
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1970
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, COTTON, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20180007000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
CANDLESTICK TELEPHONE
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1970
Materials
METAL, COTTON, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
31
Diameter
13.4
Description
BLACK CANDLESTICK-STYLE TELEPHONE WITH RECEIVER AND SPEAKER. TELEPHONE SPEAKER IS ATTACHED TO BLACK ROUND BASE AND BLACK MIDDLE ROD WITH HOOK FOR HANGING THE RECEIVER; METAL STAND ON BROWN PADDED BASE WITH BLACK PLASTIC SPEAKER AT THE TOP. BASE HAS WHITE STAMPED TEXT AROUND BASE OF THE STAND “WESTERN ELECTRIC, MADE IN U S A, PAT IN U S A JAN 26 15”. TELEPHONE HAS BLACK METAL PLATE BENEATH PLASTIC SPEAKER WITH ENGRAVED TEXT “9298W, WESTERN ELECTRIC, MADE IN U S A, PAT IN U S A JAN 14 1919”. BASE HAS TWO BROWN CLOTH-COVERED CORDS EXTENDING FROM BACK OF BASE; FIRST CORD IS CUT OFF, SECOND CORD IS ATTACHED TO BLACK PLASTIC RECEIVER. RECEIVER IS CONE-SHAPED WITH WIDER MOUTHPIECE AT END. RECEIVER IS WRAPPED WITH BLACK TAPE AROUND MIDSECTION; RECEIVER HAS ENGRAVED TEXT AROUND CORD, “PAT. IN U.S.A. APRIL 16, 1918, MAY 20, 1913, JUNE 3, 1913”. RECEIVER HAS ENGRAVED TEXT AROUND BACK EDGE OF MOUTHPIECE “WESTERN ELECTRIC MADE IN U S A 143”. TELEPHONE HAS CHIPPED PAINT ON RECEIVER HOOK; SPEAKER OF TELEPHONE IS CHIPPED WITH LOSS IN PLASTIC; TELEPHONE BODY AND RECEIVER ARE STAINED WITH WHITE PAINT. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
TELECOMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
BUSINESS
INDUSTRY
History
ON APRIL 3, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JOHN WENSVEEN REGARDING HIS DONATION OF A CANDLESTICK TELEPHONE. WENSVEEN HAD RETIRED FROM ALBERTA TERMINALS LIMITED AND HAD KEPT THE TELEPHONE AS A SOUVENIR FROM HIS TIME EMPLOYED. ON HOW HE CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE TELEPHONE, WENSVEEN ELABORATED, “WHEN I RETIRED [IN THE FALL OF 1989] FROM THE ELEVATOR, THESE PHONES WERE NOT USED ANY MORE SO THEY WERE MORE OR LESS DISCARDED. WHEN I RETIRED I [WOULD] JUST TAKE ONE HOME. SO I DID. I DIDN’T STEAL IT OR ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T USED ANYMORE.” “[I WORKED FOR] THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT ELEVATOR LATER KNOWN AS ALBERTA TERMINALS LIMITED.” “THESE [PHONES] WERE IN THE ELEVATOR AND AS LONG AS THEY WERE WORKING, WE USED THEM. [THE COMPANY] DIDN’T WANT TO GO TO ANOTHER PHONE AND HAVE THE SAME THING SITTING IN THE OFFICE…THE PHONE WOULD RING AND THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO OVER THERE AND ANSWER IT. THEY DECIDED WE’VE GOT TO GET SOMETHING THAT WE CAN CARRY WITH US AND THAT’S WHAT WE DID. WE COULD HAVE GONE THROUGH A REGULAR PHONE AS SUCH BUT, AGAIN, YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT OFFICE AND ANSWER THE PHONE.” “WE HAD A BOX, [THE] WIRE WAS CONNECTED ON TO THE BOX…IT WAS ON THE WALL AND IT HAD DIFFERENT FLOORS MARKED IN A LITTLE SPACE [WITH] A LITTLE BUTTON BEHIND IT. IF YOU WANTED TO CONTACT ANOTHER FLOOR, YOU WENT IN THERE AND YOU PRESSED THAT BUTTON FOR THAT PARTICULAR FLOOR. THEN THE PHONE WOULD RING. THEN YOU WOULD GET IT OVER THERE AND YOU WOULD ANSWER THE CALL.” “I STARTED IN ’58 AND I THINK WE USED THEM FOR ABOUT 15 YEARS AFTER THAT [UNTIL ABOUT 1972]." “WE WENT OVER TO WALKIE TALKIES…[WHEN] I STARTED WORK THERE...WE WERE USING ALL THESE PHONES AND THEY HAD ONE OF THESE PHONES ON EACH FLOOR. IF YOU WANTED TO CONTACT SOMEBODY, THAT’S WHAT YOU HAD TO USE. THAT’S WHAT WE DID AND, LATER ON THEY WERE OFF-LISTED AND PUT IN THE BASEMENT, AND MORE OR LESS FORGOT ABOUT. SO I DECIDED TO TAKE ONE HOME.” “THESE PHONES WERE NOT THAT CLEAR. WALKIE TALKIES WERE MUCH CLEARER…[YOU] HELD THE MIC CLOSE TO YOU. IF YOU WERE TOO FAR AWAY FROM THE PHONE AND SOMEONE WAS TALKING YOU COULDN’T PICK IT UP VERY WELL. IT WAS SOMETHING AT THE TIME, IT WAS GOOD AT THE TIME BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE. BUT WALKIE TALKIES WERE MUCH BETTER.” “WE USED THIS PHONE ALL THE TIME WHEN WORKING THERE, SO IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WE WERE USED TO USING…THAT’S THE MAIN REASON [I BROUGHT IT HOME]. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE NICE TO TAKE ONE AS A REMEMBRANCE OF THE ELEVATOR AND I’LL USE IT HOW IT USED TO BE.” “I PUT IT OUTSIDE, I HAVE A SHED, AND I PUT IT IN THE SHED AND IT MORE OR LESS STAYED THERE...I THOUGHT EVENTUALLY IT WOULD BE A KEEPSAKE AND WOULD BE A REMINDER OF MY PLACE WHERE I WORKED. [NOW] I’M DOWNSIZING. I’M GOING TO BE MOVING OUT OF THE HOUSE AND I KNEW I HAD THIS IN THE SHED OUTSIDE. I THOUGHT MAYBE THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO SEE IF I CAN DONATE IT AND I DIDN’T WANT TO THROW IT OUT.” ON HIS TIME WITH ALBERTA TERMINALS LIMITED, WENSVEEN RECALLED, “I WORKED ON THE SCALE FOR 8 YEARS. THE SCALES WERE UPSTAIRS AND THEY HAD 6 PITS DOWN BELOW WHERE THE GRAIN WOULD BE DUMPED. IN THE EARLY DAYS THEY USED BOXCARS, CPR, AND THEY WOULD HOLD 1500 BUSHELS. THEY WERE MADE FOR [TRANSPORT] AND THE GRAIN WOULD COME UP…ABOVE THE SCALE AND WE COULD CONTROL THAT AND WE WOULD WEIGH IT. I WORKED UP THERE FOR ABOUT 8 YEARS. THEN A POSITION CAME AVAILABLE DOWNSTAIRS FOR RECEIVING AND SHIPPING SO I PUT IN FOR IT AND I GOT THAT POSITION. I DID THE RECEIVING AND SHIPPING LATER ON, TAKING GRAIN IN AND SHIPPING GRAIN OUT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180007000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180007000
Acquisition Date
2018-04
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
IRON, LEATHER, STEEL
Catalogue Number
P20160020000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1960
Materials
IRON, LEATHER, STEEL
No. Pieces
2
Length
15.5
Width
9.1
Diameter
12.2
Description
METAL COW BELL WITH LEATHER STRAP. BELL IS MADE UP OF 2 PIECES OF METAL FUSED TOGETHER AT SIDES WITH TWO NAILS IN EACH SEAM. TOP IS FOLDED TOGETHER WITH THE ENDS FUSED DOWN THE SIDE IN A TRIANGULAR FOLD. FRONT AND BACK OF BELL ARE RELATIVELY FLAT, COMING OUT SLIGHTLY AT EDGE. WELDING OF BELL IS CRUDE. INSIDE OF THE BELL IS THE CLAPPER WITH A BALL END THAT IS 10.5 CM IN CIRCUMFERENCE. BALL IS ATTACHED TO A ROD THAT IS HOOKED TO THE LOOP INSIDE THE TOP OF BELL. FLAT METAL LOOP AT TOP OF BELL ATTACHES THE BELL TO LEATHER STRAP THAT IS 109.4 CM IN LENGTH AND 2.4 CM IN WIDTH. 9 HOLES PUNCHED IN LEATHER FOR STRAP ADJUSTMENT WITH THE BUCKLE GOING THROUGH THE 10TH HOLE PUNCH. STANDARD METAL BUCKLE WITH LEATHER BELT LOOP FOR THE EXCESS LENGTH OF STRAP. FAIR CONDITION: METAL SEVERELY RUSTED IN COLOUR. AT ONE SEAM NEAR THE BASE, THE METAL HAS OXIDIZED TO A GREEN COLOUR. METAL SURFACE INSIDE OF BELL HAS LOST SHINE AND IS RUSTY. STRAP IS SEVERELY WORN AND HAS SCRATCHES AND LOSS OF FINISH OVERALL. END OF THE STRAP OPPOSITE OF BUCKLE IS TORN OFF.
Subjects
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
History
ON 14 JULY, 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONOR, ELLENNOR PORTER, AND HER DAUGHTER, KAREN PORTER AT THE GALT MUSEUM. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM THAT INTERVIEW. ELLENNOR’S HUSBAND WAS ROBERT MICHAEL “MICK” PORTER. HE FOUND THE BELL AS ELLENNOR REMEMBERS, “[I REMEMBER] HIM BRINGING IT IN THE HOUSE… I DON’T KNOW JUST HOW LONG AGO… [AND HIM SAYING], ‘LOOK WHAT I GOT.’ THEN IT WAS JUST EVERYONE WAS SAYING, ‘WOW,’ AND PLAYING AROUND WITH IT… [AFTER THAT] IT WAS PUT IN THE BASEMENT WITH THE REST OF THE THINGS.” KAREN AND ELLENNOR BELIEVE THE BELL WOULD HAVE BEEN FOUND BY MICK IN THE 1950S OR THE 1960S. ELLENNOR CONTINUED, “[HE FOUND IT ON] THE RANCH. HE WAS OUT VISITING HIS RELATIVES OUT THERE. HE HAD AUNTS AND UNCLES ON THE BURN RANCH. HE’S PROBABLY JUST RE-VISITING THEIR PLACE THAT HAD BEEN SOLD, SO MAYBE IT CAME FROM PINCHER CREEK. IN THAT AREA ANYWAY, LUNDBRECK OR PINCHER CREEK.” “DAD WOULD GO UP SOMETIMES BY HIMSELF,” KAREN ADDED, “I DON’T THINK ANY OF US WERE WITH HIM WHEN HE CAME HOME WITH THAT. I THINK WE WERE AT HOME WHEN HE BROUGHT IT TO THE HOUSE… IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT HIS FATHER AND MOTHER HAD [THE BELL] AT THEIR HOUSE AND GAVE IT TO HIM. THEY WERE FARMERS AT THE WALDRON RANCH – NOW THE WALDRON RANCH – [BUT IT] WAS THE PORTER RANCH. THEY HAD A HOUSE IN PINCHER CREEK, SO THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT’S ALSO WHERE HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN IT.” THINKING BACK TO HER LATE HUSBAND’S DAYS IN THE AREA, ELLENNOR EXPLAINED, “[MICK’S] DAD WAS AT THE PORTER/WALDRON RANCH. IT WAS JUST THE PORTER RANCH AND AFTER HE MOVED TO PINCHER, HE SOLD LIKE HIS INTEREST PART OF IT TO WALDRON, SO IT [BECAME] A PARTNERSHIP… THE WALDRON RANCH IS NEAR BLACK MOUNTAIN ON THAT ROAD, TOWARDS THE BAR-U RANCH.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE BELL, ELLENNOR SAID, “[THIS BELL] BRINGS BACK MEMORIES FROM WAY BACK WHEN WE USED TO LOOK FOR CATTLE BACK IN THE BUSH, AND I IMAGINE THAT’S WHAT MY HUSBAND MUST HAVE THOUGHT TOO… [IT WOULD BE] A REMEMBRANCE FROM HIS CHILDHOOD. THEY PROBABLY HAD TO BRING IN THE OLD MILK COW AND SHE WOULD BE WEARING THE BELL. THAT’S WHAT THEY DID. THEY PUT IT ON THE BIG MILK COW, SO THAT WHEN THEY WANTED THEM TO COME IN TO MILK THEY COULD FIND THEM. SOMETIMES THEY’D GO HIDE IN THE BUSH, SO THEY KEPT THE BELL ON THEM SO THEY COULD KEEP TRACK OF WHERE THEY WERE AT.” ELLENNOR FURTHER EXPLAINED, “I HAD NO CONNECTION WITH THAT BELL. WE HAD NO CATTLE. WE WERE GRAIN FARMERS.” KAREN ADDED, “MUM AND DAD WERE WHEAT FARMING ON [THE K-LAZY-A-RANCH]. THERE WERE CATTLE THERE, BUT MUM DOESN’T REMEMBER THERE BEING CATTLE WITH BELLS ON. THEY WERE IN THE FARM YARD… THERE WERE HARDLY ANY TREES. THAT WAS THE RANCH ORIGINALLY AND LATER BECAME A WHEAT FARM. IF THEY KEPT IT AS A RANCH WITH CATTLE AND HORSES, THAT MEANT THEY COULD NEVER EVER LEAVE AND IT WAS PRETTY ISOLATED, SO OVER THE YEARS DAD TALKED THE OWNER INTO LETTING HIM COVERT IT TO WHEAT.” “THERE WAS NO BUSH [THERE FOR THE COWS] TO HIDE IN. SO NO NEED FOR A BELL!” ELLENNOR REMEMBERED. THE DONOR AND HER DAUGHTER REMEMBERED HOW MICK VALUED OBJECTS AND MEMORIES. “HIS EYES WOULD LIGHT UP [AND HE WOULD SAY], ‘LOOK WHAT WE HAVE HERE,’ [WHEN HE SAW SOMETHING ATTACHED TO A MEMORY]. HE HAD ALL KINDS OF MEMORIES OF HIS GROWING UP. SOME WERE NOT TOO HAPPY, SOME WERE VERY HAPPY, BUT HE ALWAYS REALLY LOVED COWS. IT DIDN’T MATTER WHERE WE WENT TRAVELLING IN THE WORLD…[HE ALWAYS] STOPPED AND TOOK SOME PICTURES. ‘OH LOOK AT THE COWS!’ HE’D SAY,” ELLENNOR JUMPED IN, COMPLETING HER DAUGHTER’S SENTENCE. “DAD TOOK THOUSANDS OF PICTURES OF COWS. FOR HIM THERE WAS A REAL CORRELATION,” KAREN FINISHED. “[THE BELL IS A TREASURE] BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN IN OUR HOME FOR SUCH A LONG TIME. WHEN DAD BROUGHT IT HOME, IN HIS PERSPECTIVE, HE WOULD HAVE THE SAME KIND OF MEMORIES MY MUM DOES OF HEARING THE COWS…I CAN REMEMBER THEM WHEN I WAS LITTLE ON THE FARM OUT BY SKIFF HEARING COW BELLS OR BEING OUT AT MY GRANDMOTHER’S FARM BY OLDS HEARING COW BELLS… [THIS BRINGS] THE MEMORY OF DAD BEING EXCITED ABOUT [THE BELL] AND TRYING TO WAKE US UP IN THE MORNING RINGING IT, IF WE WERE SLEEPING IN TOO LONG. THAT’S MORE THE MEMORY FOR US… [BUT] I WAS NEVER ON THE RANCH WHEN MY DAD WOULD HAVE FOUND [THIS SPECIFIC] BELL, SO THOSE MEMORIES AREN’T MY MEMORIES, THEY’RE MORE HIS MEMORIES. HE ALWAYS TREASURED IT, HE ALWAYS WANTED IT KEPT AND WE’D LIKE TO HONOUR THAT,” KAREN ADDED. NOTES FROM AN 2008 INTERVIEW WITH MICKEY AND ELEANOR PORTER STATE THE DONOR’S FATHER-IN-LAW, GEORGE ENGLISH PORTER, WAS BORN 1878 IN ORILLIA, ONTARIO AND DIED ON MARCH 16, 1959. HE CAME WEST FROM ONTARIO IN 1896 AT THE AGE OF SEVENTEEN. GEORGE PORTER’S FAMILY SETTLED 30 MILES NORTH OF LUNDBRECK, ON THE EASTERN SLOPES OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. THE FAMILY SETTLED ON THE BLACK MOUNTAIN RANCH. GEORGE WAS ONE OF FOURTEEN CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY. HER MOTHER-IN-LAW WAS BORN IN EASTERN CANADA BEFORE MOVING TO OREGON. SHE IMMIGRATED TO CANADA WHEN SHE WAS8 YEARS OLD AND WAS RAISED ON THE BURN RANCH NORTH OF LUNDBRECK, ALBERTA. THE NOTES FURTHER STATE THE DONOR, ELLENNOR PORTER, WAS BORN IN 1922. THE OBITUARY FOR ROBERT MICHAEL “MICK” PORTER READS MICK WAS BORN ON MAY 23, 1921 IN COWLEY, ALBERTA. HE ATTENDED SCHOOL IN COWLEY AND GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL FROM ST. MICHAEL’S CATHOLIC SCHOOL IN PINCHER CREEK. HE JOINED THE RCAF DURING WWII AND UPON AN HONOURABLE DISCHARGE AFTER A HIP INJURY, HE WORKED AS A GRAIN BUYER. HE MARRIED ELLENNOR CHRISTOFFERSEN IN OLDS, ALBERTA. LATER, HE WORKED FOR THE MCINTYRE RANCH FOR 5 YEARS. IN 1953, HE BEGAN FARMING IN THE SKIFF AREA AND RETIRED IN 1984. MICK AND ELLENNOR HAD FIVE CHILDREN: LAWNA ROBART, MICHAEL, RONALD, KAREN PORTER, AND CHRISTOPHER, WHO PASSED AWAY AS AN INFANT. MICK PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 AT THE AGE OF 91 YEARS. HISTORY OF THE WALDRON CATTLE RANCH LTD. WAS PUBLISHED IN THE “CANADIAN CATTLEMEN” PUBLICATION IN MARCH OF 1946. IT STATES THE RANCH “COMPRISED ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND ACRES OF LAND SITUATED IN SOUTH-WESTERN ALBERTA. IT WAS SITUATED IN A VALLEY EXTENDING BETWEEN THE PORCUPINE HILLS AND OLD MAN RIVER FOR ABOUT 30 MILES NORTH AND SOUTH AND VARYING FROM THREE TO FIVE MILES IN WIDTH.” THE HISTORY STATES THE WALDRON CATTLE RANCH WAS FORMED IN 1883 BY SIR JOHN WALROND WALROND OF BARONET AND LORD CLINTON OF LONDON – BOTH MEN OF ENGLAND. ON JUNE 26TH, 1884, QUEEN VICTORIA GRANTED THE RANCH AN INDENTURE OF LEASE TO SIR WALROND, BARONET. (THE TEXT OF THAT LEASE AGREEMENT WAS PRODUCED AS PART OF THE CATTLEMEN PUBLICATION AND IS ATTACHED TO THE ARTIFACT’S PERMANENT RECORD.) ACCORDING TO THE ARTICLE, THE FIRST PURCHASE OF CATTLE WAS IN 1883 – 3,125 HEAD FOR $100,000. IN 1897, THE COMPANY WAS INCORPORATED UNDER THE CANADIAN JOINT STOCK COMPANIES ACT, MOVING ITS HEAD OFFICE FROM LONDON, ENGLAND. DUNCAN MCEACHRAN WAS APPOINTED PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER OF THE RANCH AND DAVID WARNOCK FROM GLASGOW BECAME THE LOCAL MANAGER. AT THE TIME OF THIS TRANSITION, IT IS BELIEVED THE RANCH HAD GROWN TO 12,311, THOUGH THIS WAS A MERE ESTIMATE. MCEACHRAN WAS INVOLVED WITH THE COMPANY FROM ITS BEGINNING IN 1883, WHEN HE STARTED AS THE GENERAL MANAGER. HIS LEADERSHIP GOT THE COMPANY THROUGH “PERIODS OF DEPRESSED CONDITION.” AFTER A HARSH WINTER IN 1906-1907, THE RANCH LOST APPROXIMATELY 5,000 HEAD OF CATTLE DUE TO SEVERE TEMPERATURE CHANGES. AFTER THIS, IN THE SUMMER OF 1908, THE RANCH “DISPOSED OF ALL ITS CATTLE TO PAT BURNS. FOLLOWING THE SALE, THE LAND OF THE WALDRON RANCH, EXCLUDING 1,000 ACRES WAS LEASED FIRST TO W. R. HULL, THEN TO PAT BURNS. C. W. BUCHANAN WAS APPOINTED THE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER OF THE RANCH THAT IN 1923. MCEACHRAN PASSED AWAY IN OCTOBER 1924. ANOTHER HISTORY ON THE RANCH WAS FOUND BY MUSEUM RESEARCHERS IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD. PUBLISHED ON 1 MAY 1954, THE ARTICLE READS, “AT ONE TIME THE WALDRON LEASE CONSISTED OF BETWEEN 300,000 TO 400,000 ACRES OF LAND, EXTENDING FROM WHAT IS KNOWN AS STOWE TO THE NORTH FORK OF THE OLDMAN RIVER. IN THE NORTH FORK DISTRICT THE LAND WAS DIVIDED INTO FIVE BRANCHES… AT ITS PEAK IN THE SUMMER OF 1906 THE RANCH HAD 20,000 HEAD OF STOCK.” GEORGE PORTER IS LISTED IN THE HISTORY AS ONE OF THE CATTLE MEN EMPLOYED BY THE WALDRON RANCH FROM 1883 TO 1908. ABOUT HIM, THE ARTICLE STATES, “GEORGE PORTER [WAS] A GOOD STOCKMAN, [WHO] LATER BOUGHT 12 SECTIONS OF THE COMPANY’S FREEHOLD AT ITS NORTHERN END AND ADJOINING LAND ALREADY OWNED BY HIM.” “GEORGE PORTER AND SONS HAVE SOLD THEIR RANCH AND CATTLE TO JOHN FRANCIS MILLER… THE PORTER RANCH IS ABOUT THIRTY MILES NORTH OF LUNDBRECK AND ADJOINS THE 19,000 ACRE WALDRON RANCH WHICH MR. MILLER ALSO OWNS HAVING PURCHASED IT FROM P. BURNS RANCHES LAST FEBRUARY,” THE HISTORY STATES. AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE 21 AUGUST 1953 LETHBRIDGE HERALD ANNOUNCED, “TWO OF THE LARGEST AND MOST FAMOUS RANCHES IN THE SOUTH-WESTERN ALBERTA FOOTHILLS ARE BEING OFFERED FOR SALE. THEY ARE THE WALDRON AND PORTER RANCHERS, NORTH OF LUNDBRECK. THESE PROPERTIES ARE OWNED NOW BY JOHN F. MILLER OF LAS VEGAS, NEVADA… [THEY] HAVE BEEN OPERATED BY MR. MILLER’S SON, WHO TOOK OVER THE JOB SEVERAL YEARS AGO WHEN THE MILLERS BOUGHT THE WALDRON FROM THE WALDRON RANCHING COMPANY AND THE PORTER RANCH PROPERTY FROM GEORGE PORTER…” THE HISTORY OF GEORGE AND NORA PORTER (NEE BURN)’S MARRIAGE WAS PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD ON JUNE 26, 1954 FOR THEIR 50TH ANNIVERSARY. THE COUPLE WERE MARRIED AT THE BURN RANCH IN JUNE 21 1904. THE COUPLE’S FOURTEEN CHILDREN WERE: MARJORIE ANDERSON, NORMAN PORTER, PHYLLIS ROBBINS, KATHLEEN HAMILTON, WINNIFRED BONERTZ, SANDY PORTER, EILEEN IRONMONGER, JEAN ALCOCK, JOSEPHINE ROBINSON, LILLIAN CHRISTIANSON, ISOBEL SINNOT, MICHAEL PORTER, LAWRENCE PORTER, AND CONNIE PORTER. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT RECORD P20080020001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE PORTER AND BURN FAMILIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160020000
Acquisition Date
2016-07
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
No. Pieces
1
Length
139
Width
99.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN BLANKET MADE FROM RAW FLAX. THE BLANKET IS COMPOSED OF 2 SECTIONS OF THE SAME SIZE OF MATERIAL THAT ARE JOINED TOGETHER WITH A SEAM AT THE CENTER. ON THE FRONT SIDE (WITH NEAT SIDE OF THE STITCHING AND PATCHES), THERE ARE THREE PATCHES ON THE BLANKET MADE FROM LIGHTER, RAW-COLOURED MATERIAL. ONE SECTION OF THE FABRIC HAS TWO OF THE PATCHES ALIGNED VERTICALLY NEAR THE CENTER SEAM. THE AREA SHOWING ON ONE PATCH IS 3 CM X 5 CM AND THE OTHER IS SHOWING 5 CM X 6 CM. ON THE OPPOSITE SECTION THERE IS ONE PATCH THAT IS 16 CM X 8.5 CM SEWN AT THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET. THE BLANKET IS HEMMED ON BOTH SHORT SIDES. ON THE OPPOSING/BACK SIDE OF THE BLANKET, THE FULL PIECES OF THE FABRIC FOR THE PATCHES ARE SHOWING. THE SMALLER PATCH OF THE TWO ON THE ONE HALF-SECTION OF THE BLANKET IS 8CM X 10 CM AND THE OTHER PATCH ON THAT SIDE IS 14CM X 15CM. THE PATCH ON THE OTHER HALF-SECTION IS THE SAME SIZE AS WHEN VIEWED FROM THE FRONT. THERE IS A SEVERELY FADED BLUE STAMP ON THIS PATCH’S FABRIC. FAIR CONDITION. THERE IS RED STAINING THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BLANKET AT THE CENTER SEAM, NEAR THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET AT THE SIDE WITH 2 PATCHES (CLOSER TO THE LARGER PATCH), AND NEAR THE SMALL PATCH AT THE END FURTHER FROM THE CENTER. THERE IS A HOLE WITH MANY LOOSE THREADS SURROUNDING NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HALF SECTION WITH ONE PATCH. THERE ARE VARIOUS THREADS COMING LOOSE AT MULTIPLE POINTS OF THE BLANKET.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
BEDDING
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. ACCORDING TO A NOTE THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THIS LIGHTWEIGHT BLANKET AT THE TIME OF ACQUISITION THE BLANKET IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN MADE C. 1920S. MORRIS SAYS HER MEMORY OF THE BLANKET DATES AS FAR BACK AS SHE CAN REMEMBER: “RIGHT INTO THE ‘30S, ‘40S AND ‘50S BECAUSE MY MOTHER DID THAT RIGHT UP UNTIL NEAR THE END. I USE THAT EVEN IN LETHBRIDGE WHEN I HAD A GARDEN. [THIS TYPE OF BLANKET] WAS USED FOR TWO PURPOSES. IT WAS EITHER PUT ON THE BED UNDERNEATH THE MATTRESS THE LADIES MADE OUT OF WOOL AND OR ELSE IT WAS USED, A DIFFERENT PIECE OF CLOTH WOULD BE USED FOR FLAILING THINGS. [THE] FLAIL ACTUALLY GOES WITH IT AND THEY BANG ON THE SEEDS AND IT WOULD TAKE THE HULLS OFF… IT’S HAND WOVEN AND IT’S MADE OUT OF POOR QUALITY FLAX… IT’S UNBLEACHED, DEFINITELY… RAW LINEN." THIS SPECIFIC BLANKET WAS USED FOR SEEDS MORRIS RECALLS: “…IT HAD TO BE A WINDY DAY… WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS OR WHATEVER BEET SEEDS AND WE WOULD BEAT AWAY AND THEN WE WOULD STAND UP, HOLD IT UP AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN [ONTO THE BLANKET.” THE SEEDS WOULD THEN BE CARRIED ON THE BLANKET AND THEN PUT INTO A PAIL. OF THE BLANKET’S CLEAN STATE, MORRIS EXPLAINS, “THEY’RE ALWAYS WASHED AFTER THEY’RE FINISHED USING THEM.” WHEN SHE LOOKS AT THIS ARTIFACT, MORRIS SAYS: “I FEEL LIKE I’M OUT ON THE FARM, I SEE FIELDS AND FIELDS OF FLAX, BLUE FLAX. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE USED IT FOR. SHE DID USE IT IF SHE WANTED A LITTLE BIT OF THE FLAX THEN SHE’D POUND THE FLAX, BUT THAT WASN’T OFTEN. IT WAS MOSTLY BEANS AND PEAS.” IT IS UNKNOWN WHO WOVE THIS BLANKET. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1907
Date Range To
1995
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL, VARNISH
Catalogue Number
P20160003008
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1907
Date Range To
1995
Materials
WOOD, METAL, VARNISH
No. Pieces
1
Height
107
Diameter
54.5
Description
WOODEN SPINNING WHEEL COATED WITH RED WOOD VARNISH. THE BOBBIN IS APPROX. 11.5CM IN LENGTH AND APPROX. 9CM IN DIAMETER. THERE IS SOME HANDSPUN, WHITE YARN REMAINING ON THE BOBBIN, IN ADDITION TO A SMALL AMOUNT OF GREEN YARN. THE SPINNING WHEEL IS FULLY ASSEMBLED. ON EITHER SIDE OF THE FLYER THERE ARE 10 METAL HOOKS. ON THE LEFT SIDE ONE OF THE 10 HOOKS IS PARTIALLY BROKEN OFF. ON THE FRONT MAIDEN, A WHITE STRING IS TIED AROUND A FRONT KNOB WITH A METAL WIRE BENT LIKE A HOOK (POSSIBLY TO PULL YARN THROUGH THE METAL ORIFICE ATTACHED TO FLYER). LONG SECTION OF RED YARN LOOPED AROUND THE SPINNING WHEEL (MAY BE DRIVE BAND). TREADLE IS TIED TO THE FOOTMAN WITH A DARK GREY, FLAT STRING THAT IS 5MM IN WIDTH. GOOD CONDITION. TREADLE IS WELL WORN WITH VARNISH WORN OFF AND METAL NAIL HEADS EXPOSED.
Subjects
TEXTILEWORKING T&E
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. MORRIS ACQUIRED THIS SPINNING WHEEL FROM HER MOTHER AT THE SAME TIME SHE ACQUIRED THE RUG (P20160003006-GA). SHE EXPLAINS: “I ASKED HER IF I COULD USE THE SPINNING WHEEL – SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO SPIN. AND SHE ALSO TAUGHT ME HOW TO WEAVE, ACTUALLY MY GRANDMOTHER DID THAT MORE SO THAN MY MOTHER. AND I BELONG TO THE WEAVERS’ GUILD, SO I THOUGHT THAT I BETTER DO SOME SPINNING. AND I DID SOME, SO THAT’S WHY I’VE GOT IT HERE AND MOTHER SAID NOT TO BOTHER BRINGING IT BECAUSE SHE WASN’T GOING TO DO ANYMORE SPINNING. SHE HAD LOTS AND LOTS OF YARN THAT SHE DID. SO IT’S BEEN SITTING HERE; IT WAS IN THE BASEMENT.” THE WHEEL WAS MADE FOR ELIZABETH KONKIN WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. MORRIS EXPLAINED THAT: “… [THE SPINNING WHEEL] WAS MADE ESPECIALLY FOR HER. SHE WAS VERY YOUNG. AND THAT IS THE CADILLAC OF SPINNING WHEELS… BECAUSE SHE KNEW WHO THE SPINNERS WERE, WHO THE SPINNING WHEEL CARPENTERS WERE. AND THERE WAS ONE PARTICULAR MAN AND HER MOTHER SAID, ‘WE’LL GO TO THAT ONE.’ AND THEN IN TURN, IN PAYMENT, SHE WOVE HIM ENOUGH MATERIAL TO MAKE A SUIT – A LINEN ONE… [T]HEY DIDN’T LIVE IN CASTELLAR, THEY LIVED IN ANOTHER PLACE. IT’S CALLED - IN RUSSIAN IT IS CALLED OOTISCHENIA. IT’S WHERE THE BIG – ONE OF THE BIG DAMS IS. IF YOU EVER GO ON THAT ROAD, THERE’LL BE DAMS – I THINK ABOUT 3 HUGE ONES… NEAR CASTELLAR, YEAH.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE TIME THE WHEEL WAS BUILT FOR HER MOTHER, MORRIS ANSWERED: “… [S]HE GOT IT LONG BEFORE [HER MARRIAGE].” SHE EXPLAINED THAT PRIOR TO MARRYING, GIRLS WOULD PUT TOGETHER TROUSSEAUS “AND THEY MAKE ALL KINDS OF FANCY THINGS WHICH THEY NEVER USE.” MORRIS RECALLS THE SPINNING WHEEL BEING USED WITHIN HER FAMILY’S HOME IN SHOULDICE AND IN THE LEAN-TO AREA IN THEIR HOME AT VAUXHALL: ‘WELL I THINK [THE SKILL IS] IN THE GENES ACTUALLY. BECAUSE MOST FAMILIES WOVE, AND THEY CERTAINLY SPUN, AS FAR AS I REMEMBER. I KNOW EVERY FALL THE LOOM WOULD COME OUT AND WE WERE LIVING WITH MY GRANDPARENTS ON MY DAD’S [SIDE]. WE LIVED UPSTAIRS, AND EVERY WINTER THEY’D HAUL THAT HUGE LOOM INTO THE BATHHOUSE – THE STEAM BATHHOUSE – BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ROOM ANYWHERE ELSE. AND THEY – THE LADIES SET IT UP AND IN THE SUMMERTIME. THEY TORE THE RAGS FOR THE RUGS, OR SPUN THEM. [FOR] WHATEVER THEY WERE GOING TO MAKE. MY MOM WAS SPINNING WHEN I WAS OLD. [S]HE USED MAKE MITTENS AND SOCKS FOR THE KIDS FOR MY CHILDREN AND SO WHEN SHE DIED THERE WAS A WHOLE STACK OF THESE MITTENS AND SOCKS AND I’VE BEEN GIVING IT TO MY GRAND[KIDS AND] MY GREAT GRANDKIDS” MORRIS ALSO USED THIS SPINNING WHEEL MANY TIMES HERSELF. SHE SAID, “IT WAS VERY EASY TO SPIN AND WHEN YOU TRY SOMEBODY ELSE’S SPINNING WHEEL YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE RIGHT AWAY. IT’S LIKE DRIVING A CADILLAC AND THEN DRIVING AN OLD FORD. IT’S JUST, IT’S SMOOTH. OUR SON, I TOLD YOU HE WAS VERY CLEVER, HE TRIED SPINNING AND HE SAID IT WAS JUST A VERY, VERY GOOD SPINNING WHEEL. WHEN I WAS IN THE GUILD I TRIED DOING [WHAT] MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME HOW TO SPIN FINE THREAD AND I WANTED HEAVY THREAD BECAUSE NOW [THEY'RE] MAKING THESE WALL HANGINGS. THEY USE THREAD AS THICK AS TWO FINGERS SO I DID THAT AND I DYED IT. I WENT OUT AND CREATED MY OWN DYES. THAT WAS FUN AND THEN I HAVE A SAMPLER OF ALL THE DYES I MADE… I STOPPED SPINNING SHORTLY BEFORE I STOPPED WEAVING… I LOVED WEAVING. FIRST OF ALL I LEARNED HOW TO EMBROIDER. I LIKED THAT THEN I LEARNED HOW CROCHET, I LIKED THAT. THEN I LEARNED HOW TO KNIT AND THAT WAS TOPS. THEN ONE DAY I WAS VISITING MY FRIEND, FRANCES, AND SHE WAS GOING TO THE BOWMAN AND I SAID, 'WHERE ARE YOU GOING?' SHE SAID 'I’M GOING THERE TO WEAVE.' I SAID, 'I DIDN’T KNOW YOU COULD WEAVE?' SHE SAID, 'OH YES,' AND I SAID ‘IS IT HARD?' SHE SAID, ‘NO,” SO I WENT THERE AND I SAW THE THINGS SHE WOVE. THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL AND SO I JOINED THE GROUP AND THEN OF COURSE I WANTED TO HAVE SOME OF THE STUFF I HAD SPUN MYSELF AND DYED MYSELF AND NOBODY ELSE WANTED. THEN I DECIDED, ‘ALRIGHT, I’VE WOVEN ALL THESE THINGS, WOVE MYSELF A SUIT, LONG SKIRT YOU NAME IT. PLACE MATS GALORE. THIS LITTLE RUNNER,’ AND I THOUGHT, ‘WELL, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THE REST BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS HOMESPUN STUFF. THEY WANT TO GO TO WALMART OR SOME PLACE AND BUY SOMETHING READYMADE,’ SO I GAVE UP SPINNING AND WEAVING… I STOPPED AFTER I MADE MY SUIT. THAT MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT TWENTY YEARS AGO, EASILY.” MORRIS’ MOTHER WOULD WEAVE IN SHOULDICE, BUT “[I]N VAUXHALL, NO, SHE WASN’T [WEAVING]. SHE DIDN’T HAVE A LOOM.” MORRIS SAID IN SHOULDICE, “I LEARNED HOW TO THROW THE SHUTTLE BACK AND FORTH TO WEAVE RUGS BECAUSE I USED TO SIT THERE WATCHING MY GRANDMOTHER AND SHE LET ME DO THAT, AND THEN YOU SEE WHEN I GOT SO INTERESTED IN WEAVING THAT I BOUGHT A LOOM, SITTING DOWN IN THE BASEMENT. I’VE BEEN TRYING TO SELL IT EVER SINCE AND NOBODY WANTS IT. I OFFERED TO GIVE IT FOR FREE AND NOBODY WANTS IT BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE SPACE FOR IT.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003008
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1949
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160003003
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1949
Materials
WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Length
26
Width
7.8
Description
HANDMADE, WOODEN SOUP LADLE. FINISHED WITH WOOD VARNISH. IT HAS A SKINNY HANDLE THAT IS APPROX. 1 CM IN WIDTH. A HOLE HAS BEEN DRILLED AT THE END OF THE HANDLE. GOOD CONDITION. SEVERE STAINING/DARKENING AT THE BOWL OF THE SPOON. WOOD VARNISH IS CHIPPING ON OVERALL SURFACE OF THE SPOON.
Subjects
FOOD SERVICE T&E
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
DOMESTIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. A NOTE WRITTEN BY ELSIE MORRIS WAS ATTACHED TO THIS ARTIFACT AT THE TIME OF DONATION. IT EXPLAINED THAT THIS LADLE WAS HAND CARVED BY WILLIAM KONKIN C.1940. IN THE INTERVIEW MORRIS EXPLAINS: “OKAY THE LADLES ARE ALWAYS USED FOR LIFTING UP SOUP AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT HAPPENS TO BE A LIQUID. IT’S EASIER. THIS IS A SMALL ONE SO THEY WERE SMALLER HELPINGS OR WHATEVER IT WAS THAT YOU WERE DOING... THAT’S THE LAST ONE HE MADE.” OF THIS LADLE, MORRIS REMEMBERS: “OH JUST THAT WE ATE SOUP AND BORSCH WITH IT.” WILLIAM KONKIN MADE MANY ITEMS USED BY THE FAMILY AND CONSTRUCTED THE FAMILY HOMES OF VAUXHALL AND LETHBRIDGE. MORRIS STATES, ”SEE MY DAD WAS VERY GIFTED, I ONLY NOW APPRECIATING HIM.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003003
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
No. Pieces
1
Length
41
Width
36
Description
HANDMADE BAG MADE OF 3 SECTIONS OF STRIPS OF ABOUT 5 INCHES (APPROX. 13 CM) EACH. IT IS RED WITH BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN, AND RAW MATERIAL ACCENTS. THE TRIM AT THE TOP OF THE BAG IS BLUE WITH A HANDLE OF THE SAME FABRIC ON EITHER SIDE. THERE IS A STRIP OF RAW, NOT PATTERNED FABRIC AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG. BOTH SIDES OF THE BAG HAVE THE SAME ARRANGEMENT OF PATTERNED STRIPS. THERE IS ONE SEAM CONNECTING THE FRONT AND THE BACK OF THE BAG ON BOTH SIDES. THE INSIDE IS UNLINED. GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SOME STITCHING COMING LOOSE AT VARIOUS POINTS OF THE PATTERNING.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928 THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. A STATEMENT WRITTEN BY MORRIS ATTACHED TO THE BAG STATES THAT THE MATERIAL OF THE BAG ORIGINATES FROM THE 1870S. THE STATEMENT READS: “THIS BAG WAS HAND WOVEN IN STRIPS [THAT WERE USED] TO SEW ON THE BOTTOM OF PETTICOATS. THE GIRLS AT THAT TIME HAD TO HAVE A TROUSEUA [SIC] TO LAST A LIFETIME BECAUSE AFTER MARRIAGE THERE WOULD BE NO TIME TO MAKE CLOTHES SO WHAT THEY MADE WAS STURDY. THEY STARTED ON THEIR TROUSEUS [SIC] AS SOON AS THEY COULD HOLD A NEEDLE. WHEN IT WAS HAYING TIME THE GIRLS WENT OUT INTO THE FIELD TO RAKE THE HAY. THEY WORE PETTICOATS OF LINEN TO WHICH THESE BANDS WERE SEWN. THE LONG SKIRTS WERE PICKED UP AT THE SIDES AND TUCKED INTO THE WAISTBANDS SO THAT THE BOTTOMS OF THE PETTICOATS WERE ON DISPLAY.” “THESE BANDS WERE ORIGINALLY MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S WHO CAME OUT OF RUSSIA WITH THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT IN 1899. THEY WERE PASSED ON TO MY MOTHER, ELIZABETH KONKIN, WHO MADE THEM INTO A BAG IN THE 1940S” THE STRIPS THAT MAKE UP THE BAG SERVED A UTILITARIAN PURPOSE WHEN SEWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PETTICOATS. IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS EXPLAINS: “… THESE STRIPS ARE VERY STRONG. THEY’RE LIKE CANVAS. THEY WERE SEWN ONTO THE BOTTOM OF THE LADY’S PETTICOATS AND THEY WORE A SKIRT ON TOP OF THE PETTICOATS. THESE STRIPS LASTED A LIFETIME, IN FACT MORE THAN ONE LIFETIME BECAUSE I’VE GOT THEM NOW. THEY WOULD TUCK THE SKIRTS INTO THEIR WAISTBAND ON THE SIDE SO THEIR PETTICOATS SHOWED AND THEY WERE TRYING TO PRESERVE THEIR SKIRTS NOT TO GET CAUGHT IN THE GRAIN. THE GIRLS LIKED TO WEAR THEM TO SHOW OFF BECAUSE THE BOYS WERE THERE AND THEY ALWAYS WORE THEIR VERY BEST SUNDAY CLOTHES WHEN THEY WENT CUTTING WHEAT OR GRAIN." “[THE FABRIC] CAME FROM RUSSIA. WITH THE AREA WHERE THEY CAME FROM IS NOW GEORGIA AND THEY LIVED ABOUT SEVEN MILES NORTH OF THE TURKISH BORDER, THE PRESENT DAY TURKISH BORDER… [THE DOUKHOBORS] CAME TO CANADA IN 1897 AND 1899.” MORRIS EXPLAINS THAT SURPLUS FABRIC WOULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO CANADA FROM RUSSIA BY HER MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER FOR FUTURE USE AND TO AID THE GIRLS IN MAKING THEIR TROUSSEAUS: “THE TROUSSEAU THE GIRLS MADE HAD TO LAST THEM A LIFETIME BECAUSE THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TIME BUT RAISING CHILDREN TO SEWING THINGS. SEWING MACHINES WERE UNKNOWN THEN.” THE BANDS OF FABRIC THAT MAKE UP THE BAG WOULD HAVE BEEN REMAINS NEVER USED FROM ELIZABETH KONKIN’S TROUSSEAU. SHE HAND WOVE THE BAG WHILE SHE WAS LIVING IN SHOULDICE. THE BAG WAS USED BY MORRIS’ MOTHER TO STORE HER KNITTING SUPPLIES. WHEN MORRIS ACQUIRED THE BAG IN THE 1990S, IT MAINTAINED A SIMILAR PURPOSE: “WELL I USED TO CARRY MY STUFF FOR THE WEAVER’S GUILD BUT NOW I DON’T USE IT FOR ANYTHING. IT’S VERY HANDY YOU KNOW IT DOESN’T WEAR OUT.” THERE WAS ONLY ONE BAG MADE OUT OF THESE REMNANTS BY MORRIS’ MOTHER. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
JAPANESE CERAMIC VASE
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1956
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CERAMIC
Catalogue Number
P20160042001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
JAPANESE CERAMIC VASE
Date Range From
1923
Date Range To
1956
Materials
CERAMIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
32.5
Length
17.5
Diameter
17.5
Description
BLACK AND SILVER GLAZED, CERAMIC VASE WITH RED AND GOLD DESIGNS PAINTED ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE VASE. ONE DESIGN SHOWCASES A CRANE FLYING TOWARDS A TREE BRANCH, WHILE THE OTHER SHOWCASES TWO CRANES PERCHED ON A LARGE TREE BRANCH BENEATH A RED DISC/MOON. “MADE IN JAPAN” IS STAMPED INTO BASE OF VASE. CONDITION: THE LIP OF THE VASE HAS A 4.3 CM CHIP AND IS MISSING 7.6 CM ALONG TOP EDGE. LOOSE OF PAINT AND OVERALL FINISH OF DESIGN. SLIGHT CHIPPING AROUND BASE.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
FURNISHINGS
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
ON 2 DECEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE DONORS, MAKIO (MAC) AND REYKO NISHIYAMA, IN THEIR HOME TO DISCUSS ITEMS THEY WERE DONATING TO THE GALT. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED THAT THIS VASE CAME INTO HER CUSTODY AFTER ITS INITIAL OWNERS – HER PARENTS TAKASHI AND CHIAKI KARAKI – MOVED FROM THEIR RAYMOND HOME TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. SHE SAID, “… [AFTER THE] SIXTY YEARS OF FARMING, MY [PARENTS] DID IN RAYMOND… THEY SELL THE WHOLE THING AND MOVE! I’M LEFT BEHIND IN RAYMOND BY MYSELF, MARRIED… WHEN THEY MOVE TO QUESNEL, B.C [IN THE LATE 1950S], THEY HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND THEIR TRUNK AND IT HAD ALL THE TREASURES IN IT.” THIS VASE WAS VISIBLE THROUGHOUT MRS. NISHIYAMA’S CHILDHOOD. SHE EXPLAINED, “[THE VASE] WAS MORE AN EVERYDAY THING.” IT WAS PLACED BY THE DOOR OF THE FARM HOUSE. AND “[THE] ONLY THING THAT WAS IN THERE WAS [MY MOTHER’S] UMBRELLA.” OTHER TREASURES FOUND IN THE TRUNK WERE HER MOTHER’S HAIR ORNAMENTS AND COMB ALSO DONATED WITH THE VASE (P20160042002-004). THE TRUNK, ALONG WITH ITS CONTENTS, WERE BROUGHT TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA FROM JAPAN BY HER MOTHER, CHIAKI KARAKI (NEE KUMAGAI), FOLLOWING HER MARRIAGE TO TAKASHI KARAKI. MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED HER PARENTS’ MARRIAGE STORY: “… SHE CAME OVER AS A VERY YOUNG BRIDE… NOT QUITE EIGHTEEN… I OFTEN SAID TO MY MOTHER…, ‘HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOUR PARENTS EVER LET YOU GO TO CANADA? YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE – IT’S A DIFFERENT COUNTRY.’ SHE DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY DAD, EXCEPT THAT HE WAS A FARMER. HE’S SEVENTEEN YEARS OLDER THAN SHE WAS THEN. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. SHE JUST SAID, ‘MY PARENTS SAID TO GO, SO I CAME’ … IT TOOK A LOT OF COURAGE…” MRS. NISHIYAMA WENT ON, “ALL JAPANESE MARRIAGES WERE DONE [BY] GO-BETWEENS. THERE WERE, I WOULD SAY, HARDLY ANY, IN FACT, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS ANY… FALLING-IN-LOVE KIND OF THING. THAT WAS JUST NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT… MY DAD’S FOLKS WERE IN THE VILLAGE. THEY WERE FARMERS… THEY HAD A LARGE HOUSE AND THEY RAISED SILKWORMS. MY MOTHER’S FOLKS LIVED IN THE TOWN… SHE COMES FROM A VERY MODEST FAMILY, BUT HER DAD WAS A PAWN BROKER…” A FAMILY HISTORY WRITTEN BY MRS. NISHIYAMA AND HER BROTHER, SUSUMU KARAKI, IN THE BOOK TITLED "NISHIKI: NIKKEI TAPESTRY: A HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA JAPANESE CANADIANS" (PUBLISHED 2001), ELABORATES ON THE FAMILY’S STORY. IT STATES THEIR FATHER, TAKASHI KARAKI, WAS BORN ON 1 JULY 1889 IN NAGANO PREFECTURE, JAPAN. THE HISTORY READS, “AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 1907… HE LEFT A COMFORTABLE HOME… TO VENTURE OUT FOR A NEW LIFE IN AMERICA.” IT EXPLAINS HE LANDED IN VANCOUVER, AND WAS LURED BY A HIGH SALARY JOB IN SKEENA, BRITISH COLUMBIA. AFTER WORKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE HISTORY SAYS THAT “IN 1909, HE AND SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER YOUNG JAPANESE MEN WERE RECRUITED BY AN AGENT OF THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY TO WORK IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS IN RAYMOND, [ALBERTA] WITH PROMISES OF GOOD PAY AND EASY WORK...” THE MEN SOON LEARNED THAT THE WORK WAS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND THE PAY SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN INITIALLY BEEN PROMISED, SO MANY RETURNED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA AFTER THEIR CONTRACT YEAR. KARAKI WAS OF THE GROUP THAT DECIDED TO STAY ON WITH THE COMPANY UNTIL ITS CLOSURE IN 1914. AFTER THAT, HE BEGAN A FARMING OPERATION WITH TWO OF THE FRIENDS HE MADE IN THE COMPANY – LEASING LAND FROM FIRST THE KNIGHT SUGAR COMPANY, THEN FROM A LOCAL NAMED ROLLO KINSEY, AND FINALLY FROM THE MCINTYRE RANCH IN MAGRATH. EVEN THOUGH THE PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVED AFTER THE FIRST THREE YEARS, KARAKI PERSISTED UNDER THE TRYING CONDITIONS, AND BY 1918 HE MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE ALBERTA HIS PERMANENT HOME AND TO BECOME A CANADIAN CITIZEN. HE PURCHASED A DRY LAND FARM IN RAYMOND AND FARMED THAT FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE DECIDING HE WANTED TO GET MARRIED AND RAISE A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE RETURNED TO JAPAN IN 1923, WHERE HE MET THROUGH FAMILY AND FRIENDS, CHIAKI KUMAGAI, WHO WAS ALSO FROM THE NAGANO PREFECTURE. THE COUPLE MARRIED IN DECEMBER 1923, AND THE NEWLYWEDS RETURNED TO RAYMOND IN SPRING 1924. IN THE 2016 INTERVIEW, MRS. NISHIYAMA ADDED, “THERE WAS SOMEBODY ELSE. GO-BETWEENS HAD PICKED OUT SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIM, SO SOMEONE ELSE LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID ‘NO, THANK YOU.’ YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT WORKS, AND SOMETIMES IT DIDN’T. SO, THEN THEY HAD TO SCROUNGE A LITTLE BIT, AND MY MOTHER’S TOWN WAS NOT SO FAR FROM WHERE DAD’S FAMILY LIVED, SO THEY SAID, ‘WELL, WE’RE NOT THAT FAR APART. WHEN YOU COME HOME FOR A VISIT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT.’” WHEN DESCRIBING THE HOME THE COUPLE INTIALLY SETTLED IN, MRS. NISHIYAMA EXPLAINED, “WE [WERE] 8 MILES SOUTH OF RAYMOND, IN WHAT WE CALL THE MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT… THERE WERE QUITE A FEW JAPANESE FAMILIES IN AND AROUND THAT MAMMOTH SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO WE WERE SORT OF THE MAJORITY.” MRS. NISHIYAMA SAID THAT HER MOTHER SPOKE OFTEN OF HER EARLY DAYS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. MRS. NISHIYAMA RECALLED, “IT WAS REALLY VERY LONELY [FOR MY MOTHER]. SHE’S YOUNG; THE CLOSEST NEIGHBOR WAS HALF A MILE AWAY… WHEN SHE GOT TO THE FARM, SHE SAID, ‘YOU SAID OUR NEIGHBORS ARE TAKAGUCHI’S. IS THAT HOUSE OVER THERE OUR NEIGHBORS?’ DAD SAID, ‘NO, THAT’S A CHICKEN COOP. THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE IS AWAY OVER THERE.’ FOR HER, THAT’S JUST APPALLING, COMING FROM A TOWN WHERE NEIGHBORS WERE CLOSE…DAD WOULD GET UP ONTO THE FIELD. NO ONE TO TALK TO EVEN. FORTUNATELY, SHE SAID, HER BROTHER-IN-LAW (DAD HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER HELPING HIM AT THAT TIME) – AND HE SAID, ‘GET ON THE BACK OF MY TRACTOR AND (IT WASN’T TRACTOR THEN – IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, BUT ANYWAY -) JUST COME AND RIDE THE FIELD WITH ME.’ AND, SHE DID JUST BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T STAND BEING BY HERSELF IN A LONELY OUTPOST, ON THE PRAIRIES, WITH NOTHING TO LOOK AT…” ACCORDING TO THE KARAKI FAMILY HISTORY IN THE NISHIKI BOOK, THE COUPLE RAISED A FAMILY OF SIX CHILDREN INCLUDING THE DONOR, REYKO NISHIYAMA. BY 1956, THEY SOLD THEIR FARM AND RELOCATED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA. TAKASHI PASSED AWAY IN THERE IN 1974 AT THE AGE OF 85 AND CHIAKI PASSED AWAY 14 YEARS LATER IN 1988. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS AND COPIES OF THE FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160042001
Acquisition Date
2016-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1933
Date Range To
2000
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CLOTH, FELT, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20160003002
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1933
Date Range To
2000
Materials
CLOTH, FELT, PAINT
No. Pieces
2
Height
29.5
Width
15
Description
A: HANDMADE DOLL. THE “ESKIMO” DOLL IS MADE WITH LIGHT BLUE, FELT-LIKE FABRIC WITH WHITE FABRIC ACCENTS. THE FACE IS MADE OUT OF A LIGHTER FABRIC THAT IS PEACH-COLOURED. THE FACIAL DETAILS ARE HAND PAINTED. THE DOLL HAS BLUE EYES, EYEBROWS, NOSTRILS, RED LIPS, AND ROSY CHEEKS. THE LIGHT BLUE FABRIC THAT MAKES UP THE MAJORITY OF THE DOLL’S BODY IS ENCOMPASSING THE DOLL’S FACE LIKE A HOOD. THE DOLL’S TORSO IS COVERED IN THE LIGHT BLUE FELT. TWO HEART-SHAPED ARMS, MADE OF THE SAME MATERIAL, ARE ATTACHED TO EITHER SIDE OF THE BODY. THE DOLLS UPPER LEG AND FEET ARE COVERED IN THE LIGHT BLUE FELT. FROM THE KNEES TO THE ANKLES, A LIGHTER, WHITE FABRIC IS COVERING THE LEGS. B: DOLL SKIRT. AROUND THE DOLL’S WAIST IS A DETACHABLE SKIRT MADE OF THE SAME FABRIC AND A WHITE WAISTBAND. POOR CONDITION. ALL FABRIC IS WELL-WORN AND THREADBARE IN MULTIPLE PLACES. THE DOLL’S RED STUFFING IS VISIBLE THROUGH PARTS OF THE FABRIC. THERE IS DISCOLORATION (YELLOWING) OVERALL. THE STUFFING IS NOT EVENLY DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT THE DOLL. THE SEAMS AT THE ARMS ARE FRAGILE. THE PAINT FOR THE DOLL’S FACE IS SEVERELY FADED.
Subjects
TOY
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
LEISURE
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928 THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THE FAMILY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. THIS DOLL BELONGED TO MORRIS AS A CHILD. SHE EXPLAINS, “THIS CAME FROM A GREAT AUNT WHO CAME TO VISIT US AND SHE ALWAYS BROUGHT GIFTS AND THIS ONE WAS MINE AND I LOVED THIS DOLL… I REMEMBER PLAYING WITH IT, IT WAS SOFT AND CUDDLY WHEN I HAD IT… MY DAUGHTER WENT THROUGH IT AND MY GRANDDAUGHTER AND THEN I PUT A STOP TO IT BEFORE THEY ATE IT UP OR DID SOMETHING… THEY LOVED IT AND THEY, YOU KNOW LITTLE KIDS, THEY’RE CARELESS SO I’LL KEEP IT...” IN A PHONE CALL WITH COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT ELISE PUNDYK ON OCTOBER 24, 2017, MORRIS SAID SHE RECIEVED THE DOLL FROM HER GREAT AUNT WHO HAD BROUGHT IT FROM VISITING BRITISH COLUMBIA. MORRIS PLAYED WITH THE DOLL AS A CHILD, AS DID MORRIS' CHILDREN. THE DOLL WAS LOVED BY MULTIPLE GENERATIONS IN MORRIS' FAMILY AS HER GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRANDCHILDREN WOULD ALSO PLAY WITH THE DOLL WHEN THEY CAME TO VISIT. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003002
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Height
4
Length
41
Width
12
Description
WOODEN FLAIL. ONE END HAS A PADDLE WITH A WIDTH THAT TAPERS FROM 12 CM AT THE TOP TO 10 CM AT THE BASE. THE PADDLE IS WELL WORN IN THE CENTER WITH A HEIGHT OF 4 CM AT THE ENDS AND 2 CM IN THE CENTER. HANDLE IS ATTACHED TO THE PADDLE AND IS 16 CM LONG WITH A CIRCULAR SHAPE AT THE END OF THE HANDLE. ENGRAVED ON THE CIRCLE THE INITIALS OF DONOR’S MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, “ . . .” GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SLIGHT SPLITTING OF THE WOOD ON THE PADDLE AND AROUND THE JOINT BETWEEN THE HANDLE AND THE PADDLE. OVERALL WEAR FROM USE.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. THIS WOODEN DOUKHOBOR TOOL IS CALLED A “FLAIL.” A NOTE WRITTEN BY ELSIE MORRIS THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THE FLAIL AT THE TIME OF DONATION EXPLAINS, “FLAIL USED FOR BEATING OUT SEEDS. BELONGED TO ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, THEN HANDED TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH PETROVNA KONKIN WHO PASSED IT ON TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH W. MORRIS.” ALTERNATELY, IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS REMEMBERED HER GRANDMOTHER’S, “… NAME WAS JUSOULNA AND THE MIDDLE INITIAL IS THE DAUGHTER OF YVONNE. YVONNE WAS HER FATHER’S NAME AND WISHLOW WAS HER LAST NAME.” THE FLAIL AND THE BLANKET, ALSO DONATED BY MORRIS, WERE USED TOGETHER AT HARVEST TIME TO EXTRACT AND COLLECT SEEDS FROM GARDEN CROPS. ELSIE RECALLED THAT ON WINDY DAYS, “WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS, OR WHATEVER, AND WE WOULD [LAY THEM OUT ON THE BLANKET], BEAT AWAY AND THEN HOLD [THE BLANKET] UP, AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN.” THE FLAIL CONTINUED TO BE USED BY ELIZABETH “RIGHT UP TO THE END,” POSSIBLY INTO THE 1990S, AND THEREAFTER BY MORRIS. WHEN ASKED WHY SHE STOPPED USING IT HERSELF, MORRIS SAID, “I DON’T GARDEN ANYMORE. FURTHERMORE, PEAS ARE SO INEXPENSIVE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO ALL THAT WORK... I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE HARVEST THEIR SEEDS. I THINK WE JUST GO AND BUY THEM IN PACKETS NOW.” THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. DOUKHOBOURS CAME TO CANADA IN FINAL YEARS OF THE 19TH CENTURY TO ESCAPE RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN RUSSIA. ELIZABETH KONKIN (NEE WISHLOW) WAS BORN IN CANORA, SK ON JANUARY 22, 1907 TO HER PARENTS, PETER AND ELIZABETH WISHLOW. AT THE AGE OF 6 SHE MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT BRILLIANT, BC, AND THEY LATER MOVED TO THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT SHOULDICE. IT WAS HERE THAT SHE MET AND MARRIED WILLIAM KONKIN. THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE MORRIS (NÉE KONKIN), WAS BORN IN SHOULDICE IN 1928. INITIALLY, WILLIAM TRIED TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY BY GROWING AND PEDDLING VEGETABLES. WHEN THE FAMILY RECOGNIZED THAT GARDENING WOULD NOT PROVIDE THEM WITH THE INCOME THEY NEEDED, WILLIAM VENTURED OUT TO FARM A QUARTER SECTION OF IRRIGATED LAND 120 KM (75 MILES) AWAY IN VAUXHALL. IN 1941, AFTER THREE YEARS OF FARMING REMOTELY, HE AND ELIZABETH DECIDED TO LEAVE THE ALBERTA COLONY AND RELOCATE TO VAUXHALL. MORRIS WAS 12 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME. MORRIS STATED: “… [T]HEY LEFT THE COLONY BECAUSE THERE WERE THINGS GOING ON THAT THEY DID NOT LIKE SO THEY WANTED TO FARM ON THEIR OWN. SO NOW NOBODY HAD MONEY, SO VAUXHALL HAD LAND, YOU KNOW, THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE THE PEOPLE AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PUT ANY DOWN DEPOSIT THEY JUST WERE GIVEN THE LAND AND THEY HAD TO SIGN A PAPER SAYING THEY WOULD GIVE THEM ONE FOURTH OF THE CROP EVERY YEAR. THAT WAS HOW MY DAD GOT PAID BUT WHAT MY DAD DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT THE MONEY THAT WENT IN THERE WAS ACTUALLY PAYING OFF THE FARM SO HE WENT TO SEE MR., WHAT WAS HIS LAST NAME, HE WAS THE PERSON IN CHARGE. ANYWAY HE SAID TO HIM “HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I CAN PAY OFF THIS FARM” AND HE SAYS “YOU’VE BEEN PAYING IT RIGHT ALONG YOU OWE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED AND A FEW DOLLARS”. WELL THAT WAS A REAL SURPRISE FOR THEM SO THEY GAVE THEM THE TWO HUNDRED AND WHATEVER IT WAS THAT HE OWED AND HE BECAME THE OWNER OF THE FARM." MORRIS WENT ON, ”THE DOUKHOBORS ARE AGRARIAN, THEY LIKE TO GROW THINGS THAT’S THEIR CULTURE OF OCCUPATION AND SO THE ONES WHO LIKED FRUIT MOVED TO B.C. LIKE MY UNCLE DID AND MY DAD LIKED FARMING SO HE MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THERE WERE LET’S SEE, I THINK THERE WERE FOUR OTHER FAMILIES THAT MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THREE OF THE MEN GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TO GET THEIR TOOLS TOGETHER LIKE A TRACTOR AND MACHINERY THEY NEEDED AND THEN THEY WOULD TAKE TURNS…” THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

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