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Other Name
BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, WOOD, GLASS
Catalogue Number
P20170033001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY
Date
2011
Materials
COTTON, WOOD, GLASS
No. Pieces
1
Length
65
Width
42
Description
BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY IN MATTE AND FRAME. EMBROIDERY COMPLETED IN BROWN ON WHITE FABRIC, AND SHOWS THE 1910 GALT HOSPITAL FRONT. EMBROIDERY INSIDE BROWN AND GREY MATTE AND BROWN WOOD FRAME WITH GLASS OVER. FRONT OF FRAME HAS BLACK ENGRAVED PLAQUE ON BOTTOM EDGE READING “GALT HOSPITAL/MUSEUM & ARCHIVES, 1910, DESIGNED AND STITCHED, 2011, BELINDA CROWSON”. BACK OF FRAME COVERED IN BROWN PAPER WITH SILVER WIRE ATTACHED FOR HANGING. BACK OF FRAME HAS WHITE LABEL WITH TEXT “LA GALLERY CUSTOM FRAMING & ART, 421-5TH ST. SOUTH, LETHBRIDGE, AB T1J 2B6, PH. 380.4556, FAX 380.4562, WEBSITE WWW.THELAGALLERY.COM, EMAIL INFO@THELAGALLERY.COM, W/O # H0761, ASSEMBLED BY CM”” WITH CHECK BOXES ON LABEL FOR “MOUNTING METHOD” AND “GLASS”, “NON-GLARE GLASS” CHECKED. FRAME HAS CHIPS ON FRONT EDGES; BACK HAS TEARS IN PAPER BACKING. OVERALL EXCELLENT CONDITION.
Subjects
ART
Historical Association
DECORATIVE ARTS
History
ON NOVEMBER 16, 2017 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BELINDA CROWSON REGARDING HER DONATION OF A MUNICIPAL CAMPAIGN SIGN AND BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY PIECE. CROWSON WAS EMPLOYED WITH THE GALT MUSEUM AS THE MUSEUM EDUCATOR, WITH A REPUTATION AS A RENOWNED LOCAL HISTORIAN, UNTIL HER ELECTION TO CITY OF LETHBRIDGE COUNCIL IN 2017. ON THE BLACK EMBROIDERY PIECE, CROWSON RECALLED, “SHARING [THIS] WAS HARD, BECAUSE THIS WAS THE FIRST [PIECE] I DESIGNED…AND I VERY MUCH KNOW THE MEANING. IT WAS HANGING IN THE CLASSROOM [AT THE GALT MUSEUM] FOR YEARS, BUT IT WAS VERY HARD [TO GIVE UP], BECAUSE I DESIGNED IT; I STITCHED IT; AND IT’S A PIECE OF MYSELF.” “IT IS SOMETHING THAT I ACTUALLY DESIGNED, AND I HAD NEVER DESIGNED A PIECE BEFORE. I HAD TO LEARN HOW TO DESIGN IT, SO I ACTUALLY HAD A PICTURE AND GRAPH PAPER. I LEARNED HOW TO TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH, AND TURN IT INTO BLACKWORK STITCHES, EVEN THOUGH, OF COURSE, IT’S DONE IN BROWN, AND NOT BLACK. THE NAME DOESN’T ACTUALLY MEAN THE COLOR.” “BLACKWORK COMES FROM THE ELIZABETHAN TIME, AND IT WAS DONE WHEN LACE WAS REALLY EXPENSIVE. THEY WOULD TAKE BLACK THREAD ON WHITE MATERIAL. IF YOU DO BLACKWORK PROPERLY, IT’S ABSOLUTELY REVERSIBLE. IF YOU DID IT ON CUFFS OR COLLARS IT WOULD ALMOST LOOK LIKE LACE, AND BE REVERSIBLE FROM BOTH SIDES. IT’S A TYPE OF EMBROIDERY THAT USES PRIMARILY STRAIGHT LINES. I TAUGHT A CLASS TO PEOPLE AT THE GALT MUSEUM [ON] HOW TO DO BLACKWORK. I ACTUALLY TAUGHT AN EMBROIDERY CLASS IN THIS DESIGN, WHICH IS A VERY SIMPLE TYPE OF EMBROIDERY TO DO, BUT CAN CREATE INCREDIBLY ELABORATE DESIGNS.” “I COMPLETED [THIS PIECE] IN 2011 AND HAD IT FRAMED THAT SAME YEAR. IT’S SUEDE AROUND THE PICTURE MATTE.” “SOMETHING LIKE THIS SIZE OF PICTURE, IN BLACKWORK, PROBABLY ONLY TOOK ME ABOUT 2 WEEKS TO STITCH. IT’S A VERY QUICK DESIGN, BUT IT FILLS IN – AND, IF I WAS TO REDO IT AGAIN, I’D FILL IN MORE OF THE BLANK SPACES. [BLACKWORK IS] SUPPOSED TO LOOK AS COMPLETE AS POSSIBLE, BUT I WANTED TO MAKE THE COLUMNS STICK OUT, SO IT MAY HAVE WORKED IN THAT REGARD.” CROWSON ELABORATED ON HER BACKGROUND DOING EMBROIDERY, NOTING, “I HAVE BEEN DOING EMBROIDERY SINCE [I WAS] A KID. IT’S SOMETHING MY GRANDMOTHER KNEW; MY MOTHER KNEW; IT’S SOMETHING I WAS TAUGHT, AND, OF MY SIBLINGS, I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES IT. THE OTHERS LIKE TO DO MORE STITCHING WITH MACHINES. I LOVE THE HAND-STITCHING, AND I HAVE LONG BEEN THINKING ABOUT DESIGNING. I ALSO HAVE A PASSION FOR HISTORIC BUILDINGS. I HAD DONE A BLACKWORK PIECE, WHICH WAS A PATTERN THAT I HAD BOUGHT AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. IT’S A REALLY NICE WAY OF DOING EMBROIDERY, SO I THOUGHT “THERE’S A WAY OF CAPTURING HISTORIC BUILDINGS IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY.” I MADE MYSELF A CHALLENGE OF FIGURING IT OUT, AND, OF COURSE, THE WAY I DO MANY THINGS, I DIDN’T ACTUALLY RESEARCH HOW TO DESIGN. I JUST TAUGHT MYSELF, AND IT TOOK ME A WEEKEND. I THREW AWAY ABOUT 3 DESIGNS, UNTIL I REALIZED YOU’VE GOT TO START IN THE CENTER AND WORK OUT. THE NICE THING ABOUT THE GALT HOSPITAL—BECAUSE I DID THE FAÇADE OF THE HOSPITAL [IN THIS PIECE]—IS THAT IT IS SO BEAUTIFULLY SYMMETRICAL, IT MADE IT EASIER. I HAD…THE VARIEGATED THREAD, AND THE MATERIAL TO STITCH ON. THEN IT WAS A MATTER OF ACTUALLY CREATING IT. THE PATTERN HAD A LOT OF ERASING DONE ON IT, AS I CHANGED THINGS. I’M VERY PROUD OF THE WINDOWS…MY GOODNESS, THAT BUILDING HAS A LOT OF WINDOWS! IT WAS FUN, AND THIS WAS THE FIRST ONE [I MADE]. SINCE THEN I HAVE DONE GALBRAITH SCHOOL, THE BOWMAN, AND THE POST OFFICE. THE GALBRAITH SCHOOL IS HANGING AT GALBRAITH SCHOOL, THE BOWMAN IS IN MY HOUSE, AND THE POST OFFICE WAS RAFFLED OFF TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR CHINATOWN.” “I REMEMBER, AS A KID, I WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO, BUT I WENT THROUGH ONE OF MY MOM’S JEWELRY BOXES. IN THERE WAS THE WORK SHE HAD DONE AS A KID. SHE HAD BEEN PRACTICING HER STITCHES. THAT STUCK WITH ME, AND I REMEMBER HER TALKING ABOUT HOW SHE HAD BEEN TAUGHT FROM HER MOM. MY GRANDMOTHER KEPT CROSS-STITCHING EMBROIDERY UNTIL HER ARTHRITIS GOT TOO BAD. WHEN I DO IT, I REALLY DO FEEL I AM PART OF THAT CHAIN, BECAUSE I DO HAVE EMBROIDERY THAT BOTH MY MOM AND MY GRANDMOTHER HAVE DONE. IT IS INTERESTING BECAUSE, FROM THE MENNONITE TRADITION ESPECIALLY, A LOT OF THE STITCHES I HAVE COME FROM THAT TRADITION, SO IT’S VERY MUCH A PART OF THAT. I WOULD LIKE TO SIT DOWN, ONE DAY WHEN I GET TIME, WITH MY MOM’S COUSIN, WHO DOES WHAT’S CALLED 3-D EMBROIDERING. IN MY FAMILY, PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAVE THE ORDERED EVERY DAY TEA TOWELS, THEY HAVE THE BED TOWELS. IT’S SUCH A PART OF THE SOUTHERN ART, SO MY [WORKS ARE] A LITTLE MORE MODERN INTERPRETATION OF SOME OF THAT. MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WOULD HAVE SAT IN RUSSIA, DOING THE SAME STITCHES.” “I DON’T KNOW [HOW MANY PEOPLE IN THE REGION ARE DOING BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY]. I TAUGHT THE CLASS IN … EMBROIDERY, BUT I DON’T THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE PICKING UP BLACKWORK. IT’S INTERESTING, WHEN I MENTION THIS, TALKING TO SOME PEOPLE ONLINE, ONE OF MY FRIENDS WHO HAS A HISTORIC HOUSE IS LIKE, “COULD I PAY YOU TO DESIGN MY HOUSE?” [BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY] IS A FUN WAY FOR ME TO TAKE THOSE TWO IDEAS I LOVE-–OF STITCHING, AND HISTORIC BUILDINGS-–BECAUSE PHOTOGRAPHY, WITH WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TODAY, IS RELATIVELY EASY. YOU CAN TAKE POINT-AND-SHOOT. SOME PEOPLE ARE MUCH BETTER AT IT--THEY’RE ARTISTIC-–BUT THIS IS A WAY OF CAPTURING A BUILDING. YOU HAVE TO, VERY PERSONALLY, SIT THERE, AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO MEASURE EVERYTHING OUT, EVEN TO DESIGN IT, YOUR APPRECIATION OF THE ARCHITECTURE IS VERY DIFFERENT THAN A POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA.” “I’VE DONE FIVE BUILDINGS NOW, AND I HAVE SEEN EACH ONE IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY. I REMEMBER THINKING, WITH THE POST OFFICE, WHEN YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE HEIGHT OF THE CLOCK TOWER COMPARED TO THE BASE OF THE BUILDING, [YOU SEE THE] PHENOMENAL ARCHITECTURE, [BUT] IT’S ONLY WHEN YOU ARE STITCHING IT THAT YOU REALIZE THAT THE BASE OF THAT BUILDING ISN’T STRAIGHT. THE BUILDING GOES WITH THE SLANT OF THE SIDEWALK, AND I HAD TO TAKE AN ARTISTIC EYE, AND MAKE THE BOTTOM OF THE BUILDING STRAIGHT FROM THE FRONT. THE OTHER THING, WITH THE POST OFFICE, THERE’S ALMOST NO HISTORIC [PHOTOGRAPHS] OF IT STRAIGHT-ON; IT’S ALWAYS ON THE CORNER, BECAUSE THAT’S EASIER. I CAN’T CROSS-STITCH MY BUILDING ON THE CORNER, SO I HAD TO ACTUALLY TAKE MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHS, INSTEAD OF HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS. THIS HAS REALLY GIVEN ME A NEW APPRECIATION OF THE BUILDINGS, BECAUSE I HAD TO LOOK AT THEM SO CAREFULLY. WITH THE BOWMAN—WITH ALL THESE BUILDINGS--YOU HAD TO THINK WHAT TIME PERIOD YOU WANTED TO DISPLAY. SO THE ONE OF THE BOWMAN, I HAVE THE UNION JACK FLYING [IN] THE PICTURE, BECAUSE I WANTED [TO CAPTURE] IT BACK WHEN IT WAS ORIGINALLY CREATED.” “IT’S AN ADDICTION. YOU SIT IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION, AND SOMETIMES A WEEKEND PASSES AND YOU HAVEN’T DONE MUCH. WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON A PROJECT, FOR MYSELF, IT’S LIKE, “I’M GOING TO GET IT DONE.” THEN YOU TAKE A BREAK BEFORE YOU PICK UP THE NEXT PROJECT, SO YOU CAN DO ALL THE OTHER STUFF. TRYING TO PUT [AN ESTIMATE OF TIME SPENT CREATING] IT, I WOULDN’T HAVE A CLUE.” “I THINK EVERYBODY [HAS] MULTI-FACETS IN THEIR BRAINS, AND I USE DIFFERENT PARTS OF IT. IT’S ALWAYS FUN TO CHALLENGE, TO TRY NEW THINGS. ONE OF THE THINGS I’D LIKE TO DO…I’VE SEEN PEOPLE WHO ARE CROSS-STITCHING ON METAL [PUTTING HOLES IN]. IN THE SPRING, I WILL BE DOING A CROSS-STITCH PATTERN ON ‘PAGE WIRE’, THAT [ATTACHES] TO A FENCE, SO IT WILL BE OUTDOOR CROSS-STITCH. I LOVE WORKING WITH MY SILKS, AND MY REALLY DELICATE STUFF, BUT THE BEAUTIFUL THING ABOUT EMBROIDERY IS YOU CAN TAKE IT DIFFERENT WAYS. WHY SHOULD KNITTERS HAVE ALL THE FUN WHEN THEY GO ‘YARN-BOMBING’? WE CAN DO ‘CROSS-STITCH BOMBING’, TOO. IT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS WHERE YOU CAN TAKE A VERY OLD FORM, AND MAKE IT VERY MODERN.” “IT WAS A HARD DECISION [TO DONATE IT]. I HAVE THE PATTERN. I CAN ALWAYS RECREATE IT. IT WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME. I DON’T CARE IF YOU RECREATE SOMETHING, IT’S NEVER THE SAME THING. BUT I HAD TO LET THE LOGICAL PART OF MY BRAIN HANDLE THIS DECISION, BECAUSE IT DID HANG IN THE CLASSROOM AND YOU POINTED TO THIS THING A LOT WHEN WE DISCUSSED THE BUILDING. FOR A LOT OF STUDENTS THIS WAS THE PICTURE OF THE BUILDING THAT THEY REMEMBER SEEING, SO THE CONNECTION TO MY JOB JUST MADE IT SUCH A STRONG [POINT]. THE OTHER THING IS, AS AN ARTIST…I GET TO SAY I’M AN ART-PIECE IN A MUSEUM. THAT’S QUITE THE HONOR. IT WASN’T CHOSEN AS AN ART-PIECE, BUT STILL I CAN MAKE THAT WORK. [I SPENT] PROBABLY A WEEK TALKING TO FAMILY MEMBERS AS WELL, BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF CROSS-STITCH IN MY HOUSE, FROM PATTERNS AND DIFFERENT THINGS. I REMIND THEM I’M NOT GOING TO DIE SOON, BUT SOME OF MY NIECES HAVE TOLD ME WHICH ONES THEY WANT WHEN I’M DEAD. SO I ALSO NEEDED TO TALK TO FAMILY, AND MAKE SURE THAT NOBODY WAS GOING TO BE CRINGING TO FIND IT WAS GONE. IT IS INTERESTING HOW THINGS THAT YOU CREATE [HAVE] A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP FOR OTHER PEOPLE TOO, SO I HAD TO DOUBLE CHECK WITH OTHER PEOPLE TOO.” “IT WAS JULY OR AUGUST OF 2000, WHEN I WAS INTERVIEWED BY WILMA WOODS, AND I WAS BETWEEN TEACHING [JOBS]…AND GETTING CLOSE TO THE START OF SCHOOL. I DIDN’T REALLY WANT TO SUB, AND IT WAS A TEMPORARY SIX MONTH POSITION. I APPLIED, AND WILMA INTERVIEWED ME ON THE MAIN FLOOR, IN THE HALF OF WHAT’S NOW THE FRIEND’S BOARDROOM. THAT IS WHERE HER OFFICE WAS, AND WHERE SHE DID THE INTERVIEW. I PREPPED. I WENT TO B. MACCABEE’S BOOKSTORE AND BOUGHT THE CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF LETHBRIDGE, AND READ THE ENTIRE BOOK…BEFORE THE INTERVIEW. I WASN’T REALLY THINK ABOUT WHETHER I’D GET THE JOB, SO I GAVE REFERENCES TO HER AND REALIZED I HADN’T ACTUALLY LET THE REFERENCES KNOW. I CALLED THEM AFTER I GOT HOME, WHICH WAS GOOD, BECAUSE I GUESS SHE CALLED FIVE MINUTES AFTERWARDS BECAUSE SHE WAS PRETTY QUICK. I STARTED [AT THE GALT MUSEUM] SEPTEMBER 1, 2000, WITH THE EXHIBIT ON THE IRRIGATION DISTRICT AND ITS CENTENNIAL. IT WAS A SIX MONTH GRANT POSITION. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A TEMPORARY POSITION, BECAUSE AT THAT POINT THE E. TEAM HAD GEARED DOWN ON STAFF AT THE MUSEUM. SO I STARTED THERE, AND…JANUARY AND FEBRUARY OF THE YEAR, THEY WENT TO CITY COUNCIL AND ASKED FOR IT TO BE MADE A FULL-TIME PERMANENT POSITION. IT HAD TO BE POSTED, BUT I APPLIED AND GOT THE FULL-TIME PERMANENT POSITION IN MARCH 2001. I MADE THE DECISION, BUT WITHOUT REALLY THINKING ABOUT IT, THAT TEMPORARY POSITION TURNED INTO A SEVENTEEN YEAR JOB.” “[OF THE WORKS I’VE DONE] IT’S DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BIG ONES. THERE [WERE] A FEW OTHER THINGS I TOOK OUT OF MY OFFICE THAT HAVE BEEN WITH ME FROM THE BEGINNING…THE REASON I STITCHED THIS BUILDING WAS MY CONNECTION TO THE BUILDING. IT’S NOT ONLY A PHENOMENAL BUILDING, BUT THIS WAS ‘HOME’ FOR 17 YEARS.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20170033001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170033001
Acquisition Date
2017-11
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