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Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
SILK, COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20120045006
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
SILK, COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Length
186
Width
60
Description
IVORY TABLE RUNNER WITH GOLD FRINGING AT BOTH ENDS; RUNNER HAS CREAM STITCHING AROUND EDGES. ABOVE GOLD FRINGE AT EACH END IS AN EMBROIDERED INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS CREST. CREST IS ON A ROYAL BLUE FLOWER EDGED WITH GOLD, AND SHOWS THE ORDER CROSS, EDGED IN GOLD, WITH FOUR POINTS IN INDIGO AND RED, AND A WHITE CIRCLE IN CENTER WITH TEXT “I.O.F.” ON AN INDIGO BAR WITH GOLD EDGING ACROSS THE CENTER. TABLE RUNNER HAS DARK STAINING AND WEAR MARKS ON BOTH SIDES; RUNNER IS CREASED FROM FOLDS ON BOTH SIDES. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
History
ON AUGUST 21, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN INTERVIEWED LLOYD CAREFOOT REGARDING HIS DONATION OF MEMORABILIA RELATED TO COURT WINDY WEST (#562) LETHBRIDGE CHAPTER OF THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS. CAREFOOT WAS ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH THE FORESTERS WHILE HE LIVED IN EDMONTON, ALBERTA, AND CONTINUED HIS INVOLVEMENT FOLLOWING HIS MOVE TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1963. ON THE PURPOSE AND HISTORY OF THE TABLE RUNNER, CAREFOOT NOTED, “THAT WOULD BE A TABLE RUNNER. THAT WOULD BE [USED] WHEN THEY WERE…DOING [THE] RITUAL. WE DIDN’T USE THIS AT EVERY MEETING. THIS WAS A THING THAT THEY USED WHEN THEY HAD THE RITUAL WHERE THEY PUT ON THEIR HAT AND THEIR GOWNS.” “THERE WOULD BE MORE THAN ONE BECAUSE THEY HAD A TABLE WITH SOME OF THE [RITUAL] ITEMS ON…I NEVER WAS EVER INVOLVED WHEN THEY WERE DOING THAT.” “[MEMBERS STOPPED USING IT BECAUSE] SOCIETY HAD CHANGED ENOUGH THAT THEY DIDN’T WANT TO BOTHER WITH THAT RITUAL. I SUSPECT THAT’S WHY. [THE RITUALS WERE] KIND OF STRANGE TO ME. BUT I ACCEPTED IT BECAUSE THAT IS PART OF WHAT YOU DID.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS TIME SPENT IN THE FORESTERS, CAREFOOT RECALLED, “WE [WIFE RUTH AND LLOYD] WERE INVITED TO [AN] ACTIVITY. [IN THOSE] DAYS THERE [WERE] SOCIAL PARTIES…SOMEBODY THAT I KNEW INVITED ME TO COME AND I HEARD WHAT THEY WERE DOING. IT WAS SOMETHING THAT RUTH AND I THOUGHT…WOULD BE SOMETHING WE’D LIKE TO BE INVOLVED IN…MY FATHER WAS A MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN ORDER OF FORESTERS WHICH WAS A STAGE BEFORE THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS.” “I BECAME A MEMBER IN EDMONTON… I WAS ONLY AS ASSOCIATE AT THAT TIME. WHEN WE MOVED DOWN HERE, WE BECAME MEMBERS HERE…MY FIRST WORKDAY WAS THE SECOND OF JANUARY, 1963 [IN LETHBRIDGE]. I WAS A FULL-BLOWN MEMBER IN 1966.” “[I JOINED BECAUSE OF] THE SATISFACTION THAT IT’S A STRONG CHARITABLE WAY OF DOING THINGS TO GIVE BACK. THAT’S PART OF MY PHILOSOPHY; JUST GIVE A LITTLE BACK FOR THE GOOD LIFE I’VE HAD.” “I WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE LEAGUE…OF [THE] LETHBRIDGE CHAPTER. AND [I] WOUND UP WITH [THE TRUNK] AND IN IT [WERE] THESE THINGS. IT PRE-DATES ME.” “MOST OF THOSE THINGS WERE FOR MY PERSONAL USE…EITHER IN EVENTS OR A POSITION I HELD IN THE FORESTERS. I LOOK AT [THE OBJECTS] AND I SMILE.” REGARDING HIS DONATION, CAREFOOT ELABPRATED, “THE FORESTERS IN THE COMMUNITY DID A LOT OF CHARITY WORK AND I THOUGHT IT WAS A WAY OF COVERING FOR THE FUTURE [ABOUT] THE THINGS THAT WE DID, OR STILL DO. THAT WAS, MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, MY REASON FOR [DONATING IT] – A WAY OF PASSING IT ALONG SO IT JUST DIDN’T GET SHOVED IN THE JUNK…TO SOMEBODY IN THE FUTURE, IT INDICATES SOMETHING OF WHAT WE DID AND SOME ILLUSTRATION OF THINGS THAT WE DID. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20120045001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20120045006
Acquisition Date
2012-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20120045007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Length
54
Width
64.5
Description
SQUARE BURGUNDY TABLE COVERING; COTTON AND VELVET; EDGES ARE CURLING IN TO BACK. BACK IS STAINED AND FADED. TOP EDGE HAS FRAYING AND LOOSE THREADS; BOTTOM EDGE HAS LOSS OF THREADS AND LOOSENED FROM SEAM AT LEFT SIDE. LEFT EDGE IS TORN, HAS NO SEAM, AND IS CURLING TO BACK. FRONT IS FADED ALONG TOP EDGE INTO CENTER. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
History
ON AUGUST 21, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN INTERVIEWED LLOYD CAREFOOT REGARDING HIS DONATION OF MEMORABILIA RELATED TO COURT WINDY WEST (#562) LETHBRIDGE CHAPTER OF THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS. CAREFOOT WAS ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH THE FORESTERS WHILE HE LIVED IN EDMONTON, ALBERTA, AND CONTINUED HIS INVOLVEMENT FOLLOWING HIS MOVE TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1963. ON THE PURPOSE AND HISTORY OF THE TABLE COVERING, CAREFOOT NOTED, “THAT’S THE TABLECLOTH WE USED…WHEN THEY SET THEIR TABLE…[THERE] WAS A CENTERPIECE THAT DEMONSTRATED THIS WAS THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS.” “WHEN THEY SET UP THEIR ROOM, FOR THE RITUAL, THEY HAD LITTLE TABLES AND THIS WAS THE COVER FOR THAT LITTLE TABLE. THIS WAS CHIEF RANGER’S.” “[MEMBERS STOPPED USING IT BECAUSE] SOCIETY HAD CHANGED ENOUGH THAT THEY DIDN’T WANT TO BOTHER WITH THAT RITUAL. I SUSPECT THAT’S WHY. [THE RITUALS WERE] KIND OF STRANGE TO ME. BUT I ACCEPTED IT BECAUSE THAT IS PART OF WHAT YOU DID.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS TIME SPENT IN THE FORESTERS, CAREFOOT RECALLED, “WE [WIFE RUTH AND LLOYD] WERE INVITED TO [AN] ACTIVITY. [IN THOSE] DAYS THERE [WERE] SOCIAL PARTIES…SOMEBODY THAT I KNEW INVITED ME TO COME AND I HEARD WHAT THEY WERE DOING. IT WAS SOMETHING THAT RUTH AND I THOUGHT…WOULD BE SOMETHING WE’D LIKE TO BE INVOLVED IN…MY FATHER WAS A MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN ORDER OF FORESTERS WHICH WAS A STAGE BEFORE THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS.” “I BECAME A MEMBER IN EDMONTON… I WAS ONLY AS ASSOCIATE AT THAT TIME. WHEN WE MOVED DOWN HERE, WE BECAME MEMBERS HERE…MY FIRST WORKDAY WAS THE SECOND OF JANUARY, 1963 [IN LETHBRIDGE]. I WAS A FULL-BLOWN MEMBER IN 1966.” “[I JOINED BECAUSE OF] THE SATISFACTION THAT IT’S A STRONG CHARITABLE WAY OF DOING THINGS TO GIVE BACK. THAT’S PART OF MY PHILOSOPHY; JUST GIVE A LITTLE BACK FOR THE GOOD LIFE I’VE HAD.” “I WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE LEAGUE…OF [THE] LETHBRIDGE CHAPTER. AND [I] WOUND UP WITH [THE TRUNK] AND IN IT [WERE] THESE THINGS. IT PRE-DATES ME.” “MOST OF THOSE THINGS WERE FOR MY PERSONAL USE…EITHER IN EVENTS OR A POSITION I HELD IN THE FORESTERS. I LOOK AT [THE OBJECTS] AND I SMILE.” REGARDING HIS DONATION, CAREFOOT ELABPRATED, “THE FORESTERS IN THE COMMUNITY DID A LOT OF CHARITY WORK AND I THOUGHT IT WAS A WAY OF COVERING FOR THE FUTURE [ABOUT] THE THINGS THAT WE DID, OR STILL DO. THAT WAS, MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, MY REASON FOR [DONATING IT] – A WAY OF PASSING IT ALONG SO IT JUST DIDN’T GET SHOVED IN THE JUNK…TO SOMEBODY IN THE FUTURE, IT INDICATES SOMETHING OF WHAT WE DID AND SOME ILLUSTRATION OF THINGS THAT WE DID. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20120045001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20120045007
Acquisition Date
2012-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
"MARQUIS HOTEL"
Date Range From
1928
Date Range To
2015
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CERAMIC, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20150037000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"MARQUIS HOTEL"
Date Range From
1928
Date Range To
2015
Materials
CERAMIC, PAINT
No. Pieces
1
Height
5.08
Width
12.4
Description
BLACK, CERAMIC ASHTRAY. THE INSIDE OPENING OF THE ASHTRAY IS 6.4 CM. THE LETTERING ON THE TOP SAYS “THE MARQUIS HOTEL, LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, CANADA.” THERE IS AN ABSTRACTED FLORAL DESIGN ON EITHER SIDE OF THIS LETTERING. THE FLOWERS ARE PAINTED RED AND THEIR STEMS PAINTED GREEN. THIS WORDING AND DESIGN REPEATS ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE. THE LETTERING ON THE BOTTOM SAYS, “MADE IN JAPAN 29.” VERY GOOD CONDITION. USED WITH SOME WEAR APPARENT. BLACK PAINT IS WEARING OFF ON SOME PARTS OF THE SURFACE. SIGNIFICANT WEAR TO THE RED AND GREEN PAINT OF THE DECALS.
Subjects
HOUSEHOLD ACCESSORY
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
BUSINESS
History
ON DECEMBER 16, 2015, DONOR CHRIS MORRISON INFORMED COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN THAT SHE CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE ASHTRAY WHEN SHE AND HER HUSBAND BECAME STEWARDS OF A WATERTON CABIN IN 1976. THE CABIN, LOCATED AT 103 CAMERON FALLS, WAS OWNED BY HER MOTHER-IN-LAW DOROTHY MORRISON (D. 1995). IT WAS AMONG ASSORTED FURNISHINGS LEFT BEHIND WHEN DOROTHY MOVED OUT AND CHRIS MOVED IN. THE DONOR’S RECOLLECTION OF THE ASHTRAY’S USE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO IT BECOMING HER PROPERTY WAS AS A CONTAINER. MORRISON SAID, “IT WAS IN A [CABIN] WASHSTAND AND USED TO HOLD LITTLE OBJECTS LIKE ROLLED UP KEROSENE LANTERN TAPE WICKS”. ACCORDING TO MORRISON, IT WAS ALSO KNOWN AS “GRANDPA’S ASHTRAY”. GRANDPA REFERS TO JAMES J. MORRISON OF LETHBRIDGE. “HE ONLY SMOKED CIGARS” SAID THE DONOR, WHEREAS HER MOTHER-IN-LAW DOROTHY DID NOT SMOKE AT ALL. THE ASHTRAY’S USE AS A CONTAINER FOR LANTERN WICKS AND SMALL ITEMS CONTINUED RIGHT UP TO THE DAY THAT IT WAS OFFERED TO THE GALT IN 2015. ACCORDING TO HER OBITUARY IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, DOROTHY MORRISON, PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON NOVEMBER 26, 1995 AT THE AGE OF 83 YEARS. JAMES JACOB MORRISON, DOROTHY’S FATHER-IN-LAW, PASSED ON FEBRUARY 18TH, 1975 AT AGE 93. THE ASHTRAY IS MARKED WITH “MARQUIS HOTEL,” WHICH COULD REFER TO THE LETHBRIDGE HOTEL THAT OPENED IN JUNE 1928. REALIZING A NEED FOR A FIRST-CLASS HOTEL IN LETHBRIDGE, ESPECIALLY ONE WITH A BANQUET HALL, THE BUSINESSMEN OF THE BOARD OF TRADE COMMITTED THEMSELVES TO THE HOTEL IN 1927. AFTER ITS OPENING, THE BOARD OF TRADE WOULD HOLD THEIR REGULAR, NOON-HOUR MEETINGS AT THE HOTEL FOR MANY YEARS TO COME. THE HOTEL CLOSED ITS DOORS IN 1985 AND THE BUILDING WAS DEMOLISHED IN 1988. THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND A WRITE-UP ABOUT THE HOTEL IN THE PUBLICATION TITLED "WHERE WAS IT? A GUIDE TO EARLY LETHBRIDGE BUILDINGS," BY IRMA DOGTEROM. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND A COPY OF THE INFORMATION FROM THE PUBLICATION CITED ABOVE.
Catalogue Number
P20150037000
Acquisition Date
2015-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
DYE SAMPLES
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1977
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CARDBOARD, FABRIC, INK
Catalogue Number
P20160003004
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
DYE SAMPLES
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1977
Materials
CARDBOARD, FABRIC, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
22.6
Width
15
Description
BOOK WITH BLACK HARDCOVER. THE FRONT COVER OF THE BOOK HAS IN GOLD LETTERING “NACCO DYES” WITH A SMALL, GOLD LOGO IN THE CENTER AND “NATIONAL ANILINE & CHEMICAL CO. …” IN GOLD AT THE BOTTOM. THE SPINE OF THE BOOK HAS “NACCO DYES NO. 172” IN GOLD LETTERS. THE INSIDE COVER OF THE BOOK BEGINS WITH “NATIONAL SERVICE” WITH ADDITIONAL TEXT SUCCEEDING. THE PAGES ARE THICK, WHITE BOARD THAT ARE ATTACHED TO ONE ANOTHER WITH PAPER SEAMS. THE BOARDS FOLD OUT ACCORDIAN-STYLE INTO A HORIZONTAL LINE. THERE ARE 6 BOARDS IN TOTAL. THE FIRST FOUR BEGINNING FROM THE LEFT ARE TITLED, “NACCO UNION DYES.” EACH BOARD HAS TWO COLUMNS OF RECTANGULAR DYE SAMPLES. THERE ARE 9 ROWS ON EACH BOARD. THE TWO SAMPLES IN EACH ROW ARE THE SAME COLOUR BUT ON DIFFERENT TYPES OF FABRIC. THE 5TH BOARD IS DIVIDED INTO TWO COLUMNS. THE LEFT IS TITLED, “NACCO NEUTRAL DYES” AND THERE ARE 10 SAMPLES OF VARIOUS DYE COLOURS UNDERNEATH IT. THE RIGHT SIDE IS TITLED, “NACCO WOOL DYES.” GOOD CONDITION. THE BOARDS HAVE YELLOWED. SLIGHT SCUFFING ON THE BLACK COVER. SLIGHT BROWN STAIN ON 5TH AND 6TH BOARDS. ACCRETION ON LOWER SECTION ON THE BACKSIDE OF BOARD TO THE RIGHT OF THE TITLE PAGE (5TH BOARD).
Subjects
MERCHANDISING T&E
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
TRADES
RETAIL TRADE
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’ FATHER SOLD DYE TO LOCALS ON THE DOUKHOBOR COLONY. MORRIS DESCRIBES THE PURPOSE OF THE DYES AND HOW HER FATHER BECAME INVOLVED: “DYEING WAS NECESSARY TO DYE THE WOOL THAT YOU SPUN AND SOMETIMES YOU COULDN’T GET THE NECESSARY DYES IN THE STORE, SO I DON’T KNOW WHERE MY DAD GOT THOSE. THEY MIGHT HAVE SENT HIM SOME OR WHAT AND THEN HE WOULD CHOOSE THE COLOURS THEY WANTED AND HE WOULD ORDER THEM. NOW IT SO HAPPENS THAT THE PEOPLE IN THE COLONY ALL WANTED THESE PARTICULAR DYES BECAUSE THEY WERE BETTER THAN THE KIND THEY GOT IN THE STORE. I DON’T KNOW WHY. SO MY DAD BUILT A SCALE AND I REMEMBER THIS SCALE. IT STOOD ON THE TABLE, IT HAD A CENTRAL PART, THEN THERE WAS A ROD GOING ACROSS AND IT CAME DOWN LIKE THIS AND THREE NAILS ON ONE SIDE BROUGHT IT DOWN AND WHEN YOU WANTED TO SELL THE DYE YOU PUT A PIECE OF PAPER DOWN, PUT IN A SPOONFUL UNTIL WE BALANCED [IT] AND THEN YOU GOT AN EVEN BALANCE AND THAT AMOUNT CAME TO TEN CENTS. IF WANTED LESS THEN YOU PUT TWO NAILS DOWN AND THOSE CAME TO FIVE CENTS SO… I SUPPOSE [HE SOLD THE DYE] BECAUSE HE WANTED TO MAKE SOME MONEY. HE SOLD VEGETABLES IN THE WINTERTIME TO THE LOCALS WHO DIDN’T GROW GARDENS. IN SUMMERTIME IF HE COULD GET A JOB HARVESTING WORKING SOMEWHERE ON FARMS HE DID THAT. [HE WAS] THE MIDDLE MAN [SELLING DYES]… [A]ND NOBODY TOLD ANYONE THE STOREKEEPERS THAT OR HE’D HAVE PROBABLY BEEN TOLD TO STOP IT.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003004
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