Collections
Other Name
PADDLE WHEELER, "BARONESS"
Date Range From
2011
Date Range To
2014
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, PLASTIC, COPPER
Catalogue Number
P20140039000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
PADDLE WHEELER, "BARONESS"
Date Range From
2011
Date Range To
2014
Materials
WOOD, PLASTIC, COPPER
No. Pieces
5
Height
45
Length
121
Width
26
Description
.A – MODEL – WOODEN MODEL OF A BOAT, PAINTED WHITE WITH TWO BLACK VERTICAL SMOKESTACKS AND A CIRCULAR PADDLE WITH BROWN BLADES AT THE REAR. EIGHT PAINTED METAL FIGURES ARE GLUED INTO POSITIONS ALONG THE BOAT’S TWO DECKS, ALONG WITH MINIATURE PARCELS, COAL, AND RIGGING. THREE CABINS OF VARYING SIZE SIT ON THE UPPER DECK; THE CLOSEST TO THE SMOKESTACKS HAS THREE SIGNS READING “BARONESS” IN BLACK TEXT. INSIDE THE MODEL, UNDER THE UPPER DECK, A MOTOR, ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS AND WIRES ARE HOUSED. MODEL IS PAINTED TO LOOK AGED AND WORN; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. 45 X 121 X 26 .B – REMOTE CONTROLLER – CONTROLLING UNIT MADE OF BLACK AND SILVER MOLDED PLASTIC, WITH TWO SILVER JOYSTICKS MOUNTED AT UPPER LEFT AND RIGHT CORNERS. COLLAPSIBLE ANTENNA AT CENTRE TOP HAS YELLOW FLAGGING TAPE ATTACHED TO ITS TIP WITH BLACK TEXT THAT READS “75 MHZ SURFACE USE ONLY”. TEXT ON CONTROLLER BODY READS “FUTABA DIGITAL PROPORTIONAL – SKYPORT T4YF – BARONESS”. BACK OF UNIT HAS CAVITY FOR BATTERY PACK AND STICKER WITH TEXT THAT READS “FCC ID AZPT4YBF 72B – FUTABA – MADE IN CHINA”. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. 9 X 18.5 X 24 .C – BATTERY COMPARTMENT LID – BLACK MOLDED PLASTIC, RECTANGULAR SHAPE, WITH CURVED BOTTOM EDGE AND THREE TABS ALONG TOP EDGE. RAISED ARROW DESIGN WITH THREE RIDGED LINES AT CENTRE TOP. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. 0.75 X 12 X 6.5 .D – POWER ADAPTER – BLACK PLASTIC BOX WITH TWO METAL PRONGS EMERGING PERPENDICULARLY OUT OF ONE SIDE. TWO RED LIGHTS AND LABEL WITH TEXT READING “FUTABA… CAUTION…” ON OPPOSITE SIDE. TWO BLACK CORDS EMERGE FROM BOX’S BOTTOM. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. 4 X 196 X 5.5 .E – BASE – PIECE OF PLYWOOD, PAINTED BLACK, WITH RAISED WOODEN PLATFORM AT CENTRE. PLATFORM TOP IS COVERED WITH GREY CARPET. CARPET IS STAINED WITH WHITE PAINT AND GLUE RESIDUE; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. 6.5 X 121 X 29.5
Subjects
TOY
Historical Association
LEISURE
TRANSPORTATION
COAL MINING
History
THIS MODEL WAS BUILT BY THE DONOR, ROD HORLACHER, BASED ON HIS RESEARCH INTO THE BARONESS PADDLE WHEELER. ON OCTOBER 2, 2014, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED HORLACHER ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE MODEL. HORLACHER SAID: “I ALWAYS LIKED TO BUILD MODELS [WHEN] I WAS YOUNGER. AS I GOT OLDER I STARTED DOING BIGGER THINGS… I ALWAYS KNEW ABOUT THE BARONESS… THEN I JUST STARTED READING ABOUT IT… I WAS JUST GOING TO MAKE A BOAT AND THEN I THOUGHT I WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING THAT I’M INTERESTED IN AND REFLECTS ME, INSTEAD OF JUST MAKING A STANDARD, WHATEVER-TYPE OF BOAT. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE REALLY UNIQUE. I TALKED TO PEOPLE; NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE WERE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT LETHBRIDGE HAD PADDLE WHEELERS… [I THOUGHT] I COULD BUILD IT AND IT WOULD BE A GOOD LEARNING TOOL FOR PEOPLE TO SHOW HOW RICH LETHBRIDGE… WAS IN HISTORY… I CAME HERE TO THE GALT MUSEUM [AND] LOOKED IN THE ARCHIVES… THERE’S ONLY TWO PICTURES OF THE BOAT AND I BOUGHT THE [BOOK] ‘BOATS AND BARGES ON THE BELLY’ BY ALEX JOHNSTON… IT JUST GOT ME HOOKED… AND THEN JUST BY LOOKING AT THE PICTURES, I LIKE TO TRY AND FIGURE [IT] OUT… I PUT IN… AT LEAST TWENTY HOURS OVER THE COURSE OF THREE YEARS LOOKING AT THE PICTURES ALONE, JUST TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WITH A RULER WHAT SORT OF SCALE IT WOULD BE… I BOUGHT A PADDLE WHEELER KIT, BUT I ONLY USED JUST THE HULL FROM THE KIT AND THEN EVERYTHING ELSE… IS ALL SCRATCH BUILT… [I BOUGHT] A GEAR REDUCED, 12 VOLT ELECTRIC MOTOR, AND THEN I BOUGHT THE RADIO CONTROL MECHANISMS FOR IT, AND SUITED IT TO MY USAGE FOR HOW IT WOULD FIT… THE SMOKESTACK IS ACTUALLY WATER PIPE, AND I USED A TUBING CUTTER TO MAKE SOME LITTLE RIBS IN [IT]… THE DOOR KNOBS ARE… MADE OUT OF A TIE END [THAT] I CLIPPED OFF WITH TWEEZERS… IT’S BEEN ABOUT THREE YEARS, MAINLY WORKING ON IT WHEN IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, A WINTERTIME HOBBY… I PUT IN HUNDREDS OF HOURS PROBABLY.” HORLACHER CONTINUED: “I TOOK IT OUT TWICE [TO NICHOLAS SHERAN PARK] AND WE PADDLED IT AROUND FOR A LITTLE BIT… [IT RUNS] SLOW, [WITH A] HUGE TURNING RADIUS… THEY WEREN’T MADE TO GO QUICK… EVERYONE WOULD STOP AND LOOK AT IT…I ENJOYED BUILDING IT IMMENSELY… IT LOOKS WONDERFUL IN THE WATER AND I’M VERY PLEASED THAT I CAN SHARE IT WITH [OTHER] PEOPLE AND THEY COULD JUST SEE HOW NEAT THINGS WERE BACK IN 1883… THE ENJOYMENT [IS] IN BUILDING IT AND KNOWING OTHER PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SEE IT AND ENJOY IT [TOO].” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT. THE FOLLOWING HISTORY OF THE BARONESS PADDLE WHEELER WAS DEVELOPED WITH INFORMATION FROM A RESEARCH PAPER WRITTEN BY DORA TREW IN 1968 (GALT ARCHIVES 19694701000), UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA ARCHIVES, AND COLLECTIONS RECORD P19940018000-GA. THE NORTHWEST COAL AND NAVIGATION COMPANY INITIATED THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE STEAMER BARONESS, NAMED AFTER GALT COMPANY BENEFACTOR BARONESS ANGELA BURDETT-COUTTS, ALONG WITH APPROXIMATELY 12 OTHER BARGES, IN THE FALL OF 1883. THE VESSEL WAS COMPLETED THE FOLLOWING SPRING WHEN THE HULL WAS FLOATED DOWN THE BELLY RIVER TO MEDICINE HAT WHERE MACHINERY, THE UPPER DECK, AND THE PILOT HOUSE WERE INSTALLED. THE MATERIAL USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE STEAMER AND BARGES WAS DOUGLAS FIR, SHIPPED FROM A MILL OPERATED BY THE COMPANY IN THE PORCUPINE HILLS. THE BARONESS WAS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED FROM MEDICINE HAT ON JUNE 1, 1883. AT THE SAME TIME, THE COMPANY BUILT ANOTHER STEAMER, THE ALBERTA, AND PURCHASED A SMALLER STEAMER, THE MINNOW, FROM WINNIPEG. THE INTENTION OF BUILDING A FLEET OF RIVER STEAMERS WAS TO ENABLE THE TRANSPORTATION OF COAL BETWEEN COALBANKS AND MEDICINE HAT TO MEET THE DEMAND FOR FUEL ON THE C.P.R. MAIN LINE. DURING THE SEASON OF 1884, THE STEAMER FLEET MADE SEVERAL TRIPS UP AND DOWN THE BELLY RIVER, BUT IT WAS SOON DISCOVERED THAT THEY COULD ONLY BE PROPERLY OPERATED DURING SEASONAL PERIODS OF HIGH WATER. IT WAS ALSO FOUND THAT THE BOATS DID NOT HAVE THE NECESSARY AMOUNT OF POWER TO PROPELL THEM UPSTREAM AGAINST THE RAPID FLOW OF THE RIVER - IT TOOK ONLY EIGHT HOURS TO GET TO MEDICINE HAT, BUT THE TRIP BACK TOOK FIVE DAYS AND BURNED ALMOST AS MUCH COAL AS THE STEAMERS DELIVERED. THESE SHORTFALLS COINCIDED WITH THE START OF CONSTRUCTION ON THE NARROW GAUGE RAILWAY FROM DUNMORE TO COALBANKS IN 1885 AND RAIL TRANSPORT OF COAL BECAME THE MORE EFFICIENT SOLUTION. THE BARONESS, ALBERTA AND MINNOW WERE LEASED TO THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT DURING THE RIEL REBELLION, TRANSPORTING SOLDIERS AND SUPPLIES DOWN THE SASKATCHEWAN RIVER AND UPSTREAM TO PRINCE ALBERT, NORTH BATTLEFORD AND EDMONTON. AT THE END OF THE CONFLICT, THEY CARRIED EASTERN CANADIAN SOLDIERS BACK TO LAKE WINNIPEG. THE MINNOW WAS THEN SOLD TO A LUMBER FIRM IN BATTLEFORD, AND THE ALBERTA WAS DISMANTLED IN MEDICINE HAT. CARRYING THE ALBERTA'S MECHANICAL PARTS TO BE USED IN THE GALT NO. 3 MINE, THE BARONESS ARRIVED BACK IN LETHBRIDGE AND WAS ALSO DISMANTLED FOR PARTS. THE HULL OF THE BOAT WAS LEFT TO DECAY ON THE RIVER BANK, NEAR WHERE THE FOOTINGS OF THE HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE ARE TODAY, UNTIL IT WAS WASHED AWAY BY THE FLOOD OF 1902. SEE PERMANENT FILE P19738850000 FOR HARDCOPIES OF SOURCE MATERIAL.
Catalogue Number
P20140039000
Acquisition Date
2014-10
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail