Stop 10: City of North Battleford Archives & Sask Hospital Museum
Started this morning with an appointment at the City of North Battleford Archives (luckily they were unaffected by the recent flash flooding here). They have a collection that was donated by a woman who grew up on the Saskatchewan Hospital grounds and attended the school that was established for the children of employees. She had also gone on to work at the Hospital as a nurse. The collection includes both her reminiscences of her childhood on the Hospital grounds as well as an extensive photo album that she put together – it highlights both events and daily life at the Hospital as well as changes in the growing cities of Battleford and North Battleford.
I had found a reference to a museum at the still-operating Saskatchewan Hospital earlier this summer but had not been able to get ahold of anyone prior to arriving in North Battleford yesterday. I knew that they had a history book on sale so I decided to take a chance and just show up.
I got lucky – not only was I able to purchase a copy of their history book, but when I asked about the museum a very lovely woman by the name of Tammy agreed to bring me down to see it!
The museum is located in a room in the basement of the main building of the Sask Hospital. The room includes a variety of materials – from furniture to apparatus to dishes to uniforms. There was also a large collection of newspaper clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, and books on display.
Construction on the Saskatchewan Hospital began in 1911 – only a short time after Saskatchewan became a province of Canada (1905). Patients were transferred from the institution in Brandon, Manitoba beginning on5 February 1914 – on a day when the weather was recorded at -60 degrees Celsius!