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  Saskatoon Through the Ages:
selected photographs from Local History Gallery Shows
 
     
 

Photo 1 of 25 | | |

1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Domestic scenes constitute an oft-neglected aspect of Saskatchewan history as documented in photographs. And yet, they reflect the tenor of the times and the quality of existence, as do scenes of work, sports and recreation, architectural photos, landscapes and cityscapes, and wartime scenes. This exhibition attempts to gather images focusing on domestic activities such as the preparation and consumption of meals, home-centred recreation, farm and home chores, family portraits, and gatherings. It includes camping scenes from homesteading days, harvest lunch breaks, a raucous early picnic, and parent-child portraits.

Original gallery show prepared by: R. Millar and A. Kagis

With the assistance of: S. Greenaway, M.T. Colombani, and M. Bazylevich.



1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

The setting for this rather sombre Christmas photo appears to be a living room in a private home. However, the uniforms that three of the women are wearing - what might be Salvation Army insignia on two of the women's collars - and the number of infants in the photo, reveal its true location. The photo was taken in Bethany Hospital, a "rescue home for unmarried mothers" and their children who were likely adopted out.

Date: December 1938.

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Photo 2 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

This is hardly a domestic scene in any traditional sense, but these Beaver Creek picnickers are certainly consuming the fruits of someone’s domestic labours with great gusto. Clearly by the time this photo was taken, Saskatonians had abandoned the total temperance advocated by the colony’s first settlers.

Date: [190-]

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Photo 3 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Students at R.J.D. Williams School for the Deaf gather for a meal. Older students sitting at the ends of each table were probably supposed to monitor the dining behaviour of their younger charges.

Date: 1940.

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Photo 4 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Cadets on laundry duty at a Sea Cadet League Camp on Shepley Island. The island, now called Wilson Island, was in the South Saskatchewan River just west of the area now called Cranberry Flats. During the summers from 1943 – 1946, boys 12 and older in the Sea Cadet program attended two week training camps on Shepley Island.

Date: August 22, 1946.

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Photo 5 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Elvina and Peder Skotheim and four of their children at supper on their Spruce Home farm. Because it typified successful diversified farming in Saskatchewan, the Skotheim farm was included in Princess Margaret’s itinerary when she visited in 1958. Consequently, the farm was besieged for weeks in advance of the July 31st visit by photographers, among them Leonard Hillyard, who captured this tranquil domestic scene.

Date: July 6, 1958.

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Photo 6 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

This image of a young mother and child was captured by Saskatoon photographer Peter McKenzie. No information survives concerning their identity, although they are also seen in a communal context in another McKenzie photo captioned, “In the lee of a Red River cart”.

Peter McKenzie lived in this city for a few years and then moved on around 1910, leaving a valuable photographic legacy here.

Date: [between 1906 and 1909]

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Photo 7 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Sometime around 1910, a group of Indigenous people set up camp near Saskatoon for a few days. Ralph Dill, one of Saskatoon’s earliest photographers, took a series of photos of the camp. This one captures the details of tepee construction and of the Red River carts which were a common mode of transport around this time.

Date: [ca. 1910]

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Photo 8 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

These young women with their small children rest in the shade of an impromptu shelter provided by a Red River cart. Although the exact location – evidently on the prairie – isn’t known, it was probably near Saskatoon, having been taken by Saskatoon photographer Peter McKenzie.

Date: [ca. 1906]

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Photo 9 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

A moment of unselfconscious morning ritual captured at a campsite in 1909. Records indicate it was at Pike Lake. The name of the photographer is not documented, but since the donor was Saskatoon’s own W.W. Ashley, he himself might have snapped the shutter. One of the women could be his wife, the former Dora Clinkskill. She was the daughter of James Clinkskill (one of Saskatoon’s first mayors), and lived to the age of 93.

Date: 1909.

Photographer: Photographer may be Wyndham Winkler Ashley.

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Photo 10 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

These young men appear to be in search of a keeper for their hearth – perhaps to free them up for lacrosse or hunting or drinking - while they wait for homesteads. A companion photo shows the same “Hornet’s Nest” inhabitants in formal attire and with no weaponry, sporting equipment or booze in evidence. That photo may have been intended for parental viewing, while this one could have gone to buddies back home.

Date: [ca. 1907]

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Photo 11 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

In this charming studio photograph, Walter Willis poses with an infant, presumably his child, on his knee. Willis was one of the first elders of Knox Presbyterian (now Knox United) Church and was a member of the church choir as well. Both Walter and the infant look somewhat startled – a common effect of a photographers flash.

Date: [ca. 1904]

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Photo 12 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Saskatoon’s first professional photographer, Ralph Dill, took this photo of some of the city’s early residents in front of their “summer residence in Idylwyld” about 1905. In the centre, smiling at the camera, is Wyndham Winkler Ashley, a well known horticulturalist and parks board member who was responsible for the distribution of elm tree seeds in this province. Others in the photo include a Mr. Layden and a Mr. Brown.

Date: [ca. 1905]

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Photo 13 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Doing the chores becomes a family photo opportunity: in this 1914 shot of the Schrader family on their farm, Udo milks the cow, Helen hugs two of their daughters, and the third, a beribboned Leonora, crouches on the right.

Date: [before 1918]

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Photo 14 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Little is known about this family scene, taken in the early days of the century. But rare domestic photos such as these capture fleeting moments, otherwise undocumented, in the daily lives of our early residents. This one speaks volumes about forms of cultural entertainment in family life and the furnishing and amenities enjoyed by reasonably well-off families.

Date: [ca. 1910]

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Photo 15 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Frank Tyhurst of the Kensmith area poses in a cluttered room of a log house. A few domestic touches are apparent: oil cloth on the table, photos tacked on the walls. However, the general impression is that Frank was still roughing it to some extent, nailing his furs and catalogues to the wall and tossing bags of seed in the corner.

Date: [ca. 1913]

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Photo 16 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

A small child amongst feathered companions at a farm near Laura. The sod hut in the background is likely the chicken coop, as a more habitable wooden structure is just visible at right. For many homesteaders, a sod hut served as the family’s first shelter, as this one may have done. The name “Frank Harding” is inscribed on the back of the original photo.

Date: June 1914.

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Photo 17 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

These “happy campers” may have been waiting for homesteads. In any case, they were camping in style with a rocking chair, real beds with sheets and pillowcases, and a plank floor.

Interior shots of tents like this one must be fairly rare. It was supposedly taken between the old Canadian Northern Railway Bridge and the Traffic Bridge on the Nutana side of the South Saskatchewan River in 1908.

Date: 1908.

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Photo 18 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

Victorian style décor is typified in this shot of the home of Dr. Donald McKenzie, in what was then the 700 block on Broadway Avenue around 1912. His office was located in Clinkskill Chambers. Sharing the cozy family atmosphere are Mrs. Marion McKenzie (seated), and Blanche McDonald (one of the women standing). The two beribboned lasses may be his daughters or other relatives.

Date: 1912.

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Photo 19 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

There is a reflective, if not wistful, quality to this woman’s expression as she takes a break – possibly from unremitting domestic duties. The array of photos and postcards behind her suggests the significant role of the postal service as a communications link with the “old country” in those days.

Date: [190-]

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Photo 20 of 25 | | |


1993 - Keepers of the Hearth: Enlargements of Vintage Photographs Depicting Domestic Scenes from Saskatchewan History

This lovely vignette personifies the best qualities of familial relationships. The original photo has “Lena and Nada” written on the back and came to the Local History Room anonymously; nothing else is known about it.

Date: [ca. 1910]

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