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

Photo 1 of 26 | | |

2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

Many of the postcards in the collection of the Local History Room were purchased by visitors to Saskatoon or by residents of the city to send to friends or relatives far away. In some cases, these postcards provide the only pictorial record of what early Saskatoon looked like. They form part of the almost universal desire to return from a trip with a picture or memento to remind you of the place or event visited.

Today we can easily create our own digital mementos. At the beginning of the 20th century, cameras were large, expensive and difficult to use. The demand for souvenirs by travellers and citizens resulted in local merchants selling an almost endless variety of Saskatoon scenic views and points of interest. Pictorial postcards, china, spoons, fans, handkerchiefs and the like were all part of the burgeoning souvenir trade. The souvenir served as a reminder of a bridge, a church, a school or university, an historic building, or a popular local person or event.

The news provided other topics. Then, as now, public interest was drawn to disasters of all types. Many of these disasters were recorded on souvenir postcards or china. The Local History Room collection includes many postcards of fires, shipwrecks, train wrecks, storms, floods and other phenomena.

Once a souvenir was purchased it was unlikely that it would be thrown away, although it might be put away. People hoping to create special moments sought tangible reminders of those times and places. These enduring souvenirs are understood and appreciated by both historians and collectors and should be treasured for the very real historical picture they supply. Visitors to Saskatoon Souvenir will be captivated by this unique perspective of the city’s history.

Saskatoon Souvenir was curated by Ron Jaremko, with the assistance of Local History Room staff: Kathy Snider, Dorothea Funk, Mary Ellen Schnitzler, Elaine Kozakavich, Tedi Page, Ann Findlay, Barbara Wojnarowicz.



2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

The Saskatoon Star of June 8, 1908 called the wreck of the City of Medicine Hat with the loss of several tons of flour and other possessions “the greatest marine disaster in the history of Saskatoon.” It was also the only marine disaster. The captain of the steamboat, H. H. Ross, given the exceptionally high water of the river, lost control of his boat and it slammed into the piers of the Traffic Bridge. The wreck in the very heart of the city attracted immense crowds and for a time the Traffic Bridge was almost impassable.

Date: June 7, 1908.

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Photo 2 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

On June 10, 1908 the rising waters of the South Saskatchewan had raised concern about Saskatoon's bridges. Among the trees on the east bank, the water had climbed up to the residences near the end of the Canadian Northern Railway Bridge making it necessary for the occupants to move out. The river had spread over its banks and flooded the low-lying Moon Lake district southwest of Saskatoon, forcing the evacuation of its settlers.

Date: June 10, 1908.

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Photo 3 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

On March 4, 1912 the Canadian Northern Railway sleeper car Kipling bound for Regina derailed, crashing through the northern part of the CNR bridge. When the coach had passed over about half of the span, the weakened structure gave way, and car, bridge and supports dropped in a tangled mess to the frozen river below. Twelve people were injured, two seriously .

Date: March 4, 1912.

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Photo 4 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

Sixteen people homeless and a loss estimated at more than $185,000 were the results of a fire which on Monday, December 18, 1922 gutted the Saskatoon Hardware Company Store, Sugarman Brothers grocery store and the homes of the tenants over the hardware store on Second Avenue South. Despite the cold temperature, thousands of spectators came and went during the early hours of the fire, attracted by the flames, dense smoke and explosions of the ammunition stored in the basement of the building .

Date: 1922.

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Photo 5 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

The blizzard of March 15, 1927 paralyzed Saskatoon. One of the worst storms in decades, it stopped streetcar traffic between Sutherland and the city for over twenty-four hours. Despite the efforts of the Street Railway’s big plow and sweeper, the drifts on this line were exceptionally deep requiring a good deal of hard work to clear. It took two days for service to resume .

Date: March 1927.

Note: Image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 6 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

In July 1906, amidst growing competition from the Great Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific Railways, the Canadian Pacific Railway purchased 180 centrally located lots in Saskatoon for $78,000. Construction on a new station along with new yard facilities began in 1907. The first train on the new line arrived from Winnipeg June 15, 1908 .

Date: June 15, 1908.

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Photo 7 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

Saskatoon’s first recorded organized horse-racing took place on September 21, 1887 when races were conducted under the auspices of the Saskatoon Agricultural Society. In 1905-1906 the first race track was built in City Park on the city’s exhibition grounds. The race track was relocated in 1909 when the exhibition grounds were moved to their current location .

Date: 1907.

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Photo 8 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

Aviator Bob St. Henry of the aerial smile and the large cigar was scheduled to fly his Curtiss-designed pusher aircraft at the Saskatoon Exhibition in May 1911. While on a test flight, Lucky Bob lost control and crashed into the ground. The flight was delayed until replacement parts arrived. On June 2nd, St. Henry took to the air again and completed two three-mile circuits of the exhibition grounds before landing .

Date: May 1911.

Note: Image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 9 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

Although the exterior of St. John’s Anglican Cathedral was completed by December 1913, the decline in real estate values and the outbreak of the Great War of 1914-1918 delayed completion of construction for several years. The Church was not officially opened until October 1917. Architects Thompson, Daniels and Colthurst had designed a magnificent structure made of Redcliffe brick from Alberta and buff terracotta ornamentation from the Doulton Company of England .

Date: 1913.

Note: Image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 10 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

The campaign to create a war memorial to commemorate Saskatoon citizens who had lost their lives in the Great War was spearheaded by the Canadian Legion. Designed by Regina architect F.H. Portnall, the cenotaph was unveiled on Armistice Day, November 11, 1929 at its location on Twenty-first Street near Second Avenue. The final cost of the war memorial was $18,769.93 .

Date: [ca. 1929]

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Photo 11 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

The year 1907 saw Association Football organized in Saskatoon. Among the four teams involved in the formation of a city soccer league was the Young Liberals. In March 1907 the Young Liberals had passed a resolution in favour of entering a team for city athletics. The team competed throughout the summer. 1909 was their most successful season when they won the city championships .

Date: 1908.

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Photo 12 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

The Quakers, members of the Western Canada Baseball League, opened the 1914 baseball home season May 14th with the Regina Red Sox as their opponents. The event took place in the new ball park on Avenue A which replaced the old Second Avenue Grounds. The fans had selected the name Cairns Field after J.F. Cairns, owner of the team and the president of the baseball organization. The Quakers pleased the 6404 people attending by beating Regina 6-4 .

Date: May 14, 1914.

Note: Image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 13 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

The Young Men’s Christian Association Building at the corner of Twentieth Street and Spadina Crescent opened in May 1913. At the opening of the YMCA, Chairman Dr. T.A. Girling said “We want the young men of this city to use this building and enjoy it to the fullest capacity. It is planned to afford physical, mental, moral exercise and instruction and is not merely an athletic association.” In the large gymnasium on the ground floor, twelve young men are captured in a gymnastic pose .

Date: [ca. 1945]

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Photo 14 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

Riversdale was Saskatoon’s first and only outdoor public swimming pool for thirty years. Located in Victoria Park, the pool was built in 1925-26 by local contractor Leon Prescesky. Often called the Avenue H pool, the municipal pool was constructed in response to citizen demand and the dangers of swimming in the river. The original pool was rather primitive, surrounded by a sand deck and lacking a filtration system .

Date: ca. 1934.

Note: Image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 15 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

The 1930s were the era of Saskatoon Wesley junior hockey supremacy. Charlie McCool’s Wesley organization would skate to the western final in the 1931-32 season. In their most successful season, the Wesleys defeated the Moose Jaw Canucks on their way to the 1935-36 Memorial Cup final. They eliminated Trail and defeated the Winnipeg Elmwoods in both games of the series. In the Dominion final against West Toronto, the Wesleys lost the first game 5-1 and the next 4-2. Both games were played in Toronto .

Date: 1936.

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Photo 16 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

Only the white heart or breast feathers of some 3967 prairie chickens were used in the making of this feather cloak worn by Melissa Kohles. Sewing the feathers by machine, Mrs. Kohles began work on the cloak in 1902 and completed it in 1914. The taxidermy for the heads and wings which form the clasps on the cloak were also done by Mrs. Kohles. The completed cloak was displayed at the J.F. Cairns and F.R. MacMillan department stores .

Date: ca. 1912.

Note: Image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 17 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

In May 1919, the Chinese National League opened the Keng Wah aviation training school on the northern outskirts of Saskatoon and started training young Chinese students from Canada, the United States and China. Under the tutelage of Saskatoon instructors, the young Chinese would learn to fly and fight for China and Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Student Jong Oy Hong joined the school in the spring of 1921 and was one of the seventeen airmen trained here during the school’s three year existence .

Date: September 28, 1921.

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Photo 18 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

The Saskatoon Boys Band traces its origins to 1917 when a number of band enthusiasts gathered in the boiler room of Princess Alexandra School and organized a band. Under the sponsorship of the Order of the Moose, Charles Cuthbert would maintain the band known as the Moose Boys’ Band. After the accidental death of conductor Cuthbert in 1931 a son, Harry Cuthbert, took over the band which became the Saskatoon Boys’ Band. In 1950 this organization became the Saskatoon Concert Band .

Date: 1937.

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Photo 19 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

Alexandra School was the first school to be built west of the railway tracks. The original four room brick school designed by H.S. Griffith quickly proved inadequate for the enrolment and an additional four rooms were added to the west side of the school in 1908. At first called the Ward Two or Riversdale School, a contest selected Alexandra in honour of Queen Alexandra as the new name for the school .

Date: ca. 1911.

Note: Image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 20 of 26 | | |


2011 - Saskatoon Souvenir

City Hospital was the first municipal hospital in Western Canada. Designed by architect W. W. LaChance, the building was completed in 1909 and heralded as perhaps the finest hospital in the country. The red brick building trimmed with cut stone featured two full stories as well as a basement and an alcove. The building provided for fifty-one beds with an additional four in the alcove .

Date: [between 1909 and 1912]

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