Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Goodbye old friends

We watched with sadness last week as the 75-year old poplar trees to the east of the Galt were cut down over three days. On April 22, the final branches and stumps were being cleaned up while the weekend's snowfall melted away.

The expansion to the neighbouring extended care facilities along with our own expansion led the overseeing city departments to determine that the trees would not be viable, that their age was a liability and that damage to the roots from the pending roadwork would mean they could pose a potential hazard to the senior residents and to visitors to the Galt - aka falling branches. The three evergreens were just plain in the way - we were told by a number of parties that they were too large to be moved effectively. I regret that I did not work hard enough at trying to have them moved to a better home...

The building is now more visible. It looks a lot like this Archives photo from 1911, taken a year after the Galt Hospital [the historic east-wing of the Galt Museum & Archives] was opened:


Today the 2006 museum expansion is adjacent to the north of the 1910 wing [which would be the right in the above photo]. An educational natural garden commemorating the Horticultural Society's centennial in 2009 is being created this year along the slope under the pedestrian bridge:

Once pending roadwork is completed, there will again be a circular garden in front of the 1910 wing, similar to but more elaborate than this photo from 1920:


And on the south [left] side of the 1910 building, a Galt School of Nursing Graduate bronze statue by local artist Don Toney will be located near the remaining wall of the very first hospital built in 1891 [below].

August 2, 1955 19752207077
There will also be seating and engraved bricks which have been sponsored by GSN graduates, Galt Babies [those born in the Galt Hospital until 1955], and others wishing to acknowledge special people. Roses and peonies, which would have been found in 1910 gardens, will also help create a place for relaxation.
Hopefully these plans, along with some replanted trees, will begin to fill the hole left by the removal of the big old trees... happy earth day.


  1. http://heritagetreefoundation.com/

  2. Are those orbs of light I see in the trees??

  3. September 29, 2008

    To; The Editor
    Lethbridge Herald
    504 7th Street South
    Lethbridge, Alberta

    Dear Editor,
    I moved to Lethbridge over 20 years ago and what made me fall in love with the small metropolis was the atmosphere of the region, rolling hills, tree lined streets, the river valley and the sight of the prairies from the Scenic Drive park area. What stood out the most after driving across country from Cleveland, Ohio to Lethbridge were the trees. Yes trees. It was a welcome sight to see trees after traveling for days through the desert and prairies states, Lethbridge as I told my family back in Ohio and North Carolina this place was an oasis in the middle of the desert and I was glad I making this my home. The scenery around the town and the people gave you a sense of pride to belong to such a wonderful community in bloom.
    So now my oasis is being chopped down not chopped down in the name of progress but chopped away because the word of a said authority, that said, the trees have out lived their usefulness. Even in the name of progress tree lost should be kept at a minimum to pave the way for progress. The shocker came when I returned to the city after a business trip to see all the trees around the Galt chopped away, I felt violated that one of the most famous landmarks in this city had been raped and stripped of its natural beauty. So upset I attacked verbally some of the folk of the museum about their silly choice of destroying the natural beauty of the area. I felt like a clutch after I found out that the city made the decision on the word of an arborist to remove trees through out the city that were considered un-safe or diseased. Isn’t it so an Arborist is classed as an experienced professional who give the RIGHT advice for conserving and protecting trees. So did they get a second opinion? Or was it just on the word of one? Experts.
    Now there’s only one tree left standing at the Galt, it looks well alive and organically stable, birds have made their homes amongst the branches, and it provides shade for visitors and staff of the museum. Now I hear that this tree is in jeopardy to be fallen by the saw of the mad axe person. STOP!
    Lethbridge was once a bald-ass prairie town with a tree here and there and with the abundant of trees growing in the river valley. If it wasn’t from a few service clubs and citizens that believed in Arbor Day, Lethbridge would have treeless streets and avenues. Mr Editor, I think it’s time to show the then and now pictures of Lethbridge downtown and London Road areas so people appreciate what we have here and why I appreciate the trees that line our streets around our fair city. Leave the trees alone!

    Left out in the wide open, with no wind breaks.
    J. Greene

  4. Hi Anine, does the Galt Museum have any photographs of the original Sick's Lethbridge brewery prior to it being bought out by Molson's. If not do you have any links that I could check for leads or photographs.

    thanks Jan

    direct email

  5. Hi Jan, Thanks for your question! You can search for images at our Archives Online search feature: http://www.galtmuseum.com/archives.htm. If you do not see anything there that's suitable you can fill out a request form for the Archivist. [i'll also reply to your direct email]



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