Monday, 27 July 2009

Museum Exhibit Musings -- Has anything changed?

For today’s blog, I thought I would read the July 27, 1909, Lethbridge Daily Herald and see what was on the minds of Lethbridge citizens exactly a century ago.

Not surprisingly, there were many of the same concerns as today. Crime was reported – a man from Taber was given sixty days hard labour for stealing a sack of grain. There were
labour problems – there was a report on a letter sent to the Minister of Labour. This letter reported on a settlement about discrimination in the mines. The letter reminded everyone that the settlement agreed that there would be “no discrimination on the part of the companies against union men, or on the part of the union against non-union men employed.”

There were advertisements. Hudson Bay had Men’s Oxfords on for $3.25 a pair when normally they were $4.50. And Wellington Bros. had the largest and best stock of wall paper in the city.

There was a notice that for all Curlers that the curlers were having a meeting the next night. Sports scores were provided.

There were notices that you could get your palm read for 50¢ or go to the Eureka Theatre and watch one of three movies: A Mountain Feud, Mysterious Correspondent or Worthy Young Man.

There was a letter to the editor regarding water use in the city. The letter highlighted the wastefulness of “the sprinkling of the various weed beds which border the streets and equal quantity is used in watering the plank sidewalks and the edge of the road.”

There were advertised opportunities for investment and making money. “Don’t Miss This Chance Of Making Money. Invest in a few nice level building lots on Westminster Road and Fair Grounds, while we are selling them for $100 each and on easy payments. The City is building in that direction very rapidly. These lots are sure to double in value in a very short time. They are going fast.”

Except for the boys being arrested for stealing a chicken from a back yard and the coal being advertised for sale, one could almost imagine that she was reading a modern newspaper.


  1. Hi Belinda I would like to see things from the boom years like what kind of entertainment/leisure/sports activities, atheletes/sports teams were like 100 yrs. ago.
    I would also be interested in old advertisements/how much everyday items were and in items that are now obsolete in today's society.
    It would also be neat to see info./photo's of old buildings/businesses etc. that no longer exist and to know what happened to a particular building ie: destroyed by fire, demolition for parking lots etc.
    Also I was thinking about the "fancy restaurant" that used to be in the Alex Hotel I recall looking at a photo or two when I did research on the Red Light District and thought that may be of interest to people.
    Re: volunteer comment about historical research - i agree it's fun and is kind of like detective work, i always enjoy the search/hunt and it can be addicting.

  2. Vicky, I love your ideas.
    I absolutely agree that the exhibit must include information on the buildings. A few years ago I did a tour called "Fire Walk" looking at buildings we lost to fire in the downtown. I'll have to pull that out and look for buildings from this time period. And, yes, there will definitely be information on buildings still standing today as many of my favourite (as well as some of the best known) buildings in Lethbridge were built between 1906 and 1913.
    I'll have to do some more searching into leisure and recreation 100 years ago. Fortunately, I know there are a few people in Lethbridge who have or are researching this topic so there's bound to be a lot of information if I take a look. I'll keep you informed about what I find.


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