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WDM North Battleford
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Phone:
1-306-445-8033

Location:
Highways 16 & 40
North Battleford, SK

American-Abell steam traction engine with threshing crew of several men
Artifact Articles


Winning the Prairie Gamble

 

North Battleford Photos -
Centennial 2013


North Battleford celebrated one hundred years as a city in 2013. In 1905 the Canadian Northern Railway mainline to Edmonton was built on the north bank of the North Saskatchewan River, across the river from Battleford. North Battleford was incorporated as village in 1906, became a town in 1907, and a city in 1913.

Photographs in the collection of the Western Development Museum give glimpses of life in North Battleford from 1913 to 2013.

Click on the photos for larger images.

In 1913, a Canadian Northern Railway booklet claimed that “all lines of business are well represented in North Battleford, such as are found in all cities and towns of importance. One public school, 1 separate school, 1 high school, collegiate and kindergarten, 4 banks, 1 elevator and 8 lumber companies, Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches, C.N.R. station agent, Board of Trade.”

WDM George Shepherd Library 3-A-140

North Battleford street in 1913

A 1913 Canadian Northern Railway booklet proclaimed that bustling new city of North Battleford, Saskatchewan required “barbers, chartered accountants, dentist, furniture store, flour mill, farmers, job printer, machine shop, steam laundry, soap factory, tailors, tannery, and also splendid openings for every line of business.”

WDM George Shepherd Library 3-A-152

Group of people posed in front of building and Co-op Dairy Producers vehicle

The Co-Op Creamery staff in North Battleford posed for a photograph by Everett Baker in August 1944.

Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society: Everett Baker Collection, 9233

Framed band photo

A nine-man troupe brightened North Battleford’s music scene in the 1940s. According to the donor, pictured are: drums - Godfrey Land; trumpet - W. Moor; trombone - Larry Peaker; bass - W. Collinge; sax - unknown, sax - George Patterson; sax - George McCurdy; banjo - unknown; leader - Ralph Nelson.

WDM Library Photo: 5-F-57, Abbott Collection

Wheat Pool field man and photographer, Everett Baker took pictures of discussions at the District 3 Study Tour of Co-Op farm machinery in North Battleford in 1949. Farmers attended field days and study tours to learn about the latest improvements and innovations in farm machinery.

Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society: Everett Baker Collection, 5142

Crowded North Battleford street, band members in centre

A crowd of North Battleford fans and supporters crowded around the North Battleford City Kinsmen Band upon its return from competitions in Calgary, Alberta. Brass, woodwinds and percussion instruments, dashing uniforms and military precision were hallmarks of marching bands in the 1950s.

WDM Library Photo: 6-F-14, Abbott Collection

Band members march in North Battleford, girl in front holds trophy

A triumphant North Battleford City Kinsmen Band returned from a competition in Calgary sometime in the 1950s. Looking east on Railway Avenue, a drum majorette proudly displayed the band’s trophy.

WDM Library Photo: 6-F-13, Abbott Collection

House on flatbed semi-trailer

A year after a barn was moved to North Battleford’s Western Development Museum, a house was moved to the heritage farmstead. Built in 1914, the house was the home of the McLaren family of Rockhaven, Saskatchewan. It was donated to the WDM in 1987. The house fills with the smells of baking and the voices of volunteers during special events at the Heritage Farm & Village WDM.

Barn on flatbed semi trailer is moved down a highway

North Battleford’s Western Development Museum was the first of four WDMs in Saskatchewan. In 1986 a barn was moved from Gallivan, Saskatchewan. The barn was on the Brinkhurst family farm. It had been built as a livestock barn and later used for storing grain. Today it is a part of the farmstead at the Heritage Farm & Village WDM.

WDM Library Photo

Horses pulling a wagon full of people

People looked forward to the local fair every summer. Gathering at the fair was a time to visit friends and relatives, to learn the latest in farming and to see the newest household gadgets. People came from miles around.

This photograph was taken the day after the North Battleford fair in 1945 when First Nations people from nearby reserves were assembling for the trek home and saying their last good byes.

Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society: Everett Baker Collection, 5166

In 1946 the provincial Minister of Natural Resources and Industrial Development, Joe Phelps, provided $10,000 to the Canadian North West Historical Society in the Battlefords for an agricultural museum. In 1947, Phelps obtained a former RCAF hangar No. 7 at the North Battleford airport to store and exhibit the farm machinery collected. The first entry in the WDM Accession Register was recorded on December 11, 1947. It was a 15 hp IHC gasoline engine donated by the Taylor brothers of Bresaylor, Saskatchewan and collected by Frank Swon of the North Battleford WDM.

This photo was taken on the farm of Harry Gwillim of Strasbourg, Saskatchewan. The Museum purchased Gwillim’s 18-36 Avery tractor in 1948.

WDM Library Photo: Roy Potter Collection

three men in front of coal car

A dusting of coal covered the three men in this photograph, unknown except for Jim Gavin on the right. Taken at the North Battleford CNR roundhouse, at one time railway work included handling coal for giant steam locomotives. With the coming of diesel-electric locomotives in the 1950s, use of coal became obsolete.

WDM Library Photo: 7-D-12, Abbott Collection

Tractor in back of truck

In 1946 the provincial Minister of Natural Resources and Industrial Development, Joe Phelps, provided $10,000 to the Canadian North West Historical Society in the Battlefords for an agricultural museum. In 1947, Phelps obtained a former RCAF hangar No. 7 at the North Battleford airport to store and exhibit the farm machinery collected. The first entry in the WDM Accession Register was recorded on December 11, 1947. It was a 15 hp IHC gasoline engine donated by the Taylor brothers of Bresaylor, Saskatchewan and collected by Frank Swon of the North Battleford WDM.

This photo was taken on the farm of Harry Gwillim of Strasbourg, Saskatchewan. The Museum purchased Gwillim’s 18-36 Avery tractor in 1948.

WDM Library Photo: Roy Potter Collection

Cranes and machinery

During the Second World War, 1939-1945, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan brought hustle and bustle to Saskatchewan. In December 1939, Canada agreed to train air crews for the war. Beginning in 1940, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan bases went up quickly, providing jobs to communities hard hit by the Depression. North Battleford, Prince Albert, Davidson, Yorkton, Assiniboia, Caron, Weyburn, Moose Jaw, Estevan, Swift Current, Dafoe and Mossbank all had BCATP bases. About one fifth of the 130,000 young men from across Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries who were trained under this program received their instruction in Saskatchewan.

This photo taken in 1940 shows a blacktop mixer in action at the North Battleford airport.

Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society: Everett Baker Collection, 5187

Truck backed up to Saskatchewan Cooperative Producers livestock barn

In 1946 Pool man Everett Baker photographed the Saskatchewan Co-operative Producers livestock operation in North Battleford.

Saskatchewan History & Folklore Society, SHFS_5104, Baker Collection

North Battleford Post Office

The once proud North Battleford Post Office and Customs House graced the corner of King Street and 11th Avenue where the modern Scotiabank now stands. The clock tower was moved to the new Library at 13th Avenue.

WDM Library Photo  

Emile Francis in net in North Battleford, SK

A North Battleford boy born in 1926 grew up to be a goalie with the Chicago Black Hawks and the New York Rangers. In 1945 Emile Francis, known as "the Cat," was the first NHL goaltender to experiment with a baseball glove to improve on the padded gloves worn by all players at that time.

WDM Library Photo: 5-E-36 , Abbott Collection

North Battleford Merchant hockey team, 1915

The North Battleford Merchant hockey team defeated the Denholm team 6-1 on Denholm’s home ice, March 8, 1915.

WDM Library Photo: 5-E-61, Abbott Collection

Cooperative Creameries

Everett Baker took this photo of the Saskatchewan Co-Operative Creameries plant at North Battleford in 1944. Baker was a field man for the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, a job he held from 1937 to 1962. While he worked for the Pool, his camera captured life in Saskatchewan during the 1940s and 1950s.

Saskatchewan History & Folklore Society, SHFS_5128, Baker Collection

King Street, North Battleford c. 1920

King Street was the first name for 101st Street in North Battleford. The streetscape has changed since the 1920s. The Auditorium Hotel on the left seen here burned down on December 8, 1978.

WDM Library Photo: 3-A-142, Abbott Collection

Soldiers and men on horseback

Under a banner claiming We will be hoping and praying for a safe return, mounted soldiers mustered at the North Battleford train station in preparation for the rail ride to Eastern Canada, then the boat ride to England. The First World War, also known as The Great War, was fought in Europe from 1914 to 1918. This postcard photograph was taken in June 1915 or 1916.

WDM Photo: WDM-2002-NB-24, Burton Collection

Postcard of North Battleford in 1905

Railway lines sparked settlement in Saskatchewan. This postcard from 1905 shows a water tower and train station, with a community springing up on the north side of the river from Battleford. It would be eight years before North Battleford had the requisite 5000 people to claim city status.

WDM Library Photo: 3-A-135, Abbott Collection

North Battleford hockey team 1905-1906

Interprovincial champions! This North Battleford hockey team was 1905-1906 champion of Saskatchewan and Alberta. The players are identified as back row, l-r: W. Horner, B. Simpson, W.A. McLeod, J.G. McDonald, W. Bessett. Front row, l-r: C. Tobin, W. Butt, R. Hewer.

WDM Library Photo: 5-E-34, Abbott Collection


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Artifact Article: Celebrating Saskatchewan Milestones

Photo of man in buffalo coat More online image from the WDM George Shepherd Library on the Saskatchewan History Online website

Artifact Article: Ask the Man Who Owns One - Geiser Manufacturing Company

About the WDM Collection