map of railways circa 1970s

Skill Testing Question…

The Clayton McLain Memorial Museum and Archives receives at least half a dozen research requests per year: someone may need a photograph for a publication, or information from a school ledger, or newspaper articles about a particular event. The types of requests are hugely varied. Most of the time we’re able to help. Other times, the relevant information just doesn’t exist in our archives.

Folks, this is one of those times.

We received a request from a researcher in Victoria, BC, who is looking into “early railway development in west Saskatchewan”, in particular the Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CPR) and the Grand Trunk Railway’s (GTR) first lines through the Cut Knife area. Information from “Where the Cut Knife Waters Flow Volume I” has already been forwarded.

This researcher is especially interested in the CPR-built line that connects the Town of Cut Knife on the CPR line to Rosemound on the GTR line. The map below shows that section.


  • When was the Cut Knife to Rosemound connector built?
  • Why was it built?
CNR refers to the former GTR rail lines, which were purchased by the Canadian National Railway.

Of course, this is a long shot.

However, if you have any information at all about the CPR’s Cut Knife to Rosemound connector, whether it’s a family story, or a book / document / photo album with a reference in it, please comment below, or email the museum at Also, we’d sure appreciate it if you passed this along to any of your railway enthusiast friends. Thank you!

~ Debbie M.

Fundraiser, Museum

Update: New Friends

Rob Waldner (Rose City Memorials) timed it perfectly. On the last fine day of October, just before the temperatures dropped, Rob set up his equipment in Tomahawk Park. He brought the compressor, the portable sand pot, his protective gear, and the rubber stencils with the names of the Museum’s newest Friends. 11 of the bricks in the granite mosaic were inscribed this year. Of course, the bricks and just about everything else in Saskatchewan, are totally covered with snow right now, but Rob did take photos of the work done that day.

Happily, we had much more interest than anticipated, and a list has already been started for next year! For more information about the CMMM’s Friends of Tomahawk Park fundraising initiative, please click here.

~ Debbie M.

to do list and assorted tools
Archives, Museum

Many hands DO make light work

12 helpers and 2 mini-helpers arrived Saturday morning ready to work. Randy’s To-Do list was extensive, complete with something for everyone to tackle: From washing windows to cleaning bathrooms; from replacing ceiling tiles to putting in door-stops to putting up shelves; from organizing the kitchen to programming door locks to wiping down chairs, to vacuuming, sweeping and washing floors – everyone was kept busy. Some volunteers even stayed beyond noon to check off a few more items on the list. Our mini-helpers were amazing too. They dusted; they helped Rick with a multitude of tasks, and they remained cheerful for a good three hours!

A few photos:

to do list and assorted tools
At 9am, the table looked like this. By noon, it was a wet, sudsy mess from washing the light ceiling panels…
kitchen cleanup crew
Lucille, Terri & Janice cleaned and organized the kitchen – even making coffee for a mid-morning break.
cleaning the kid's chairs
Jean cleaning the children’s chairs, moving on soon afterwards to… more chairs!
Caught Randy on his way to do more painting and Lyle getting started on shelves for the storage room.
paint touch ups
This is Christine touching up the baseboard paint. She’s already circled the space working on the doors and walls.
Colton (on the ladder) and Chris replacing stained ceiling tiles.

Our sincere thanks to each person who was able to take the time Saturday morning to help the Library and the Museum move that-much-closer to moving in. Your support is very much appreciated.

Missing from photos Rick B, Debbie H., Debbie M., and James & Albert S.

~ Debbie M.

Archives, Museum

Volunteer Crew Needed

Folks, we’re almost ready to move in to the new Library / Museum building. The walls are painted; flooring has been installed; minor renovations completed; the electricians are done (we think). It’s touch-up time because… moving in is next!

6 – 8 people needed to help us make the space ‘move-in-ready.’

WHEN: Saturday, November 12 from 9am – noon
WHERE: 113 Broad Street (the former Good Shepherd Church)
WHAT ELSE: Tools, brooms, cleaning supplies will be provided. Please bring your own water bottle.

R.S.V.P.s appreciated. Email the museum at or speak with Randy.


~ Debbie M.

duvall house foyer wall scraped
Museum, Summer

Recipe for Chalk Paint

This is the chalk paint Terri mixed up that’s working such wonders in the Duvall House:


  • 1 cup flat or eggshell latex paint
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup Plaster-of-Paris


  • Stir together warm water & Plaster-of-Paris. (Add more water or plaster to thin or thicken the mixture, as needed). No lumps.
  • Pour into paint and mix thoroughly.


  • 1:3 Plaster-of-Paris to paint.
  • Keep paint stirred, with lid on when not in use.
  • Use stiff bristle brush; chalk brush recommended.
  • Scrape peeling paint and flakes prior to application; wall surface does not have to be smooth.
  • Apply paint in a circular motion; goal is to work the paint mixture into wall surface.

** Chalk paint has 101 uses. Do a Google search. You’ll be amazed…

Terri beginning scraping paint
Very poor lighting but Terri is just about to get started scraping the mint green paint that hasn’t flaked or peeled off yet.

~ Debbie M.