McLain Family

Ruby Sleath, 1915 – 2020

Ruby Mae McLain Sleath

Our museum is mourning the loss this week of a stalwart supporter, Ruby McLain Sleath.

Ruby supported her brother, Clayton McLain and subsequently her sister-in-law, Elizabeth McLain, who worked with the many volunteers to establish the museum. This was a labour of love as it was Clayton’s Dream.

It began with Clayton’s Collection of artifacts and stories and many McLain family items, which are still to this day on display at the museum. The stories are treasured, and our staff of volunteers love to share them with our visitors.

Ruby’s signature was often the first name and then the last name on the museum’s register each year. She would be pushed over to the museum in her wheelchair to see what was new, to bring visitors to see her family’s legacy to the community or to drop off a monetary donation.

This happened even after she was over 100 years young.

Ruby was a history resource that we used frequently to identify someone in a picture or to check on details of the past history in the area. Ruby was also an ambassador for the museum and community. She loved welcoming new people and sharing her stories and listening to theirs.

How lucky we were to have her clear mind and memory for so many years.

Rest In Peace, dear Ruby.

There will be a service for family only due to current social distancing laws so we will be streaming the service at the following link. Service is Oct 2 at 1pm.

Link to Service for Ruby Sleath

~ Lucille B.

McLain Family

102 Years Young

Today is a special birthday for a special person.

On February 13, 1915, Ruby McLain Sleath was born in Illinois. In 1917, she moved with her parents, Robert and Luna McLain and her siblings, Lucille and Clayton McLain, to the Riding Hill District, east of Cut Knife. Sadly, little Lucille passed away soon after they arrived in Canada. Another sister, Alene (Hardy), was born in 1920.

Clayton McLain’s interest and love of local history resulted in the wonderful collection and museum established in Cut Knife. The whole McLain family has donated and supported the museum since its beginnings in 1971. Clayton’s wife, Elizabeth was the first curator/manager/promoter/etc.

Ruby, Len, and Marilynn  1947

Ruby went on to marry, Leonard Sleath, and they welcomed daughter, Marilynn Sleath (Hampson). All through this time, Ruby was very supportive of her brother’s passion for history and his resultant collection. After Clayton passed away from cancer in 1968 and the museum was established, Ruby and her family continued to support and donate family items to the museum.

In the years after Elizabeth passed away, the museum has remained a special interest for Ruby. She has an amazing memory that she has willingly shared with museum volunteers. She regularly donates to the museum. She is very interested in museum ‘news’ and developments and has attended museum events up until she was not physically able.

So today, Ruby is 102. Amazing. Even more amazing is her love of history, family and friends and her strong faith and positive attitude of life. AND her love of the museum at Cut Knife, the Clayton McLain Memorial Museum.

Thank you, Ruby, for being so supportive of the museum and the communities in which you have been a part.

There have been many times that I have visited Ruby in the Cut Knife Special Care Home to ask her questions about photographs or past events. After shedding light on my questions, she usually has something else to donate to the Museum. Another special item, photo or piece of archival history to add to our community’s rich heritage.

Bless you, dear Ruby. Happy Birthday!

~ Lucille B.