Queen Elizabeth II commemorative tray 1953 coronation
McLain Family, Museum

“Coronations Past to Present”

If you visited the Cut Knife Library yesterday, then I’m guessing you’ve already taken a look at the 3 new exhibits Lucille curated on Friday.

For everyone else, here’s a sneak peak of a selection of museum artifacts connected to past Coronations:

Coronation collectibles have been hot items for as long as there have been coronations.

Tin items such as the tray and lunch bucket were purchased as treasured memories of the special event. It is notable that when the lunch bucket was no longer in use for taking lunch to school, it was still not thrown out and remained as a coronation keepsake.

China items have been popular as shown here and in the other exhibit case.

Retailers were also able to profit from the event as seen by the tin box that had Oxo Cubes when sold in 1953.

L. Bullerwell, Clayton McLain Memorial Museum
View the tray, lunch bucket, china, and Oxo Cubes tin box at the Cut Knife Library.
In this display at the Cut Knife Library, view memorabilia from the Coronations of 1911, 1937, 1953, and 2023.

Elizabeth McLain was the wife of Clayton McLain; mother of Dale, Dennis, Sharon, Sylvia, Trevor; teacher at Gallivan School and Cut Knife High School; first Curator of the Clayton McLain Memorial Museum in Cut Knife. She was the recipient of the following awards:

  • CMMM Curator for 25 years
  • Cut Knife Citizen of the Year 1993
  • Museums of Saskatchewan Honourary Lifetime Achievement Award 2000
  • Canada Medal for Golden Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II Reign

Coin was created in 2002 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II reign as queen of Canada. It was presented to individuals who made outstanding and exemplary contributions to their communities or Canada as a whole.

L. Bullerwell, Clayton McLain Memorial Museum
Elizabeth McLain was recognized for her volunteer work at the CMMM with a number of awards, which are on display in this exhibit, including the ‘Canada Medal for Golden Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II Reign’.

    Cut Knife Library 113 Broad Street
    Tuesday 4-7pm | Thursday 6-9pm | Saturday 9am – 1pm

    ~ Debbie M.

    Events, McLain Family, Museum

    10. The McLain Family Heirloom

    On Sunday, July 17 the museum hosted “Quilt Walk”, an indoor / outdoor exhibit that included heritage quilts from the CMMM collections and more recent items created by local crafters. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, we’d like to show you, over the next week or so, the beautiful handiwork we had on display.

    From CMMM, 1979.H.141:

    This hand-made quilt was a wedding gift from William Thomas Transou and Mary Jane Transou (Ellis) to Robert and Luna McLain in 1917. The quilt was made by Luna’s mother, Mary Jane.

    mclain family heirloom quilt
    Created by Mary Jane Transou


    Excerpt from “Timeline of Quilting History” compiled and written by the Clayton McLain Memorial Museum:

    Quilts are often made to commemorate events (i.e. weddings and births) and can incorporate pieces of fabric from used or worn-out clothing. Such quilts become historical documents for the quilt-maker and his or her loved ones.

    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.