Doc’s Town hosts centennial celebration for McLatchie farm house
A centennial celebration was held for a historic building at the Doc’s Town Heritage Village in Swift Current, Aug. 4.
The program for the event provided information about the history of the McLatchie house and its former owners, and also acknowledged the family who donated the structure to Doc’s Town.
Beryl Robinson, the program and publicity coordinator for Doc’s Town, emceed the celebration.
“Doc’s Town has been proud to have this house as part of our collection since 1986,” she said. “As you can see, it is standing up well.”
The McLatchie house was built in 1919 on the farm of Andrew McLatchie in the Tuberose area, which is north of Kyle. He purchased the house from the 1918 Aladdin catalogue, which had over 50 floor plans to select from.
The house package with red cedar siding was transported by rail to Kyle, and it was then hauled to the farm.
Andrew and his sister Mary, a registered nurse, lived in this large, comfortable home. She became a midwife in the district, and an upstairs bedroom in the house became known as the “borning room” where she delivered about 100 babies during four decades.
Andrew was a successful farmer and he acquired about 6,000 acres of land over the years. He died in 1964 at the age of 74. Mary continued to live in the house until shortly before her death in 1974 at the age of 97.
The land where the house stood was later purchased by the Gordon Nelson family of Kyle, who donated the building to Doc’s Town in 1986. The centennial celebration was attended by Gordon’s son Greg, who also participated in the program.
“We always wanted to preserve the house and it’s history,” he said.
“We felt a connection with Miss McLatchie, because she handled both our parents’ birth and our families have always been in touch.”
When his father heard that Doc’s Town was looking for a heritage home, he saw it as an opportunity to save the house and preserve the McLatchie history.
The formal program concluded with a cake cutting by Greg Nelson and Jean Allen, the wife of Doc’s Town founder Burton Allen.
Afterwards those in attendance enjoyed cake with tea or coffee.
Attendees at the centennial celebration included residents from the Kyle and Tuberose area, some who knew the McLatchie’s and now own land that belonged to Andrew. A few indicated their family members were delivered by Mary.
The only original furnishings in the McLatchie house are the large sideboard in the dining room and the upstairs bathtub.
The other furniture and artifacts in the home were donated to Doc’s Town by different individuals.
ABOVE PHOTO: An old photo of the McLatchie farmstead with the house located in the centre at the back.
Beryl Robinson of Doc's Town speaks during the centennial celebration. Seated behind her are Shelley Ferguson and Phil Hall, who participated in the program to tell the story of siblings Andrew and Mary McLatchie.
Jean Allen and Greg Nelson cut the cake for the McLatchie house centennial celebration, Aug. 4.
Attendees enjoy cake and refreshments at the McLatchie house centennial celebration, Aug. 4.