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What's Happening Here

     Karen Yong gave her powerpoint lecture "Transitioning for Seniors" for us on April 17,2019. Due to a space and equipment issue we held this event at The Leduc Library.  The Library is always the perfect host for this type of event and they join in for the fun. Coffee and cookies were enjoyed by all.  We drew a crowd of 25  people of all ages with an equal number of men in the group. The crowd was enthusiastic and asked many questions. Many had many fun ideas of their own to add to the discussion. Karen gave an excellent lecture and caught the attention of other Service groups from the area who were in  attendance. They are very interested in having her come lecture at their facilities in Leduc. Watch  for more from Karen Yong in the future.

                                                                                    Gail Van Staveren Posted April 22,2019



     Lillian Elaschuck passed away this week. She was a long standing member of The Historical Society and  part of The Museum.  She is noted for her decorative flair and baking prowess. She planned many of our teas over the years. She will be missed by us all.

                                                                                  Gail Van Staveren Posted April 22, 2019

       I attended The Leduc Expo at the L.R.C on Saturday morning to represent The Museum. I got to speak with an amazing number of folks from all over Alberta that were there enjoying the good weather, eating fun food and drinking lemonade. It was an amazing trade show and so many businesses showed us their best selves. I had a book of old photos of Leduc taken from the 1920ties to The 40ties  with me. All these photos were taken by Harry Bamber and excellent quality. He had beautifully documented life from that era for us to see and enjoy  today.  Many of you stopped to talk and look these photos and tried to figure out what changes had occurred  and  "Is this intersection  50th street and 50th Avenue?" The one thing we all agreed on was traffic  and parking  on Main Street was just as bad in 1929 as it is today.

                                                                                            Posted by Gail Van Staveren April 14 2019



       Saturday March 16 the Museum hosted an exhibit of art by young Dene artist Coral Madge. It was well attended with folks viewing her hand made beaded Moccasins and other pieces from her Native Heritage. Coral, dressed in her native costume; brought Bannack with home made raspberry jam and Lavendar Mint loose tea that we brewed. Native music played in the back ground as she demonstrated how to sew hide and bead the traditional flowers  that adorn her work. Two other exhibiters showed their collections and works. Marilyn Dirrane showed Native arrow heads and rock hide scrapers.  Gabriele Schwanke showed her seal skin mukluks and gloves that she made to stay warm when she mushed her sled dogs in the North. She also had a collection of Native moccasins and other items that she had acquired over the years. The museum showed it's collection of fur coats including two Buffalo coat that were like the one worn by Dr. woods on his patient winter visits while he practiced from this house.

     The event caught the attention of Shayne Anderson our Minister of Municipal Affairs.  He was very impressed with The museum and said he would revisit with his family.  Another welcome visitor was Emily our Star Photographer from The Leduc Rep. We look forward to seeing her photos in the paper. 

     A very special thank you to our exhibitors and to our volunteers Evelyn Sabo and Clare McGuire who helped put this event together.

                                                                                                                                                 Gail Van Staveren Posted march 17, 2019

     The Weir Exhibit of beautiful shawls drew in a crowd of knitters and wannabe knitters. They all wanted to know how to knit like Wendi does and she was delighted to tell them. The Exhibit was open for eight days through some  brutally cold weather and we were amazed that we had visitors from North Edmonton for the show. The final meet the artist event was scheduled for February 1st in the evening. It soon became apparent that the Museum volunteers that would come to man the exhibt that evening would not be able to come as two of them were from outside Leduc. The drive at night in the brutal -40 degree weather that was perdicted was just to dangerous. It was decided that the museum would close at noon that day. We were concerned that there may be some folks that  evening for the event and posted signs that we had to close. We apologise for all who came that evening to meet Wendi and see her lovely shawls. For anyone that came to see the shawls Wendi is willing to give you a one on one special show of her works. If you call the museum and leave your name and contact info with the tour director she will pass it on to Wendi to get in touch with you. Again our most profound apologies.

                                                                                   Gail Van Staveren  posted 2/13/19


        I know it is usually March that comes in like a lion but, this year it was February that set  us on our ears.  Even us hardy Canadians were complaining. Mostly about stalled and dead cars that left us in the lurch.  It does not look like the Polar Vortex is leaving. For those of you interested we up North here are  considered responsible for the "Vortex."  Further south the word is out that it comes from Canada. I have to say "Hey, wait a minute here!" Who says we invented this weather  phenomenon?  It could have come from Alaska. Well, likely not but from where I live in Alberta there is a lot of frozen North much further up that we are. WE in Alberta are not to blame. In fact we suffer from these Vortices as well. Well, maybe not as much as the Southerners because we have Hockey. That is called what to do when you get handed a lemon. Hockey is our lemonade that we make out of our long cold winters.

                                                                       Gail Van Staveren posted 2/08/19


      Last night we had our Power Point Presentation for Black History Month named "The story of The  African American  Migration from Oklahoma to Alberta in the early 20th Century." We had Allan Goddard curator of the Breton Museum and Debbie Beaver from Black Settlers Historical Society of Alberta and Saskatchewan give us their presentations. Considering the cold weather we had a good turn out of very hardy folks from Leduc and Beaumont. A special thank you to all who came.

                                                                                      Gail Van Staveren posted 2/08/19


     Happy New Year. A new start for some with decisions for making it a better year. This year could prove to be an interesting year for The Dr. Woods Museum and staff. At the end of January we have elections for a new Board of Directors and Chairperson. It will be hard to replace Helen as our chair. She has done an excellent job. I for one have thoroughly enjoyed working with her. When I first met Helen I saw her as slighly shy, bright and even as small as she is totally in control of the board.  As I grew to know her I was often surprised and delighted with a quip from her that would have me rolling with laughter. I am not sure who will replace you Helen but, I know that you will be missed by all and me imparticular. I know you will take a break from The Museum but, I do hope you will miss us enough to come back to visit and eventually to help once again..

                                                    Posted January 20,2019    Gail Van Staveren



  As you can see from my last post on Nov 15th we had started decorating the museum for Christmas. Yesterday Nov 28 we finished. What started out as fun soon became less fun. We still came and did it all. Yes, the entire museum from top to botttom, all rooms are adorned.  We had agreed  to cut back this year; you know the less is more mind set. And, we did if what got put back into boxes in the attic and what else got tossed in the trash is any indication. I always recall the law of gravity, "What goes up must come down." Christmas decorations fall under that law. So, City of Leduc come and see the beautifully decorated Dr. woods Museum.  Better still come for tea and ice cream on Dec 6 and do a tour.

                                                      posted  by Gail van Staveren 11/29/18


For some reason the thought of Christmas makes me want to print everything in bright red. I wonder why?Santa Claus, Holly berries, Poinsettia, Cranberries Sauce and twinkling red lights everywhere. The color red is

synonymous with Christmas.  Yesterday The ladies of the Historical Society started decorating The Museum for Christmas.  This is no small undertaking.  One entire day was spent just bringing boxes of decorations down from the attic and from the shed. Yesterday a group converged on the museum to work; but first we needed sustanance. So we sat and lunched together and of course drank tea. Then as groups we  were assigned rooms on the main floor with cart blanc to do wonders. What ensued then was lots of talking and even more giggling.  We did get some decorating done but, what we mostly had was a wonderful time together. Isn't this what Christmas is all about..

                    Don't forget about our Candle Light Tea coming up on Dec 6th

                                                                                      Posted  Nov 15/18  Gail Van Staveren


The Ladies of the Leduc Historical Society are working hard a putting together some fun events for the winter of 2019 to help chase away the winter doldrums. Keep an eye on our event page here on the web site and watch the newspaper for up dates. Also follow us on Facebook.

                                                             Gail Van Staveren posted 11/03/18






         Our Harvest Tea was on Sept 28 here at the Museum. 2 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.

                   We are served Gingerbread Cake with whipped cream. A good time  

 was had  by all.

posted by Gail Van Staveren Nov. 2018



     People love to donate special artifacts to the museum. They can be items that have special meaning to  their family and want to have them displayed here for posterity.  You need to know that the museum is governed by rules on how we acquire and add to our collections here. We are required to follow our mandate which has been in place for years. It states; "The mandate is to collect, preserve, research, exhibit, and interpret artifacts reflecting the period of 1927- 1936 of a doctor's home in a small prairie town for the purpose of research, education and enjoyment of the general public."We also want you to know there is a process for us to take items.  Please do not drop items off on our doorstep because by law we cannot accept them.  We must by law meet with the owner of the item and have them sign a "Gift Card Agreement."  Without that gift card we have no ownership of that item and cannot keep it or add it to our collection. By law we cannot sell it either and MUST dispose of it. Once you sign ownership of that item over it is registered and from that point onward it's physical  location is tracked. Each registration has a drawing of the artifact and full description including dimensions, donator name and date of donation. Items that are not on display are stored in  special acid free boxes.  We handle artifacts with gloves and also provide gloves for patrons who wish to handle items. All objects that are accepted  into the museums collection are done with the understanding that they will be there for posterity.

                                                                                              Sept 05/18  Gail Van Staveren




As of Sept 1st we go back to winter hours Tuesday thru Friday 10A.M. to 4 P.M







                                               WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE

     You will notice that we have one flower bed at the very front of the museum that is now completly bare. The City of Leduc Horticulturists; who help me care for the garden, discovered Creeping Bell Flower in that bed. For those of you familiar with it; that particular noxious weed is a bad one.  The internet describes  it as "The zombie weed' or  "A burly thug."  So, we have attemped to eradicate it from that bed. It has been sprayed and dug up several times now.  When dug the dirt is all sifted through a sieve to remove any stray roots or bits that could other wise escape notice. Here's hoping it is all gone. 

     Thank you to The city of Leduc for all the help with the gardens this past spring and summer..... Could not have done it without you..     Gail Van Staveren  Sept 2018


For all the people of Leduc that I have spoken to as they passed the museum this past spring and summer.

I loved talking to each and everyone of you.

I just planted 80 tulip bulbs in the museum gardens just for you to enjoy.  Watch for a lovely show this spring. Something to look forward to this winter.....

Here's to you LEDUC...

Gail Van Staveren September 2018


Our Volunteers shaped this Museum

     When I think of volunteers, I think of people who give a few hours a week to help the needy.  But, what of  the people that have taken voluntarism to a whole new level as a full time job.  They make a cause their passion and life's work without monetary reward.  This is the case with the Leduc Historical Society and their love of The Woods House Museum.

     In 1982 The city of Leduc purchased the house that had been the home and medical offfice of Dr. Robert Theodore Woods, His wife Olive and their Children.  After Dr Woods passed away in 1936;  Olive moved, and the home changed hands a few times up until 1982.   At that time the only original items left of the house was the woodwork, a very rare Art Deco ceiling, the living room lights and a built in ironing board.  When the area people heard that the Historical Society was attempting to restore the home as accurately as possible; a Gone With The Wind Lamp that had been in the Wood's living room was returned to the house.  Then, Olive's sewing machine was found and also donated.  Marion woods gave detailed descriptions of every article in her partents home and where it belonged.  The Historical Society ladies let the public know they would take donations of antiques and other artifacts pertaining to the years 1910 to 1950.  Bit by bit they furnished the entire house to create a museum true to that era as per marion's recollection.  Each item added to the house was meticulously catalogued. Money was tight so the ladies baked, put on high teas, had garage sale, school tours and rented out the tea room for social events just to keep the museum open.   They did all the house work, yard work and maintenance to keep the house in order.

     Fast forward to 2018 and you will find soome of those wormen stlll involved in running of the museum.  Old age has taken some of the oiriginal members who have passed away or become disabled and can no longer serve.  Some still come and do their part by serving the community of Leduc and keeping the museum open by having volunteered their time and work for over 30 years.

     Why volunteer for over 30 years of your life?  My guess is that it was a labor of love and the joy of many solid friendships that arose from that mutual passion.  That and the satisfaction of a job well done.

                                                                                         Gail Van Staveren  August 2018



Summer???? What Summer

     The Russians describe their summers as nine months of anticipation with three months of disappointment.  This year I can certainly relate to that.. Raise your hand if you feel like we got short changed on Summer this year.  With that been said check our events page for our fall line up of events coming to the museum.

                                                                                             Gail Van Staveren  August 2018



Fresh paint Here

     Dr Wood's House Museum got an exterior facelift in the form of a fresh coat of paint this month..Danny of DBP Enterprises and his crew cleaned, scraped off old paint and then applied a coat of fresh white paint to the house's  previously painted areas. The porch landings and steps were repainted grey.  The shed also got spiffed up and sports a coat of cream paint trimmed in white.  The stucco is in need of repair and we are planning that next so the old house goes into winter as protected as we can get it.  This  old house is ninety years old.. I found some photos at the museum that Dr. Woods took of the building of his home.  Imagine my suprise to see all around the outward edge of the lawn but the tiny hedge plants that were planted at the same time as the house was built. This hedge around the museum is likely ninety years old too.

                                                                       Gail Van Staveren  August 2018



     To celebrate the warm weather  the ladies of the Historical Society put on their first High Tea of the season. On June 1st we served Flapper Pie and  either tea or coffee to 91 patrons in two and a half hours.  There was a charge of $5 for this event.  The beverage was served in traditional china cups and saucers.. Many folks came dressed for this event with hats.. The Flapper Pie was made by our crew of ladies - many who have been volunteering and cooking for the museum for up to 30 years.

     For two and a half days before the tea, in the tiny basement kitchen they worked to make 22 pies.  A Herculean undertaking.  The aroma wafts through the house and smells yummy.  The tables are set with lovely tablecloths, cream and sugar, tiny spoons and lovely flower arrangements from our own garden.  Tea and coffee was brewed, cream whipped and we were ready for our guests.

                                                                                                      Gail Van Staveren June 2018



Warm weather welcomed here

       This past winter seemed  like it was never going to end.  Then suddenly it went from  winter one day to summer the next.

       Just as we were settling into summer; spring sprang into life.  Actually it sprang several times before it settled down.  We kept wondering each day warm coat or not.  I think the garden at the museum felt the same way.

     Lucky for us the plants are mostly  Alberta hardy.  I saw them peek out of the ground then decide the coast was clear and overnight grow two or three inches. As keeper of the grounds this year I have had the pleasure of talking to  lots of folks passing by.  Many inquire about the museum and often I can direct them in to take a tour.

     Everyone is welcome and admission is by donation.  Our summer hours as of June 1st are Tuesday thru Sunday, 10:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.  After you tour that grand old house come stroll the gardens. Photos outside are allowed and welcome.

                                                                                                           Gail Van Staveren  May 2018



      We have two new additions to our Museum gardens this spring. In our front sidewalk arbour beds we installed two Lonicera "Dropmore Scarlet " (Honeysuckle). The beds on either side of the arbour were reshaped and new soil mixed with composted manure  added. The old arbour was cleaned and painted with paint donated by Benjamin Moore Leduc Wall Fashions.

     We chose the Dropmore Honeysuckle because it is purely Canadian and very hardy.  It was developed by Frank Skinner (1882-1967. Dr Skinner immigrated from Aberdeenshire Scotland in 1895 to Dropmore Manitoba.  As an adult he became a renouned plant breeder and Horticulturist. The University of Manitoba awarded him a Honorary Doctorate of Laws. In 1947 he established a nursery in Dropmore where he developed Canadian Roses, Flowering Crab, Pear, Lilac, Clematis and his acclaimed Scarlet Honeysuckle.  This Honeysuckle can be found all over North  America today.  Although the nursery is closed now, there remains the Frank Skinner Arboretum and Trail for the public to enjoy. 

     The scarlet blossoms of the Honeysuckle attract Hummingbirds and we hope that we will have these small visitors come to our Woods Museum Gardens.  Come visit yourself; sit, relax and enjoy this step back into history in the middle of the city.

                                                                                                          Gail Van Staveren April 2018