Jun 4, 2012

Cypress Club of Medicine Hat

The Cypress Club is a private members organization located in downtown Medicine Hat. Established in 1903, the club became a meeting place for prominent local businessmen and politicians to discuss issues of the day.  After over a century the Cypress Club is still in operation, and remains in the building that they had built in 1907.

cypress club medicine hat alberta

cypress club medicine hat albertaOne interesting story surrounding the club goes back to 1910 when a debate arose in the community about renaming Medicine Hat.  Some felt that the name was too peculiar, too Indian, and simply wasn't refined enough for the booming town.  Club members had grown accustomed to the name however, and in an effort to draw up support for keeping it, wrote to famed author Rudyard Kipling who had visited the city during his cross country journeys in 1892 and again in 1907.  Despite his prominence and schedule, Kipling weighed in with a lengthy letter, sharing his firm opinion on the matter:  

To my mind, the name of Medicine Hat echoes the old Cree and Blackfoot tradition of red mystery and romance that once filled the prairies. Also it hints at the magic that underlies the city in the shape of your natural gas. Believe me, the very name is an asset, and as years go on will become more and more of an asset. It has no duplicate in the world; it makes men ask questions; and as I knew more than twenty years ago, draws the feet of the young towards it; it has the qualities of uniqueness, individuality, assertion and power. Above all, it is the lawful, original, sweat-and-dust-won name of the city and to change it would be to risk the luck of the city, to disgust and dishearten old-timers, not in the city alone, but the world over, and to advertise abroad the city’s lack of faith in itself.

His final sentence was particularly biting, stating, "What then should a city be re-christened that has sold its name? - Judasville".

In the end, Medicine Hat kept its name.  


Have a look inside the Cypress Club here.

cypress club medicine hat alberta
cypress club medicine hat alberta
cypress club medicine hat alberta
Cypress Club ca. 1913

cypress club medicine hat alberta

cypress club medicine hat alberta
cypress club medicine hat alberta

cypress club medicine hat alberta
cypress club medicine hat alberta



cypress club medicine hat alberta


cypress club medicine hat alberta



cypress club medicine hat alberta
cypress club medicine hat alberta


cypress club medicine hat alberta

cypress club medicine hat alberta

6th Ave. in the late sixties.  The Cypress Club is in the middle.

cypress club medicine hat alberta

1 comment :

Kim said...

I wonder where all those old buses are today?! I remember riding them with my Grandma.