Magrath Museum  


Guided Tour Parking Research Facility/Library Washrooms Wheelchair

Magrath MuseumIn the late 1890s, Dorothy Ann Dudley, a skilled milliner and dress-maker, lived with her husband, Charles, in Utah. Because of their successful experience in using irrigation, Mormon workers from Utah were being recruited to build the irrigation canals just north of the border and develop a settlement in Magrath. Charles convinced Dorothy to make the move and Charles came first in 1899. Labourers were challenged to dig a onemile section of the canal with an opportunity to buy 160 acres of land at $3 per acre. $1.50 in cash and $1.50 towards land. It took Charles three years to dig his portion of the canal and he was able to buy 200 acres in his contract. Before that was completed, the Dudley’s first home was a 400-square-foot dwelling dug into the bank of the Pothole Creek — not a lot of space for a family of eleven. But Dorothy managed to dedicate a corner to her sewing craft, ensuring a place for her three-way mirror for customers to try on their garments and see how they fit.

Magrath MuseumOne eventful day, while the family was away to church, some of the younger boys left the door unlatched and it blew wide open. As luck would have it, a big horned ram had escaped from a neighbour’s pen. Through the open door, he saw his reflection in the mirror. Without hesitation, he lowered his head and attacked the image of the other handsome buck, smashing the glass and making a substantial mess. From that day on, Dorothy always ensured the door was closed tightly. The good neighbours were never told of the loss until sixty years later, when the incident was told at a family gathering and now has become a cherished story.

Magrath Museum

Although Dorothy’s original mirror was destroyed in the sheep rampage, a similar artifact is part of the collections at the Magrath Museum. The Dudley family was one of the first to settle in Magrath.

The extensive history of Magrath, a town built as a utopian garden city using the specific colonizing plan of Mormon communities, can be explored in the permanent collections of the Magrath Museum. The visual exhibits depict the life of pioneers, early businesses, and the pivotal role the tithing office and trading company played in the community’s commercial and cultural development.

Permanent Collections

• Early pioneers, including oral histories of original familiesMagrath Museum
• Magrath Trading Company
• Store News (news database dating back to 1934)
• Tithing office
• Historical businesses (woollen mill, canning factory)
• Military
• Hospital/Dental/Pharmacitical Display
• School room
• Extensive tool display
• Nature and Native aboriginal display

Magrath Museum