Fonds MJ-047 - Moose Jaw Wild Animal Park fonds

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Moose Jaw Wild Animal Park fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Object

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Title notes

  • Variations in title: Animal Park Society

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

MJ-047

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1929-1975 (Creation)
    Creation
    Moose Jaw Wild Animal Park

Physical description area

Physical description

28 cm of textual records.
6 b&w photographs.
4 objects.

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1928-1995)

Administrative history

The Moose Jaw Wild Animal Park Society was formed in 1928 following two years of promotion of the subject by Frank McRitchie, a Moose Jaw real estate agent. John R. Green allowed the use of several hundred acres of his property along the Moose Jaw River south of the City.
The park was officially opened on May 25, 1929, with events on the previous day as well. As it had not been officially named, it was called Chief Sitting Bull Park at the time of the opening but this was later dropped and was simply referred to as the Moose Jaw Wild Animal Park.
A number of native and non-native animals were imported and displayed including bison, bears, wolves and a variety of North American fowl. As time went on, more exotic animals were purchased including lions and a hippo which was injured in transport to Moose Jaw and had to be euthanized en route.
Breeding programs with wild turkey and pheasant are greatly responsible for the current populations of these species in Saskatchewan.
The park was owned/operated by several different groups:
From 1929 to 1958 it was operated by a volunteer group but by the 1950's it was felt that the group was too small to handle the operation and some of the service organizations were asked to get involved.
In 1958, operation of the park was taken over by a committee of the Moose Jaw Lions Club.
It was taken over by the provincial government ca. 1965 and operated as a regional park until 1987 when it was privatized by the Devine government.
It was operated by several private owners until 1994 when it was purchased by Dr. You Seuk Sung. He was unable to arrange liability insurance and the park was closed to the public in September 1995. Litigation followed over ownership and the length of time that Dr. Sung had been allowed to pursue insurance.
A Moose Jaw Wildlife Park Society was active in 2001, primarily to explore future use of the park lands.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists of minutes, correspondence, leases, permits and materials relating to the history of the Moose Jaw Wild Animal Park.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Accession number 47.BA - donor unknown.

Accession 55.2017 was donated to the archives by V. Leone Townend on April 23, 2014.

Arrangement

From formation to closure, the park went through a number of owners/operators. Some of these files overlap in date, content and creator so they have been arranged in series to broadly reflect the different periods of administration. The divisions are not always distinct.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Finding aids

Finding aids and file list available. See attached finding aid.

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Accruals

No further accruals expected.

Conservation

This fonds was re boxed and foldered in 2004.

Location note

Boxes V-46 - V-47, H-37, OS-8, A-1

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