Clinton Museum receives Archie and Dorothy McLaughlin Fund
Archie and Dorothy (nee Elliot) McLaughlin moved to Clinton in 1950 and established a four car taxi service in the village. Few owned cars in those days and the taxi provided a valuable service to surrounding ranches and mills. The business was sold to Peggy Oats in 1955.
Both Archie and Dorothy were very active within their community.
For many years Dorothy was the secretary and activity coordinator for the Clinton and District Agricultural Society (the organization responsible for the maintenance and operation of the Memorial Hall until it was taken over by the Village) and secretary for the local Legion branch. She was also the Clinton reporter for the Ashcroft Journal, Clinton Cache Creek Pioneer and the 100 Mile Free Press. Much of the documented history of the Clinton Annual Ball and stories of pioneering local families was compiled by her as a supplement to the local paper. An active member of the OORP she was a consistent fund raiser for many charities. Dorothy McLaughlin was selected as Citizen of the year in 1987. As Helen Cade remembers, Dorothy wrote a lot about others but very little was written about her.
Archie volunteered in the Elks (BPOE), the local Legion Branch 194, the Annual Ball and Rodeo weekend and other community events.
He was a School Trustee for School District 30 for many years in the 60s and 70s and a member of the board of Cariboo College, the predecessor of Thompson Rivers University (TRU). In 2009, The Archie McLaughlin Memorial Bursary was established to recognize his service with the college. The Bursary is awarded annually to a student from School District 74 who has completed at least one year at TRU and is continuing studies there.
In 2021, the South Cariboo Historical Society (Clinton Museum) received the Archie and Dorothy McLaughlin Memorial Fund held at the BC Interior Community Foundation.
The donation of $2500 will be used by Museum Volunteers to preserve the Clinton Hotel Model and establish a mobile display. Thank you to the Clinton Senior Citizen’s Home Society, Legion Branch 194, New Pathways to Gold, and The Village of Clinton for their support of our application.
It was BC’s oldest continually operating hotel when it burned in 1958
Built in 1862, the Clinton Hotel was one of the most venerable and significant buildings in the BC Interior. There is a detailed history of it in Branwen Patenaude's Trails to Gold. Erected by Watson and Co., it had a large bar room, a private sitting room, bedrooms with "Pulu" mattresses, free bunks for those who brought their own blankets and good food. It survived for almost a century, its billiard room becoming the scene of the annual ball. Ironically, it was after the ball in May, 1958 -- the province's centennial-- that the hotel caught fire. All the guests got out except for a couple and their child who, although awakened by the manager, went back to sleep and were killed in the blaze.
The wooden replica of the Hotel was built in the 1960’s by H.G. Shaler to 1/8th scale and donated to the Village of Clinton by the Chevron Gas Company after the fire.
Initially displayed on the site of the original Clinton Hotel, the model was moved to the Clinton Museum in 2000. Shortly after the suffering some damage from young vandals, the model was moved into storage where it remained until 2018, when the center section was placed on the Museum float in the Annual Clinton Parade.
Viewed for just one day in the Parade, the model once again became an object of interest and concern to the community at large.
Currently in need of repair and too fragile to be exposed to the elements, with its original housing gone, this wonderful piece of historical craftsmanship now languishes in a shed behind the Museum.
With the funding from the Archie and Dorothy Memorial Fund, the Clinton Museum volunteer committee will be able construct a clear sided, movable display in which this large, 10ft x 16ft item can be safely viewed
Displaying the model will support the underlying community values of history preservation and tourism. Clinton’s history and culture is a huge part of our community. By preserving and displaying this important model of the famous Clinton Hotel, it contributes to telling the Clinton Story and preserves an important part of our history. For tourism, this will add another historical attraction component to Clinton’s “where history meets adventure” direction.
Senior museum member and long-time resident Helen Cade is assembling a record of Clinton’s Citizen of the Year Award for the Clinton Museum. Helen’s current project is in the working stage and she wishes to create an accurate record of the award, and a true account of people she has known here. This award started in 1972 and the intervening years have seen a lot of change.
Helen herself arrived here in 1952 from Ashcroft as a young teacher to marry rancher Charles Dougherty. Later she married Bud Cade.
Among many other details, she can remember when Clinton hosted three hotels including the original Cariboo Lodge, the Frontier Hotel and the famous Clinton Hotel. Each was destroyed by fire. (A mobile display for the model of the Clinton Hotel is currently underway by Museum volunteers with funding from the Archie and Dorothy McLaughlin Memorial Fund administered by the BC Interior Community Foundation).
Helen has been welcoming visitors and new volunteers with her warm and gracious presence at the museum for many years along with polishing the silver on our annual Museum clean-up days.
With this project, Helen hopes to preserve some of the history that individual citizen’s have made to our Village over the past 50 years.
Clinton Museum volunteers have been busy revamping the Fire Arms display and updating the research and history on individual pieces. The secure exhibit contains deactivated examples from an era when guns were just another useful tool rather then the weapons of harm that Hollywood portrays them as.
Back in the day most Clinton household members were proficient in the safe handling, use and care of such helpful items. Explorers, prospectors and homesteaders throughout Canada relied on fire arms for procurement of meat and protection from predatory wildlife. In the museum collection are original bullet moulds, powder flasks, reloading equipment, a muzzle loader as well as hexagonal and octagonal barrelled beauties some of which exhibit such fine craftsmanship and engraving as to render them works of art.
We invite you to come and view these and other wonders when the museum is open.
Are you interested in the families and history of our area? Do you enjoy working with a team of like minded individuals in an accepting and inclusive atmosphere? If so, consider applying for summer employment at the Clinton Museum.
Canadian Citizens between the ages of 15 and 30 years will be eligible to apply. If you are a Permanent Resident or a person on whom Refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Act, you are also eligible to apply.
With funding from Canada Summer Jobs, the South Caribioo Historical Museum Society plans to hire personnel to fill the positions of Cataloguer, Archive Assistant and Museum Technician. In order to understand cataloguing, artifact handling and artifact preservation, employees will initially work with a mentor and have written protocols to follow adhering to Workplace Safety and Copvid-19 practices.
As more information becomes available, it will be posted on the Clinton Museum website www.clintonmuseumbc.org or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch for future submissions in the Lariat and other local advertising. Messages will be answered if you call the museum at 250-459-2442.