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January 2017 medicine bottle artifactWinter is cold season and we’ve had a fair amount of colds and flu circulating about the museum. With many of us visiting drug stores to get something to relieve our symptoms, a medicine bottle seemed to be an appropriate artifact to choose for the first month of 2017.

Medicine bottles can be very interesting artifacts as they have names on them. This bottle dates to the 1940’s and once contained vitamins. They were prescribed by Dr. Carlisle to C. Stewart, who acquired them at C.G. Butchart’s Drug Store here in Grande Prairie. With each name comes a story.

Dr. Andrew Murray Carlisle was born in Peterborough, Ontario in 1896. He began his medical schooling in 1913 and spent three years on the front lines in France during World War One. With the help of his brothers, he finished his schooling and settled at Lake Saskatoon. He treated settler and native alike, often not being paid in money but in-kind. He saw the need for dentistry in the area and learned basic skills. A prestigious internship with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto took him away for a few years. On his return, he located in Wembley and added a baby clinic to his practice. In 1936, he moved to Grande Prairie, retired in 1957 and passed away in 1981.

Charles Henry Stewart settled in Bezanson on November, 1913. He and his wife came by sleigh on the trail from Edson which took 21 days. Charles was born in Sombre, Ontario in 1892 and actually followed his parents to the Peace Country. They had arrived a year earlier and filed Charles’ homestead by proxy. Previously in 1912, Charles and his Dad had homesteaded in Edgerton and Wainwright but saw more future in the good soil of the Peace. Charles did janitorial work at the Bezanson School and was well remembered by the students. Most rode by horseback in the winter and Charles would help them tie up their horses when their hands were too cold. Charles and his wife, Lottie Thomas, had four children: two boys and two girls. The younger boy, born in 1925, was also named Charles, so perhaps there is a chance that this bottle is for him and not his Father.

Clayton G. Butchart was a long time druggist in Grande Prairie. He practiced from 1919 to 1957. A native of Bruce County, Ontario, he had come out to Edmonton in 1905, but returned east to attend the College of Pharmacy in Toronto. After graduating in 1915, he went to France to fight in the War. He was wounded, discharged and came directly to Grande Prairie. He died in 1957, only three months into his retirement at White Rock, B.C.
Even an unpretentious old bottle can have a thousand stories wrapped around it if you know where to look!

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Last updated: 2/20/2018 2:17:55 PM