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Merchant Exchange

Acrylic, mixed media and ink on birch cradleboard

24″ x 18″

The Cypress Club was organized in 1903 as a social club for gentlemen in Medicine Hat. It was a supply stop for ranchers to replenish goods on their trips to Medicine Hat. It started with 26 businessmen mainly from the downtown core. It’s purpose was to serve as a social setting for both ranchers and businessmen.

It’s low profile exterior and latticework doors have been a land marker of prosperity and privacy in Medicine Hat’s downtown core.

The building itself was erected in this location in 1907 and was designed by architect William T. William.
My first experience with the inside of the Cypress Club was when I was interviewed in 1986 for the Rotary Exchange program. The Rotarians used the club as a meeting place and rented the “Poker Room” on the second floor. It was a little overwhelming. I had walked by the building many times on the way to Eatons and had not known what lay behind the doors. My mom and I stepped off the bus on Sixth Avenue and we entered the latticed front doors. I was pleasantly surprised and bewildered to have a sneak peek of the private building. I’m not sure….but I remember having the impression that women were not overly welcome even in the 1980’s. My mom had to sit by the front door while I was being interviewed.

Historical Information courtesy of the Esplanade Archives

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