The Waskesiu Heritage Museum are asking the public for help in the backstory about one of their recently acquired artifacts.
A Cowichan wool sweater came to the facility from a second hand store in Kamloops, B.C., which features a design of the Lobstick tree that stood on the first fairway at the Waskesiu Golf Course and currently serves as the course’s logo.
“A local resident brought it to my attention and we were able to get in touch with the person that was selling it,” said Chris Arnstead, who is a volunteer with the museum and is also part of the board of directors.
“It’s just so unique to Waskesiu. The Lobstick tree is so iconic and it means so much to people that come up here, especially with the tournaments that are held at the course each year.”
One of the unique aspects of the sweater is that the year 1958 is knitted into the front and back, while Lobstick goes down the left arm and Waskesiu goes down the right arm.
“1958 was the year that Princess Margaret (who was the youngest daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, in addition to being the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II) visited Waskesiu, so there’s speculation that it could have been made for her and her entourage,” Arnstead said.
“We’ve also heard that it could be connected to the person who won the Lobstick tournament that year. It could have been a prize for the champion or it could have been knitted by someone to celebrate the victory.”
Cowichan sweaters, which come from a form of knitting done by the Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island, are heavy-knit and have distinctive patterns that are done by the individual who made them.
They were first introduced to Waskesiu during the 1930’s by local businesses.
“They were so warm and they were water proof, which made them great for men who were fishing and hunting,” Arnstead said. “They became so popular that people in Prince Albert started to make their own designs and you saw many of them in curling rinks during the 1950’s.”
Since the Waskesiu Heritage Museum posted the photo on their Facebook page on Sunday afternoon, it had been shared 535 times in a little over 24 hours.
“The Waskesiu Golf Course also does a great job of keeping track of their history and I know that they’ve been getting in touch with their contacts across Canada and the United States to find more information about the winner of the tournament that year,” Arnstead said.
“Word has spread pretty quickly and we’re really thankful with the help we’ve received so far. It would be lovely to find out who wore it and how it ended up out in British Columbia.”
Anyone with information on the sweater can contact the museum via email at email@example.com.