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Calling the Poker Table

$832.00

Acrylic and mixed media on birch cradleboard

16 x 20″

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 twenty-six businessmen mainly from the downtown core. Its purpose was to serve as a social setting for both ranchers and businessmen.

Its low profile exterior and latticework doors have been a landmark 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 Eaton’s 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 next to the entrance doors while I was being interviewed.

All I recall from the interview, there was only one, lone single bulb slightly swinging from the ceiling. It was the only light source in the room.

Historical Information courtesy of the Esplanade Archives
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Dimensions 16 x 20 in