Hasulak’s Photography: Documenting Lethbridge’s History

The Gurney Museum, operated in Galt Gardens by Water and Edith Gurney from 1944–1961. Photograph taken by William Hasulak and now stored in the Galt Museum & Archives.   Photograph courtesy the Galt Museum & Archives:  201810350724

The Gurney Museum, operated in Galt Gardens by Water and Edith Gurney from 1944–1961. Photograph taken by William Hasulak and now stored in the Galt Museum & Archives.

Photograph courtesy the Galt Museum & Archives: 201810350724

William Hasulak was an amateur photographer who lived in Lethbridge his entire life. He often travelled throughout North America, taking photographs of every place he visited. He worked for Eaton's and retired in 1987. Yet, his true passions were photography, the outdoors and the City of Lethbridge. After his passing in 1990, the majority of Hasulak’s collection was found by chance in the basement of the Lethbridge Christian Tabernacle. The collection consists of black and white photographs and colour slides. They were donated to the Galt Museum & Archives in stages by Ted Likuski and Barb Roycroft.

Hasulak documented the City of Lethbridge from 1950 to 1990. Hasulak's photographs showcase what our city has to offer. Over the course of 40 years, he captured the changes that Lethbridge experienced. From the Centennial celebration in Brewery Gardens to the first snowfall at Henderson Lake, Hasulak’s photographs mapped out the city’s history.

With his attention to detail, his collection tells the story of the community. The collection shows how Lethbridge transformed over 40 years. It highlights how the citizens of Lethbridge have embraced our home. A great example of how this collection tracks changes to Lethbridge over time is through Hasulak’s photos of the Gurney Museum, which opened in 1944. Walter and Edith Gurney ran the museum in Galt Gardens for 17 years. The museum closed in 1961 and the building was demolished. Hasulak documented changes like this throughout his collection. His photography focused on the physical changes to the city including the development of the Westside. Looking through his camera, he was able to document the mundane aspects of Lethbridge over the course of 40 years. This collection provides the Galt Museum & Archives with an invaluable map of the city’s history.

Hasulak’s photographs reveal the forgotten changes that happened throughout the city over four decades. If you are a photographer in southern Alberta and would like to donate your photography collection to the Galt, you can contact our Archivist Andrew Chernevych at archives@galtmuseum.com. You can discover Lethbridge’s history through the lens of Hasulak online at www.galtmuseum.com/research.