The Mayor's Chair

The Intriguing Story

Rather unbelievable but true! An ornate chair that had been a gift to Yorkton Mayor James E. Peaker from the Town council after his term of office in 1919, was once upon a time being carted off to an Ontario garbage dump.

As the story goes, upon the death of James Peaker in 1931, the chair was inherited by his son Larry in Ontario. After he died, the chair was rescued by Edward Harding of Leaside, when he observed it being hauled off to the dump. Harding moved around five different communities in Ontario over a period of 20 some years, never parting with the chair. In 1964, he offered to give it to the town of Leaside, likely because at one time – very long ago, the area used to be called "Yorkton."

The Toronto Daily Star thought this was a worthwhile story and wrote:

Leaside Town council was delighted, but when the chair arrived they noticed an intriguing plaque on its high back. It read: "Presented to James E. Peaker, Esquire, Mayor 1917, 1918, 1919, by the council of the Town of Yorkton."

Someone wrote to the City of Yorkton, Saskatchewan and it was revealed that Mr. Peaker’s daughter, Mrs. E.A. Crosthwaite, still lived here and wanted the chair back. It was soon being shipped back west.

Mrs. Crosthwaite believed the best place for the chair was at City Hall. On October 5, 1967, she officially presented it to Mayor W. E. Fichtner, who accepted it on behalf of the City of Yorkton.

This ornate high back oak chair can be viewed in the foyer of the main floor at City Hall, 37 - Third Avenue North.

 

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