one day Nick went to see a carnival and became interested in
some of the rides. He got to thinking, why not build a ride
and take it on the road with the shows. The idea went into
full gear in the early forties and such was the beginning of
the first Ukrainian owned travelling midway. It started with
a simple Aeroplane Ride and a small trailer to sell potato
chips. But the main attraction was the large tent where he
displayed a freak of nature, a stuffed two-headed calf and a
wax reproduction of the man who shot President Lincoln.
During this time he subscribed to a midway magazine called
The Billboard, and came across the Schmidgall Museum up for
sale in Peoria Ill. Nick purchased all of the freaks, but
the purchase caused some problems. It took a lot of elbow
grease and time to set up the tent in every town. And so
Nick designed and Built a 32 foot long walk through trailer.
The freaks were thus permanently displayed and it eliminated
unnecessary handling. This was the largest freak exhibit of
The profit earned during the summer tours was turned back,
each year, into the midway. Eventually the midway consisted
of 5 major rides all constructed by Nick and the Family.
Nicks ability to attack an idea from every angle, helped in
creating some of the most important innovations in Carnival
history. Today we look at the merry-go-round and take for
granted that it has always been as it is today. This is not
so, back in the early 20th century the Merry-go-Round was
simply wooden horses and loveseats that went in a continuous
circle... but Nicks love for equestrian riding got him to
thinking there was something lacking. So he created the
mechanism that made the horses move up and down which was
the advent of the bobbing horse merry-go-round.
All Ferris Wheels in the past were made of wood and built
upright. The problem with this was travelling through the
Prairie Provinces was that the wind would pick up and blow
them over, splintering them into irreparable piles of
rubble. Nick designed a 45-foot Ferris Wheel on a trailer
base made of steel. That could be folded in half and this
brought on the advent of trailer based rides.
One of Nick's most famous contributions to carnival history
was the invention of the teacup ride as seen in Disneyland.
rides also came live exotic animal shows. Lewchuk's Midway
and Shows carried a great monkey act called, Monkey
Business! Monkey Shines!, where the monkeys were dressed and
acted like humans. There were dancing bears, learned Goats
[an act to which the goat could do math by the clomping of
its hoof, coinciding with numeric equations], trained dogs,
horses, and even wild bores!
And of course there were the big cats, a Lynx, and Ocelot,
and the majestic Lions. Over the years many side show acts
worked on Professor Lewchuk's Midway and Shows, some of
these included Hollywood film star JJ Dalke and his trained
dogs, also R. Stoneman's Trained animal acts featuring
"Sparky" [trained wonder horse] and "Billy" [trick goat].
And throughout all of this Nick created and performed a new
two and a half hour show yearly.
In 1959, there was even a royal visit by Queen Elizabeth and
Prince Philip at the midway! As time wore on Nick decided to
slow down and ended up opening a stationary tourist
attraction on June 5th, 1963 in Canora Sask. it was simply
called the "Fun Spot". This soon would become the end to his
travelling completely as his wife of 52 years, Anastasia,
passed away in 1968, and a major point of strength and
support had left his life.
wasn't until the fall of 1979 at the age of 83, that Nick
would become ambitious again. During this time the question
of a tourist attraction arose and after some discussion by
the Canora Chamber of Commerce, a motion was passed to ask
the public to come up with submissions for an idea for a
Canora Attraction. Once again the enigmatic wheels in
Lewcuks head began to turn and after a few night of insomnia
Nick came up with a great idea. He could build a 25 foot
sculpture of a woman in traditional Ukrainian costume
holding a tray with a vial of salt and kolach [a braided
Ukrainian bread] which is a customary method of greeting
used by Slavics around the world.
The statue was to be called Lesia, in memory of a famous
female icon from the Ukraine's past. The Chamber of Commerce
loved the idea and plans were set into motion immediately to
begin construction. On a rainy day on September 3rd 1980 at
2pm Governor General Edward Schreyer performed the Official
unveiling ceremony. The statue can still be seen as you
July 26 1989, in midsummer, Nicholas Paul Lewchuk passed
away. April 30, 1896 - July 26 1989.
The history of Scott McClelland is slowly being
written...until the full story is compiled we are proud
to present a NEW article that was showcased on 'Sideshow
World' in the month of March 2004. This interview is a
good retrospect of Scott's career...but there is more to
The interview was conducted by Derek Rose...and it is
the most in depth interview of Scott's career to date.