Hospitality in High River

Bob Gaetz (AHRF board member) and Fred Bradley (AHRF Chair) check out a display at the Museum of the Highwood.

L-R: Bob Gaetz (AHRF board member) and Fred Bradley (AHRF Chair) check out a display at the Museum of the Highwood.

Four times a year the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF) board meets in different municipalities throughout Alberta and takes the opportunity to experience aspects of that community’s history and heritage. On February 22nd and 23rd the board had its first 2013 meeting in the Town of High River. Visits to two different museums highlighted different aspects of High River’s local heritage.

A display at the Museum of the Highwood showcases the fire that caused significant damage.

A display at the Museum of the Highwood showcases the fire that caused significant damage.

At the Canadian Pacific Railway Station, a Provincial Historic Resource and home of the Museum of the Highwood, board members received a tour by Pat Markley and visited with members of the Museum’s board and also Town of High River staff and Heritage Advisory Board members. In 2010 a fire caused significant damage to the building. With Historic Resource Conservation funding assistance from the Heritage Preservation Partnership Program the railway station is now better than ever! At the 2012 AHRF Heritage Awards the Town of High River was celebrated for its successful conservation of the fire ravaged building.

AHRF board members and Town staff entering the Sheppard/Maccoy House

AHRF board members and Town staff entering the Sheppard/Maccoy House

AHRF board members also visited the Sheppard/Maccoy House, a one-storey, white-washed log house that was formally protected as a Municipal Historic Resource by the Town of High River in 2009, and is a central component of the Sheppard Family Park. The house is valued for its association with early settlement in the area and for its association with Ruth Maccoy, a resident of the house for seventy years whose, “baking and hospitality were renowned – the front steps of the cabin [are] worn with the footprints of the countless people who entered.” While at the Sheppard Family Park AHRF board members were treated to tea and scones at the MacDougall House – a tasty treat enjoyed by all!

Enjoying tea and scones! (L-R: Leah Millar, AHRF board member; Larry Pearson, Director of Historic Places Stewardship Section; and Tom Clark, AHRF board member)

Enjoying tea and scones! (L-R: Leah Millar, AHRF board member; Larry Pearson, Director of Historic Places Stewardship Section; and Tom Clark, AHRF board member)

A big thank you to both sites for hosting the board and for sharing aspects of High River’s heritage; the board appreciated the opportunity.

Future 2013 AHRF meetings will include visits to the City of Lacombe, the hamlet of Nordegg (in Clearwater County), and the City of St. Albert.

Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

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