Brenda Manweiler

New Heritage Marker Unveiled in Big Valley

On Friday, August 1, 2014 another heritage maker was unveiled to join the family of over 70 provincial markers located throughout Alberta. Situated in Big Valley, the heritage marker profiles the early history and architectural significance of a prominent local landmark – the St. Edmund’s Anglican Church.

The unveiling of the St. Edmund’s heritage marker coincided with the Big Valley centennial and homecoming celebrations that took place August 1 – 3, 2014. L to R: Gail Knudson, Mayor of Big Valley; Asaph Johnson, Village Councillor; Brenda Manweiler, Historic Places Research and Designation; Lois Miller, Village Councillor and Director, Big Valley Historical Society; Trudy Spence, Secretary, Big Valley Historical Society

The unveiling of the St. Edmund’s heritage marker coincided with the Big Valley centennial and homecoming celebrations that took place August 1 – 3, 2014.
L to R: Gail Knudson, Mayor of Big Valley; Asaph Johnson, Village Councillor; Brenda Manweiler, Historic Places Research and Designation; Lois Miller, Village Councillor and Director, Big Valley Historical Society; Trudy Spence, Secretary, Big Valley Historical Society

St. Edmund’s, valued by residents of Big Valley as an important part of their heritage, was constructed in 1916 through local donations and a $500 contribution from English citizen Caroline Leffler. Leffler offered the donation to the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Calgary to establish a church in an area of his choice. Big Valley was selected and the church was constructed on the crest of the valley, visible from miles away. Still today, St. Edmund’s Anglican Church stands as a significant community landmark.

In 2002 St. Edmund’s was designated a Provincial Historic Resource for its associations with the town’s history as a railway boomtown and as a very good example of modest Gothic Revival architecture. St. Edmund’s was first painted blue in 1974 for Big Valley’s initial homecoming – 40 years ago!

The Big Valley Historical Society applied for the development of the heritage marker through the Alberta Heritage Markers Program, which is funded by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. Historical society members and local residents are excited about the heritage marker as it will help to celebrate the provincial significance of the church and increase awareness for this important historic place.

The Alberta Heritage Markers Program promotes greater awareness of the historic people, places, events, and themes that have defined the character of our province. The program brings Alberta’s dynamic history alive through heritage markers placed at roadside pullouts, within parks, and in other community locales.

St. Edmund's_FINAL

Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Manager of Historic Places Research and Designation

Spring is in the air! Have you started planning your summer vacation?

Historic Dunvegan 2013 Summer Events

Factor's House, Historic Dunvegan

Factor’s House, Historic Dunvegan

Last fall (2012), I had meetings with the Municipal District of Spirit River and also had the opportunity to visit Historic Dunvegan Provincial Park. What a beautiful place to explore! Located approximately one hour north of Grande Prairie and fifteen minutes south of Fairview, this park offers camping, a walking trail that meanders along the Peace River, a Provincial Historic Site and stunning views of the Dunvegan Bridge. With a Visitor Centre acting as a gateway to the Provincial Historic Site portion of the park (of which, portions are also designated as a Provincial Historic Resource) interpretive staff provide guided tours of the historic buildings. If you time your visit carefully, you might even get to experience one of their special events. See below for more information.

Interior, Factor's House, Historic Dunvegan. Do you remember hearing the saying “Sleep tight” when you were a child?  While it’s not known for sure, many believe that the saying originated with the use of rope beds such as this.  A person would have to tighten the ropes of the bed every so often, otherwise the ropes might loosen and cause the person to fall through to the floor in the middle of the night.  Possibly as a reminder to tighten the ropes, the saying: “Good night, sleep tight” came into being.

Factor’s House, Historic Dunvegan (Interior)  Do you remember hearing the saying “sleep tight” when you were a child? While it’s not known for sure, many believe that the saying originated with the use of rope beds such as this. A person would have to tighten the ropes of the bed every so often, otherwise the ropes might loosen and cause the person to fall through to the floor in the middle of the night. Possibly as a reminder to tighten the ropes, the saying: “Good night, sleep tight” came into being.

Historic Dunvegan is a significant part of Alberta’s heritage because of its connection to the operations of the North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company in the Peace River District, for being an example of early architecture in Alberta and for the archaeological resources located at the site. To learn more about the significance of Historic Dunvegan and its history, read its listing on the Alberta Register of Historic Places.

Historic buildings that you could tour when at Historic Dunvegan Provincial Park, include:

  • St. Charles Mission – The Rectory
  • St. Charles Mission – St. Charles Church
  • Factor’s House
  • Revillon Frères Store (opening July 1st)

Tours of these fully restored buildings are offered daily.

Open Hours: May 15-September 2, 2013 from 10am-5pm.

Regular admission prices: $3.00 for Adults; $2.00 for Seniors; $1.50 for Youth; Free for children 6 and under.

Attention educators and youth group leaders! Educational programs or tours can be booked anytime during the summer.

St. Charles Mission, Church and Rectory

St. Charles Mission, Church and Rectory

SPECIAL EVENTS

Canada DayMonday, July 1st, 11am-4pm. Celebrate a historical milestone at Historic Dunvegan by being part of the grand opening of a building originally constructed by the Revillon Frères free traders in 1909. Discover this significant chapter of Dunvegan’s story by exploring the building and hearing from many of the people who have helped bring it to life. The day’s festivities will also include a performance by Juno-nominated family entertainer Mary Lambert, tours of all historic buildings, games, cake and crafts.
Admission is half price!

Annual Fresh Air MarketSunday, August 4th, 11am-5pm. Experience the time-honoured tradition of trading and gathering at Historic Dunvegan’s Fresh Air Market. Shop for jewellery, gifts, and other treats – all handcrafted by artisans from the Peace Country. Costumed interpreters will be offering tours of Historic Dunvegan’s three fully restored historic buildings. Activities for the kids will be provided. Regular fees apply.

St. Charles Mission, Church, Interior

St. Charles Mission, Church (Interior)

LONG WEEKENDS

Amphitheatre Entertainment –Saturdays (May 18, June 29, August 3) at 2:00pm. Join the staff of Historic Dunvegan for a humorous and often interactive dramatic presentation. Participation by donation.

Sunday Funday – Sundays (May 19, June 30, September 1) at 2:00pm. Have some fun with our historical interpreters as they host games and activities. Participation by donation.

JULY AND AUGUST

Day Camps – Most Wednesdays in July and August, 11am-4pm. For kids aged 4-10. Have some fun in the sun, learn a new craft, play a fun game, watch movies and more! Fee: $10/child. Bring a bag lunch.

Tea Leaves & Bannock Sticks – Most Saturdays in July and August, 2pm-4pm. Learn to bake bannock (traditional Scottish/Aboriginal bread) and enjoy a cup of tea while visiting with friends, family and historic staff. Participation by donation.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Phone: 780-835-7150

Email: historic.dunvegan@gov.ab.ca

Historic Dunvegan website

Follow Historic Dunvegan on Facebook!

Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

(Special thanks goes out to Stephanie McLachlan, Program Coordinator at Historic Dunvegan Provincial Park, who supplied all the summer event information.)

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

Where in the world is …

Marlboro Plant, Marlboro (Evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

Marlboro Plant, Marlboro (evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

Marlboro? Wildwood?

Earlier this week I travelled to both Marlboro and Wildwood to attend municipal heritage inventory open houses. You might be scratching your head in confusion asking, “Where in Alberta are those communities located?” Both are located west of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway, in Yellowhead County. Marlboro is 26 kilometres west of Edson and Wildwood is approximately an hour’s drive west of Edmonton. Still not feeling overly familiar with Yellowhead County? A previous RETROactive blog post described the County and aspects of its history:

West of Edmonton, Yellowhead County is located along Yellowhead Highway 16. It encompasses 7,012,000 acres stretching from the Pembina River in the east to the Jasper National Park gates in the west. Travellers that frequent this section of the Yellowhead Highway are likely familiar with the Towns of Edson and Hinton and, of course, the iconic Rocky Mountains. What might be less familiar is that alongside these Highway 16 destinations and nestled off into the north and south of this transportation corridor are reminders of a long and varied history. Trapping, logging, farming, coal mining and more recently oil, gas and tourism have all impacted the development of what is now Yellowhead County. Various structures, cultural landscapes and buildings located in the hamlets of Evansburg, Wildwood, Robb, Cadomin and Brule (amongst others) retain glimpses of this diverse history. Miners cabins, ranches, hotels, industrial remains, barns, schools, churches, a pool hall and a water tower exemplify the range of potential historic places.

Brule Mine Landscape, Brule (Evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

Brule Mine Landscape, Brule (evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

The Marlboro and Wildwood open houses were opportunities for community residents to learn about the County’s inventory project. Twenty three different sites were featured (some of the sites are shown in this blog post). Their architectural, social, cultural, historical and/or landmark value was discussed. Attendees responded with enthusiasm and were full of questions about possible Municipal Historic Resource designation, the implications of designation and opportunities for conservation funding assistance. I responded to many of these questions by discussing “designation myths”. (Hmmm … perhaps a great topic for a future blog post?)

Over the coming months, this project will be concluded. To learn more about Yellowhead County’s heritage program, click here.

Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

Myschuk Barn, near Wildwood (Evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

Myschuk Barn, near Wildwood (evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

Cadomin Photo Studio, Cadomin (Evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

Cadomin Photo Studio, Cadomin (evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

Shinning Bank Farm (Evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

Shinning Bank Farm (evaluated as part of the the Yellowhead County Municipal Heritage inventory project).

“Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Ba!”

Heritage Advisory Bodies aren’t pep squads but they do need P.E.P!

Members of the Holden Heritage Resources Committee.

Members of the Holden Heritage Resources Committee (Municipal Heritage Forum 2011).

As a best practice, the Municipal Heritage Services Unit of Alberta Culture encourages municipalities that are developing local heritage conservation programs to establish a heritage advisory body. A heritage advisory body could be a board, commission or committee that advises Council on matters pertinent to the development and management of a local heritage program. Essentially, a heritage advisory body has the important job of providing public input and expertise to Council so that informed decisions about the municipality’s heritage will benefit current residents and future generations. Heritage advisory bodies can also play a key role in fostering community interest and support.

So what does pep have to do with heritage advisory bodies? Well, a quick search on Dictionary.com defines “pep” as being indicative of high spirits, energy, or vitality. While these are great traits for a municipal heritage advisory body, these groups should also possess another type of pep: Planning, Engagement and Partnerships.

Yellowhead County Heritage Advisory Board (2011)

Yellowhead County Heritage Advisory Board and municipal staff (2011).

Planning – A wise man once taught me: “Prior preparation and planning prevents poor performance.” This holds true for the development of local heritage conservation programs. For a municipality (and its heritage advisory body) to effectively manage historic resources it should learn about, understand and plan for the successful protection and conservation of significant places. A heritage advisory body, representing the broader community, plays a key role in planning projects that identify potential historic places, evaluating sites for heritage value and determining appropriate procedures and policies for managing an effective heritage program. The Municipal Heritage Partnership Program has a suite of cost-shared grants designed to assist with the completion of these projects.

Tour of historic places in the Village of Vilna (2002).

Tour of historic places in the Village of Vilna (2002).

Engagement – Why do we conserve heritage? Many answers come to mind but the most commonly referenced speaks of how present and future generations will benefit from improved community identity and a stronger sense of place. Ultimately, this reason transforms heritage conservation into something that is very people focused, as opposed to place specific. So, when planning don’t forget to engage the community benefiting from heritage conservation! Find ways for residents to participate and experience their heritage: organize heritage awareness special events; develop educational material so that people may learn about and take pride in their community’s unique heritage. Be creative in your approach and have fun! Heritage awareness or research grants offered through the Heritage Preservation Partnership Program may assist with these types of initiatives.

Vulcan Regional Heritage Project Steeering Committee - a collaboration between area municipalities (2011).

Vulcan Regional Heritage Project Steeering Committee – a collaboration between Vulcan County, Town of Vulcan and the villages of Carmangay, Champion and Milo (2011).

Partnerships – Heritage is holistic and so its conservation and celebration can’t be completed in isolation. As a result, heritage advisory bodies should engage and partner with other organizations – especially community organizations that are atypical. That local hockey association, tennis club, wilderness organization or theatrical society might very well be planning the perfect event that could support some heritage engagement objectives. The members of those same organizations might also provide a new perspective or highlight additional opportunities related to heritage conservation. I challenge you: find a listing of community organizations, select the one that seems least likely to have an interest in heritage conservation and try to collaborate on a mutually beneficial project. Through partnerships and collaborations, awareness and appreciation of heritage will surely increase.

This P.E.P. approach to heritage management will help ensure a collective community-driven attitude; a method that will strengthen and increase support and contribute to a community culture of conservation.

Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

Recent Addition to the Alberta Register of Historic Places

4664-0289_ExteriorA recent Municipal Historic Resource listed on the Alberta Register of Historic Places is Bremner House, located in rural Strathcona County. It is a large two and one half storey residence constructed in the early 1900’s. Heritage values associated with Bremner House include the aesthetic significance of the scale, style and location of the building as well as its representation of the cultural growth and development of Strathcona County during the first half of the 20th Century.

To read more about the significance of Bremner House, and to view additional photos, check out the listing on the Alberta Register of Historic Places.

Are you curious if places in your community are listed on the Alberta Register of Historic Places? Complete an Advanced Search by “municipality” and see what is found. Only sites formally designated as either Municipal Historic Resources, Provincial Historic Resources or Registered Historic Resources are listed on the Alberta Register of Historic Places.

Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

Accepting Applications: Premier’s Council on Culture

Premier's Council on Culture

As many of you may already know, on January 9, 2013, Minister of Culture Heather Klimchuk launched a recruitment process for members of the Premier’s Council on Culture. Members will represent the range of sectors responsible for cultural activities and experiences – the arts, heritage, multicultural and nonprofit/voluntary organizations, as well as creative and cultural industries, youth and corporate partners.

The Government of Alberta will be recruiting up to 20 new council members, who may serve terms of up to three years. The application period ends February 28, 2013. If you are interested in being a cultural leader for both your community and Alberta, apply on the Government of Alberta Jobs Website (Job ID# 1015041).

Additional Information

Renewed Premier’s Council to help build capacity in Alberta’s cultural sectors

Council Members, Premier’s Council on Culture, Government of Alberta

Culture Ads - Final_Page_2

Prepared by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer