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Big Valley Historical Society works to preserve the past

StettlerLocal.com June 1, 2022 @ 4:25pm

The Big Valley Historical Society is a nonprofit charitable society dedicated to the preservation and display of heritage buildings and artifacts from our small Village of Big Valley, Alberta and the local area. We would love to have you stop in for a visit. We have many historical displays and heritage sites to show you.

Our society is acquiring and restoring several older structures in our village. We own and maintain two Provincial Heritage sites: The 1916 St. Edmunds Anglican Church, more often referred to as the Blue Church, which is located on the West hill overlooking the village, where it was built over 100 years ago, and the 1960s Alberta Wheat Pool Elevator and Office, the last remaining in the village, which was saved by our society when it closed for business in 1997.

We have museum pieces on exhibit in several areas in the town, an archival collection of Big Valley historical documents and maps, and several history books for sale.

The main museum is the McAlister Motors Garage, one of the original 1930s garages in the village. The McAlister Garage is on Railway Avenue between the elevator and the train station, so it is easy to find. This is also where we house the vintage cars and household artifacts from residents in and around the Big Valley area.


On Railway Avenue, by the Canadian Northern Railway station, our society has two 1950s baggage cars with museum displays. The first car (north end) has artifacts from commercial businesses, schools, and local groups such as the Royal Canadian Legion and others formed in Big Valley. The second railcar has a collection of toys, model trains, and a large display of over 1500 salt and pepper shakers.


Our newest venture is the Vintage Tool Museum and Collectibles, where approximately 12000 tools are displayed with other collectibles, trucks, tractors and cars and a doll collection at 39 Railway Avenue.


The Big Valley Historical Society is holding its AGM on June 21st, 2022, in the Historical Train Station on Railway Ave. in Big Valley at 7 pm.


Due to circumstances (age, lack of community interest, etc.), our society only has a few people. We are in dire need of new and innovative members who might be willing to take on the society’s executive positions. We also need volunteers during the Alberta Prairie Train visits and visits from our local tourists.


The current Board and the few members have been busy during Covid - cleaning, cataloguing, and updating displays and the look of our venues.


However, we just don’t seem to create enough interest from villagers to be able to find staff or enough volunteers. For this reason, we are currently open by appointment only by calling 403- 876-2571.


Submitted by Trudy Spence, Secretary for the Big Valley Historical Society

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