Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Elevating the Past

Summer is on its way; the grass is growing like mad and needs mowing every other day; Canadians can engage in their second favourite pass time, (behind watching hockey)  organising and attending garage sales;
Garage sale heaven!
and its opening time for many tourist attractions.

Is it against the grain to have a museum in here?
One museum we were looking forward to checking out is the "Climb thru Time - Elevator Museum" in Paradise Valley.

 As we climbed the inside of the iconic Canadian grain silo we investigated 55 historical exhibits - from a Sod house to a Salt & Pepper shaker collection - the journey through time was fascinating.
In addition to appreciating the past we really had the sense of civic pride as all the exhibits had been  compiled by  volunteers from the small local community.

"Are you being served?"

What's my classroom doing in the museum?
This sporting moment bought to you by "Kellogs".

How to get ahead in the museum world.
Another visit high on our list was the 1885 trail.
Frog Lake was the location of the murder of two priests and seven residents by 'Big Bear's Band" in April 1885. The large headstone marks the grave of Constable Cowan of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP).
Frog Lake National Historic Site
Indians of Big Bear's Band moved to Fort Pitt after the Frog Lake Massacre.  Inspector Francis Dickens, son of Charles Dickens, and a small force of NWMP were unable to defend the fort but were allowed to leave in a boat on the North Saskatchewan river. Left behind were 70 hostages.
The history lessons continues.

An area at Fort Pitt commemorating lives lost

By late May the Indians (with all hostages) were ready for a battle at Frenchman Butte with the militia led by General Strange.
Location of the Indian rifle pits

Plaque and cairn commemorating the battle of May 28, 1885.
The decisive battle of the North West uprising was at Steele Narrows (see April 3 blog post) .  All 70 hostages were released unharmed after two months with Big Bears Band.

It was an insightful day investigating this fascinating period in North West Candian history.

Another historical feature we also passed on our travels was a large water tower, pivotal for the success of the rail roads in the area.
World biggest Water Closet!
Just for something different, whilst in the area we stopped off at Whitney Lakes Provincial Park for a delicious picnic at the beach.
Beautiful Whitney Lake with equally beautiful scenery.
So much to see and do - we can see why the locals pack so much in during the warmer months.

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