For the past 10 years, a large collection of artifacts from Agassiz’s farming and forestry history was under lock and key, tucked away in storage.
Milk cans, fire hoses, farming tools, carts and more weren’t able to make the move from the old museum at the research station, the newer site on Pioneer Avenue. So they stayed there, all but forgotten. Now, thanks to a grant from Farm Credit Canada’s AgriSpirit program, these historic artifacts have a new home.
The Agassiz-Harrison Museum officially opened its new “barn” on Tuesday afternoon, giving thanks to the many people and businesses that helped make the building a reality. A select few people gathered inside the new building, getting a close up look at the pieces that have been out of view so long.
The barn will serve as an on-site storage, but viewing windows will be opened during business hours, to allow the public to have a sneak peek back on the past.
“This all used to be housed in a gazebo at the research station,” Judy Pickard says, looking around the barn on Tuesday.
Even some of the materials used to build the barn have a bit of history. The smaller windows on the building came from the Valdoorn farm, and the large barn doors that can be seen on the back wall came from the Hatt farm, which was previously the McRae farm.
Former mayor Wes Johnson was on hand for the opening, along with current mayor John Van Laerhoven. He told Pickard after the ceremony that it was he who built those barn doors, many years ago.
The wood used on the outside of the building was donated by Hank and Elma Lanting, and the forms were donated by Spaeti Construction. Many local businesses provided supplies for the construction, including Peters Electric, Kent Building Supplies, Watkins Sawmill,Steve Dargatz Glass and Door, Canex, Agassiz Ready Mix, Twin Cedar Roofing, Pioneer Timbr Mart and Doall Contracting.
The building wouldn’t have been possible without the community pitching in to help, Pickard said. And all of those involved were invited to the museum on Tuesday, where a table filled with homemade pie was waiting for them.
“I’m really proud of what we have here,” Pickard said.
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