Museum Musings : Class Dismissed

This week has been jam-packed with treasure hunts, tea, and tours!

On August 1st, we filled the museum lobby with people for our Tea in the Ranch House.  Ruth Karg, our archivist, presented stories about the hardships and rewards experienced by the first doctor in the Handhills area. Afterwards, everybody enjoyed some homemade cookies, coffee, and juice all served by the students.

On August 2nd, the Epic youth group stopped by the museum for some fun activities. The day-campers had races, a scavenger hunt, crafted some handheld slates (chalkboards), and created wonderful cardboard box houses with boxes donated from The Brick.

There’s the school bell; class is in session. Today we’re learning about the old Vetford School. This one-room schoolhouse was brought to the Pioneer Museum in 1968 from Sunnynook. However, it has a history that stretches to before its Sunnynook days. Originally, it was a rural school in the Wardlow area; however, the school’s name from those years is unknown. When this area became depopulated during the drought years the school was closed. In 1931, a windstorm greatly damaged the school. It was repaired and brought east of Sunnynook where it was renamed Vetford. With the formation of the Berry Creek School Division No.1, many rural schools were closed due to declining population and lack of funds. Unfortunately, in 1942 Vetford was one of them. With centralization in 1950 in the first division, the board was in need of an extra classroom. Vetford school happened to be a convenient extra classroom, so it was moved into the village and used for several years. In 1968, it was no longer required, so came to its present spot in the Hanna Museum. We have furnished the school to resemble how it would have looked during the era it was actively used, including authentic wooden desks, a map that predates 1949, and many other intriguing items. To find out more, stop by the museum for a personalized tour. If you are lucky, you may even ring the bell to let everyone know that class is finished.

Coming up, we have the Tea on the Ranch House taking place on Tuesday, August 8th at 2:00 PM. Gear up for a fun-filled weekend on the Museum grounds as the Fall Fair rolls in. Come down to enter your produce, art work, handicrafts and more for the Fall Bench Fair competition on Thursday, August 10th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. Scarecrow entries will also take place at that time. The Bench Fair will be open to the public for viewing on Friday from 1:00 to 7:00 PM. On Friday, the parade begins at 7:00 PM at the Roundup Centre. Check the town website for full parade route details. On Saturday, August 12th, the Bench Show will again be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Raffle draws will take place at 4:00 PM. The Penny Carnival will be hosted by the 2018 Grad class during the Fair Days. Come on down for a fun-filled time!

Getting tired of all that sunny beach time? Wanting to show that there IS something to do in a small town? Desperately requiring a boredom buster? Looking to exercise that curiosity bump for local history? Stop by the museum for a guided tour sure to entertain and enlighten. Class dismissed!

Ashlyn McCormick
Hanna Museum Summer Employee
(Published in the Aug 9th, 2017 edition of the Hanna Herald.)

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