photo submitted

Sunnybrook Museum celebrates 30th anniversary at Pioneer Days

Reynolds Alberta Museum will bring in their traction engines

Pioneer Days Festival is coming up at Sunnybrook Farm Museum with lots of fun planned for the whole family. It also just so happens that the Museum is celebrating its 30th anniversary since Norman and Iva Bower donated the land to the people of Red Deer.

“It’s big news for us, 30 years in the heart of Red Deer doing programming and activities, so this is our big fundraising event. We have typically about 3,000 people come out through the gates on Saturday and Sunday, the 18th and 19th,” said Ian Warwick, executive director at the Museum.

It all began back in the mid 80s when the Agricultural Committee of the Red Deer and District Museum Society were looking at creating an agricultural museum.

“It’s been such a part of our history, it’s been so important to the settlers and our long term history of the region,” said Warwick.

When Norman Bower heard about this, he offered up his farm.

“He donated 10 acres, the eastern portion of his property, to the City to be part of the park system and then south of him he sold 10 acres to Horizon Village Corporation and created the seniors complex and then the last 10 acres was something he could donate, and it was all under the condition that an agricultural museum be established here.”

A committee of volunteers was then set up between 1988 and 1996, who were in charge of running the Museum, setting it up and collecting artifacts.

“It’s really a volunteer effort. There’s 85 volunteers that give almost 10,000 hours a year to keep this place running.”

On Aug. 18th and 19th, Warwick said it serves as their fundraising weekend too, where all of the funds go to support their children’s programs.

“It’s a magical place. It really is.”

Activities on the weekend run the gamut from an antique tractor pull competition to a pancake breakfast, tractor parade, Minneapolis-Moline feature exhibition and more.

Warwick said it’s also really inexpensive for families to attend at just $5 per person and $15 per family.

This year, to help celebrate the Museum’s 30th anniversary, Reynolds Alberta Museum will be bringing in their 1914 Rumely steam traction engine and their 1908 International Harvester gasoline traction engine.

“These were the big traction engines that powered threshing machines and did the work on the farm in the early days,” said Warwick.

“The little Rumely steam engine came into Alberta new in 1914 and was used to farm in the Rimbey area and was used in 1955 for the 50th anniversary of the province for parade and demonstration. Mr. Reynolds acquired it then and we restored it back in the 1990s,” said Randy Kvill, curator of agriculture and industry collections at the Reynolds Alberta Museum.

He added they now use it for their harvest events and taking people on it for rides.

As for the other one, Kvill said, “The 1908 friction drive is the earliest form of gas tractor that we have. This is the same type of tractor that the Bowers had on their farm.”

The event at Sunnybrook Farm Museum runs Aug. 18th and 19th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is available at the Academy of Learning Parking lot, immediately west of Sunnybrook Farm.

Just Posted

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public next week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

40-year Big Brother match a gift to Lacombe man

Andy Pawlyk and his Little Brother Chris Selathamby honoured at BBBS Awards Night

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Questions raised over retailers who shame shoplifters with photos

Alleged theft from a sex shop in Newfoundland led to posts on social media

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Stettler man found guilty of illegally trafficking wildlife

Hunting license suspended for three years

Most Read