Museums from across region attend annual meeting

The Preeceville and District Heritage Museum hosted the annual Seneca Root meeting for museums in the local area. It was held in the basement of the St. John Lutheran Church on October 23.

Museums in attendance were: the Preeceville and District Heritage, Sturgis Station House, Kamsack PowerHouse, National Doukhobour Museum in Veregin, Ukrainian Heritage in Canora, Melville Heritage, Fort Pelly-Livingstone and Canora Station House Museum.

article continues below

Each museum presented a report. Greetings were given from Karen Grenier, Museum Association of Saskatchewan board member. Erin Sobkow gave an update from Parkland Valley Sport, Culture and Recreation. Kathleen Watkin spoke on behalf of the Museum Association of Saskatchewan.

The spring meeting was set for Veregin in April 23.

Agnes Murrin, chairperson for the Preeceville and District Heritage Museum gave a detailed report on behalf of the museum, which was represented by Murrin, Donna Chalupiak, Darlene Medlang, Sharon Draper, Sharon Prystay, and Carol Gawrelitza.

"The museum hosted the Communities in Bloom judges in July. Preeceville received first place in the 1,000 to 2,000 population category. We submitted our request to the rec board for a grant as per last year. We usually hear from them in December. Fall cleanup was completed October 7 and we added eavestrough covers to the eaves," stated Murrin.

The museum hosted an open house on May 29 to begin the season. This year’s theme was Pioneer Women and bread pudding was served. The annual general meeting was held on May 6 and it hosted three school tours in June.

Projects that were completed this year included painting the military room as well as re-sanding the hardwood floor and added new linoleum to the office.

Fundraising projects this year included: selling clay oven loaves of bread, chili, and jam in July during Old Home Week; pancake breakfast on June 21; Culture Days fair with the town and the museum had an ethnic table of Danish artifacts and also served food; hosted one supper at the Curling Rink in conjunction with Chase the Ace draws and continue to sell the history book Lines of the Past.

The museum also hosted a volunteer tea on April 17 and had a summer student for summer months of July and August. It continues to add items and pictures to the museum's Facebook page.

“Artifacts that were acquired this year were numerous,” said Murrin. "We received a Russian Samovar that was returned to Preeceville, received all the books from two Legions, Preeceville and Endeavor since it’s closer, also the registrar book from the early Days of the Golden West Hotel and numerous smaller items that enhance our collection.

“The local newspaper continues to provide great coverage and our mayor speaks about the museum on the radio on “Main Street with the Mayor.” We submit articles throughout the year as well. We have seven board members (still need five) and five honorary life members.”

This year the museum plans to enter a tree in this year’s Festival of Trees and purchased a wreath to lay at Remembrance Day service.

The season concluded with pie and coffee on September 13. Next year is the 15th anniversary of the museum and the board is currently in its planning stage for the celebration.

The Sturgis Station House was represented by Myrtle Boychuk, Hazel Urbanoski, Greta German and Stacey Wiebe.

"We began the season by hiring a curator, funded by SaskCulture and a summer student that was funded by the Town of Sturgis grant," said Myrtle Boychuk, chairperson.

The museum hired Stacey Wiebe as curator. It opened for the season on May long weekend and closed for the season on September 1.

The summer student was hired from June to August and helped the curator to relocate items to make room for more artifacts and to clean up exhibits. Many items were deaccessioned which remains as an ongoing process of removing duplicates, poor condition and broken items. Wiebe focused on catching up on the backlog of artifacts that were donated in previous years.

Wiebe reported that the 2019 season went really well. In total there were 238 items added to the collection. Several student tours were done. The exhibits that were completed were the toy and sports room. A Town of Sturgis display will be completed once the museum receives the bellied stove back from restoration.

The flooring in the school was finished, desks brought in, books, maps and other school- related items were relocated into the school.  The caboose was also started and will be finished in the future.

By the end of the season there were a total of 518 visitors who visited the museum. The museum sponsored the Archeo-Caravan in May and in July a threshing demonstration fundraiser was held. Other fundraiser events included a soup and sandwich, a used clothing and garage sale, a Mother's Day brunch, a cleanup on May 15 and opened for the season on May 17.

The opening tea was held at the Brookview school building. The museum also did three hamburger sales and the volunteer recognition day was held in August.

After the museum closed for the season, two small storage sheds were re-shingled and the deck was stained. The next project for the museum is to construct an agricultural heritage building to house the many farm-related items.