Michael Jesso’s Fabulous, Derailed: A World Class Alberta Museum
The lyrics to the old James Taylor song “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain” has never rang truer than at Fort McMurray’s own Heritage Village. The former Heritage Park reopened this past Canada Day after being ravaged by the 2013 flood of the Hangingstone River. While work had been underway for the past four years, last year’s wildfire brought more havoc with smoke and ash and the very real threat of losing the park altogether.
The cleanup and the preservation has been second to none. The actual park has never looked better with new landscaping and walkways, while the work to the buildings, some more than 100-years-old, has brought them back to what they would have looked like when they were new.
While Fort McMurray is generally thought of as a newer city, our region is steeped in history, and the Heritage Village has done a great job on researching and educating in that department. From our waterways and float plane service to the fur trade and the Hudson’s Bay, Fort McMurray was one of Canada’s earliest gate ways to the North. They have left nothing out when it comes to the families that served the community from very early on. The Golosky’s, the Hills, the Morimotos, the Eymundsons all get mentions here plus many more Indigenous and early Metis settlers. There are trappers cabins, forestry cabins, original homes moved from other locations in Fort McMurray, the original Hill Drugs, churches, schoolhouse, trading post, basically everything you need to make a town run at the turn of the century. The artifacts and interactive displays are absolutely amazing in and out of almost every building. Displays depict the vibrant days of fur trading, lumbering, fishing, river rail transportation and the birth of the oil sands.
If you find yourself with nothing to do on a warm fall day, pack a picnic and take the kids or your friends down the park and have a look around. You can learn so much about Fort McMurray’s history. The gift shop is quite frankly a Fort McMurray hidden gem - reason to stop in at all times of the year.
FORT MCMURRAY HERITAGE VILLAGE
Open daily from July 1 - 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Seniors (aged 65+) & Youth (4-18) $10.00
Children 3 & under- FREE
Seasons Passes available now. Ask for details!
Gift Shop at Heritage Village
Monday–Sunday, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
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