What better way to take a trip back in time than to visit the Camrose and District Centennial Museum! The museum was officially opened July 1, 1967 and has been a favorite destination for visitors of Camrose. This museum is home to thousands of artifacts. There is no admission charge but donations are greatly appreciated.

Embark on a journey through local history by visiting the following buildings at the museum site or take a virtual tour of the Camrose and District Centennial Museum below.

Main Gallery

The main building, which serves as the museum office as well as the gallery, was opened as part of Canada's centennial celebrations in 1967. The building contains the Della Robson Archival Gallery, with several interesting displays. Also in the main building is the Reading Room, where visitors can explore the museum library to do research, find a quick reference, or satisfy a personal historic interest. The museum has many Alberta community history books as well as personal diaries of some pioneers.

Museum Main Building

The Fire Hall

The building is a replica of the original 1907 Camrose Fire Hall. In March of that year, the town purchased two lots (where the present federal building stands) and built a structure that served, not only as the fire hall, but also as the administrative offices for the town. Upstairs there was a dormitory for the Chief and his staff. Part of their pay included free room and board. The original building had a lean-to, which served as the administration building. The replica was opened in 1981, funded by a federal grant under the New Horizons Program.

Museum Firehall

The Camrose Canadian

This building is a replica of the first Camrose Canadian office. For the first two years of its life, the Camrose paper was known as The Mail. The paper changed hands and was renamed the Camrose Canadian in 1908. The building houses a printing press and a linotype machine. Although both are in working order and have been run on occasion during special events, the museum no longer has the skills to run the technology.

Camrose Canadian

The RCMP Machinery Building

The RCMP building was completed in 1973 to celebrate the centennial of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This building is home to many of the museum's tractors and other various pieces of farming equipment.

RCMP Machinery Building

The Blacksmith Shop

The Blacksmith Shop was originally built to house the museum's Traction Steam Engine. The building was built in 1993 out of wood from old granaries in the area, and today it is used to demonstrate the work of a blacksmith. The forge is in working order and demonstrations are offered to the public for special events.

The Blacksmith Shop

The Mona Sparling Building

Named in the honour of Mona Sparling, a lifetime member of the Camrose and District Museum Society, this building houses several transportation, farming, and heavy machine artifacts. Mona Sparling spearheaded the fundraising effort to build the building. A total cost of $48,000 was needed, and $13,000 was raised by the Museum Society, much of that from her efforts. In the past, the Sparling Building has also served as the location for special events held on museum grounds, such as barn dances. Several restoration projects are in the works for artifacts located in this building, specifically the two sleds.

The Mona Sparling Building

The Old Timer's Hut

This building began its life as one of many army huts that were used during World War II when the army had a training facility on the fairgrounds in Camrose. The building is on its original location, and unlike the other original buildings at the museum, the Old Timer's Hut has not moved over the course of its lifetime. After WWII, the Hut was taken over by the Town of Camrose and leased to the Camrose Old Timer's Association for over forty years. The Association used the Hut for dances, get-togethers, meetings, fairs, and many other activities.

The Old Timer's Hut

Lugs ‘n' Cleats

Lugs ‘n' Cleats is the affectionate nickname of the tractor fraternity for the steel wheel tractors that are displayed in the building. The building houses the majority of the antique farm tractors that are in the museum's collection.

The Lugs ‘n' Cleats Building

 

Log Hut

This rustic structure is a replica of Ole Bakken's log and sod hut. Bakken hailed from Norway and arrived to the Camrose area in 1894 after spending time in the United States. His log hut was one of the first permanent settlements along Stony Creek and his homestead encompassed much of what would become early Camrose. Ole became one of the area's leading citizens and, among other ventures, he built the Arlington Hotel in downtown Camrose. The replica log house was built in 2005 by two members of the Museum Society in honour of Ole Bakken. He was also honoured that year during the Camrose Founders Days Festival.

Log Hut

Pioneer Log House

This house was built by Thore Grue and family in 1898. The house was initially made of all logs; this can be seen at the back corner of the house with a cutaway view of the original logs. The house was first located just north of Armena. When originally constructed, the house only contained two rooms: one large room upstairs and one large room downstairs. In 1903, the Grue's sold to Mr. Knut Lyseng, who in turn sold the house to his son Carl Lyseng in 1910. Carl and his family moved into the house, living in it until 1969. They made several renovations and additions – a kitchen and dining room in 1915 and a bathroom, entrance, and sun porch in 1935. The home was wired for power in 1950.

The pioneer house has made two moves over the years. The first was done by Knut Lyseng in 1903. He moved it east because it was built too close to the road allowance. This was quite a feat at the time and was done by using only two bob-sleds pulled by two teams of six horses, one team hooked to each sled. The difficulty of such a move was only fully understood when the house was moved to the Camrose Museum. The house was loaded and ready two months before it was moved, but heavy rains prevented the move. The first attempt in moving caused the standard iron beams to twist therefore special equipment had to be used. The building was found to be remarkably square when it was being measured for its new foundation. The final move occurred in 1979. Once moved to the museum grounds, it was restored and furnished. The money to fund the move was raised from raffling off a handmade grandfather clock made by Ambrose Ladell. The Pioneer Home was officially opened on the Museum grounds on September 1, 1980. The furnishings for the house were donated by the community.

Pioneer Log House

St. Dunstan's Church

The church, originally named Holy Angels and All Saints', was built in 1908 for $500 donated by an English woman. The church was originally located at a small settlement just north of Bittern Lake. After WWI, the congregation became small, and the church was eventually moved across the frozen lake to the Village of Bittern Lake. St. Dunstan's was donated to the museum along with all implements and vessels used for services by the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton. The contents of the church are all original to the building.

St. Dunstan's Church

Likeness School

The one-room school house was built in the spring of 1906 for the sum of $696. The price included both labour and supplies for the first grade. One-room schools like this were common on the prairies and supported several grades at once (the grades were essentially organized by age groups). The older students (which were capped around 13 years of age or grade 8) helped with the younger students. Rules were very strictly enforced in order to keep order in the multi-grade classrooms. Punishments for misbehaving included hitting, embarrassing the student, memorizing, cleaning, starting the fire, and assignment of additional chores.

Likeness School

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