New building opens at the Eastend Saskatchewan Historical Museum

The Eastend Historical Museum recently completed its new building and reopened to the public for the season.

The reopening generated a lot of enthusiasm in the community and culminates a lot of hard work by committee members and major contributions from citizens of the region.

In fact, most of the work in the building was done by volunteers, said Ethel Wills of the Eastend Historical Museum.

“They had a carpenter who came to help with the construction of the building, and everything else inside was done through volunteer work and donations,” she explained.

“It took us five years to raise enough money to be able to finish it and move our artifacts in,” she added.

The new building was completed in May and has been open since May 23 when they started moving the exhibits to the new structure.

The original museum building was erected in 1914 and was once the Pastime Theater, but it was purchased by Fred Williamson in 1981 and was later donated to the museum as a memorial to his wife Dolly.

The building was originally only 24 feet wide, but even in the 1920s it was not considered large enough to accommodate large crowds. At one point it was sold to a man who split the building in half, added 20 or 24 feet to the structure, but didn’t wedge things up well.

Due to the bracing issue, when the museum received the building in 1981, the roof was already starting to collapse.

In 2014, the museum decided the building was no longer safe and prepared for it to be demolished.

Wills explained that when the museum contacted the city about the demolition of the building, an engineer was called to confirm that the museum was not safe and that it was ultimately demolished.

The museum, which is now open to visitors, houses a collection of fossils and many other artefacts spread among the six different buildings.

The museum is planning an official inauguration on July 24, 2021.

The event will feature a musical act, Stewart Tasche and his friends from Swift Current in the afternoon, and activities will be scheduled throughout the day.

Everyone is welcome to come.

“We send out invitations to people who have helped with the construction people who have donated money,” Wills said.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and closed on Mondays (May to October).

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