The Alberta government has offered a helping hand to save a piece of local history, nearly a century old, at the Stettler Town and Country Museum.
The Estonian House, a log structure built in the 1920s by settler George Tamberg, has been located on the museum grounds since 1978, but has deteriorated to the point where it was deemed a safety hazard and threatened with demolition.
Since this summer, the museum has worked to protect the building, and last month the house was moved to a new cement pad, west of the train station.
Museum manager Karen Wahlund said they are seeking contractors to complete the remaining work, which includes a new roof, renovation of the interior and exterior, and replacement of half of the inside floor.
Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke was on hand on Monday, Oct. 27, to present a cheque for $20,000 in support of the project, on behalf of Alberta’s minister of culture and tourism, Maureen Kubinec.
The funding came from the Community Facility Enhancement Program and was presented as a matching grant.
Starke presented the cheque to a group of museum representatives, including Wahlund, president Norma Rairdan, curator Wilda Gibbon and associate curator Lyndsay Dayman.
In his presentation, Starke lauded the “major commitment” of the museum’s staff and volunteers, saying the province was proud to partner with them.
“They go to great lengths to do everything they can to keep our history alive and vibrant,” he said. “It’s a labour of love.”
Wahlund said the museum was “very, very grateful” for the donation, which nearly doubles the funds raised for the project so far. About $25,000 has been received in cash donations.
Artifacts previously stored in the house have been moved elsewhere for safekeeping until the renovations are complete.
The museum is currently open during the fall months with reduced hours. For more information, visit www.stettlermuseum.com or call 403-742-4534.