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|About the Didsbury & District Historical Society
Established on September 30, 1978, the Didsbury and District Historical Society is a registered, charitable, non-profit organization that endeavours to preserve and interpret Didsbury's history.
The Society owns and manages the Didsbury Museum. The Museum tells the story of the founding, settlement, and development of Didsbury, Alberta, Canada, and the surrounding area, from the late 1800s to the present, in order to preserve the past for future generations.
A Valued Provincial Historic Resource
The building marries Italianate features - including a low pitched hip roof with broad, exposed rafter-eaves, quoins, and a corner tower - to classically styled pediments and cornice details. These elements, combined with the lively dichromatic contrasts of brick and sandstone, impart the building's exterior with an eclectic dynamism, while the robust massing gives the building an imposing solidity.
When it was built, it was considered a sophisticated modern design and a substantial facility for a town of fewer than 1,000 people - an expression of Didsbury's heady optimism in the pre-World War I period.
First Used as a School, then a Library, then a Hospital
One of the first school newspapers to be published in Canada came out of this Didsbury School. The monthly publication was called "The Hustler".
Located on the second floor, what is now the Bell Tower Room and Chapel was also the first free public library in Alberta. It was opened on these premises in 1908.
Following the disastrous fires of 1914 that destroyed much of the downtown core and local infrastructure, the school - already a conspicuous local building - became an even more dominant feature of Didsbury's townscape and was also pressed into service as a hospital during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.
After 1920, the Red Brick School was employed as an elementary school, and remained part of the town's school system until 1984.
The building was used as a yard and training area for the military troops during World War II.
The red brick school became home to the Didsbury Museum in 1989. In 2006, the Didsbury and District Historical Society acquired the title to the public school building. It was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in early 2011.
An Important Member of the Community
With the Museum Manager's leadership and assistance, all other activities and programs are conducted by volunteers, community members who want to make a difference in our town. Depending on the year, volunteer hours have ranged from about 2,000 to 2,900. Yes, our volunteers are incredible! The Board of the Historical Society recognizes the investment these volunteers put into making the historical exhibits attractive and educational, and programs desirable and valuable.
The Museum is a place that inspires creativity and innovation. It is an investment in the future of our children and the growth and success of our town, our province, and our country.
Alberta Culture & Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 1999
2110 - 21 Avenue
|ADMISSION BY DONATION
$5 per person
|The Didsbury Museum is owned by the Didsbury & District Historical Society and operated by volunteers.|