The Didsbury Museum, situated in the Town of Didsbury, Alberta, has been established to tell the story of the founding, settlement and development of the community in and surrounding the Town of Didsbury from the late 1800s to the present.
  HOME | ABOUT US | EXHIBITS | PLAN YOUR VISIT | EVENTS | PHOTO LIBRARY | SHOP | FAQs | SUPPORT THE MUSEUM | CONTACTS Follow Didsbury Museum and Didsbury Historical Society on Facebook Follow Didsbury Museum and Didsbury Historical Society on Twitter Follow Didsbury Museum and Didsbury Historical Society on Instagram Click here to see the Didsbury Museum videos. Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel. E-Mail Didsbury Museum and Didsbury Historical Society
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.
    Statement of Purpose

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
We are very proud of our building. Fondly known as the "Old Red Brick School", this two-storey, early twentieth century building is situated on an oversized single lot in the north-west quarter of Didsbury. It is an architectural showcase, with a red brick facade accented by rock-faced sandstone elements, a 10x12 pitch hip roof with extended eaves, and a massive corner bell tower.

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
In 1907, the community's continued growth and a strong faith in its future development led to the construction of a large, ultra-modern, brick and sandstone school. Officially opened in 1908, the new school taught all grades and was the first school in the district to offer Grade 12.

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
The Didsbury & District Historical Society has one part-time employee, the Museum Manager. Besides booking tours and acting as the Museum's tour guide and interpreter, the Museum Manager is responsible for developing interpretive programming, arranging school tour programs around the curriculum, representing the Historical Society as a community ambassador at events throughout the province, and regular administrative duties.

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.

Photo courtesy Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 1999
Alberta Culture & Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 1999

Photo courtesy Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 1999
Alberta Culture & Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 1999

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 2006
Alberta Culture & Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 2006

The Didsbury Museum is one of the most loved buildings in town and hosts many signature events in Didsbury. DIDSBURY MUSEUM
2110 - 21 Avenue
Box 1175
Didsbury, Alberta
T0M 0W0
Phone: 403-335-9295

E-Mail Us
HOURS:
Tuesday 10 am - 4 pm
Wednesday 10 am - 4 pm
Thursday 10 am - 4 pm
Friday 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday 10 am - 4 pm
Plan 1 - 2 hours for your visit
ADMISSION BY DONATION
Suggested donation
$5 per person

Wheelchair Accessible
Free Street Parking

LINKS   SITE MAP   BOARD LOGIN

The Didsbury Museum has been recognized by the Alberta Museums Association. The Didsbury Museum is a non-profit making, permanent institution, in the service of society and its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits, for the purpose of study, education, and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment.     To qualify as a Provincial Historic Resource, historic places like the Didsbury Museum must normally be associated with a significant aspect of Alberta's past and retain the physical site features necessary to convey this significance. Click here to share your experiences on TripAdvisor.

Click here to start your Travel Alberta journey in Didsbury at the Museum

The Didsbury Museum is owned by the Didsbury & District Historical Society and operated by volunteers.

WINDSOR GRAPHICS