If you’re looking to learn a little more about community history in the Lacombe area or even remember some stories from local community halls and schools, the Lacombe and District Historical Society has just the thing. The Country Halls, Community Hubs Exhibition is on at the Flatiron Building Museum in Lacombe until July 1st.
“The information kind of focuses on activities and the ways that they were creating that sense of community, whether it was attending a dance, making quilts, for the community members, or fundraising. [You will be] learning the origins of the halls and the communities and follow them forward in time,” said Samantha Lee, Community Engagement and Visitor Services Coordinator for the Lacombe Museum.
Lee says many community halls were once schools so some of the older people in the community may remember attending them as a student.
“Some of our oldest seniors in the community probably remember going to one of those schools. It's kind of fun to get those stories up. Then as we move kind of forward in time, anybody that was around up until the mid-80’s should remember lots of the activities happening at the halls,” added Lee.
Searching for more community memories
For the exhibition, Lee has plotted out the location of all the country schools and community halls on a large interactive map that displays photos of each location. However, the Museum is looking for more photos of this type to add to their collection.
“We have quite a limited number of photos of those buildings in our collection. If we did have a photo of the school or the hall, I've already included it, but that's definitely a gap we found in our collection. If there's anybody out there that has a photo of a hall or a school that they would love to have added to the map, I would love to accept that photo and do that,” she explained.
Anyone with a breadth of knowledge relating to a community hall or school is also welcome to share their information with the Lacombe Museum.
Eccentricities and instruments
There’s are a couple of curiosities you can expect to find at the Country Halls, Community Hubs Exhibition including dancing outfits, quilts, and a doll depicting Don Freeman, a well-known entertainer in the area, but the exhibition was created to showcase some unique instruments.
“We acquired a new one [instrument] fairly recently, a very big accordion. That's kind of where we started. If we have these instruments, what would we be telling as the story? We thought about dances, then where were dances were held, and community halls. It's sort of just spread out from acquiring this one accordion,” explained Lee.
Country Halls, Community Hubs wraps up on Canada Day. For more information, you can visit the Lacombe Museum website here.