Take a step into the past and visit Rimbey’s own Pas Ka Poo Park, which includes a historic village and The Smithson Truck Museum.
The village, open from mid May to early September is truly a fascinating journey back in time. This year the park will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
“Without the help, love and labour of all our volunteers the park with its amazing historical value would not be as vibrant and include such extensive memorabilia and well preserved and lovingly restored historic buildings,” said park administrator Cheryl Jones.
Aug. 22 is the park’s huge anniversary party which will be held after Saturday’s market.
“There will be all kinds of activities including sawmill demonstrations,” said Jones.
The park includes a main museum as well as the Arch Rib Museum built on site in 1970 which displays household and small business artifacts, and the village itself, which is delightful, charming and offer an authentic, hands on lesson in history.
The village has many interesting buildings, among which is the Bluffton Legion Hall, built in 1952. The hall houses several war veterans’ artifacts, a barbershop and meat market built in 1915, and a train station from the early 1900s along with a wooden caboose built in 1947.
Also on the premises is the first school in Rimbey, the Kansas Ridge School, built in 1902.
The Rimbey town office, built as a residence in 1915, prior to becoming the town office and Rimbey’s first church, the Church of Epiphany, built in 1908 using vertical logs, are part of the historic village.
A hand-hued log homesteaders’ cottage built in 1932 is also part of the scenario.
Near the park’s playground are replicas of a blacksmith shop and a trapper’s cabin. Just outside the trapper’s cabin stands “The Traveler,” a chainsaw creation by local artist Darren Jones and donated by his family in 2002.
The medical museum, displaying memorabilia from the Rimbey hospital, is now open. Park officials are interested in obtaining stories or artifacts from St. Paul’s Hospital, which closed in 1930 or the Three Way Hospital, which became the Chronic Convalescent Three Way Hospital.
In 1990 the Rimbey Historical Society added a museum to house Ken Smithson’s collection of 19 restored International pickup trucks and The Smithson International Truck Museum was created.
The museum houses the most complete collection of International half-ton trucks in the world.
In 2002, for the town’s 100th anniversary, a 1957 anniversary edition truck was refurbished and donated. Presently, volunteers are restoring a 1928 International truck from the ground up, complete with a hand carved wooden steering wheel.
An extensive license plate collection and many vintage photographs are also in the truck museum which is open daily.
Call ahead to book a tour guide at 403-843-2004 or simply stop by the park.
Jones said several events are planned at the park for the next few months to provide fun and entertainment to locals and visitors alike. She reminds the residents of Rimbey of the many attractions and interests the park holds, and invites them to spend some time there this summer.
As well as the anniversary celebration, activities for August include a library booknic Aug. 21.
Farmers’ markets will be held every Saturday at the park, unless the weather is unfavorable, until October 10.
Weddings, mystery tours and senior tours are all part of the exciting scenario at Pas Ka Poo Park throughout the summer. The grounds of the park are beautified by hanging baskets supplied by Holly’s Greenhouse and volunteers from the Horticultural Society who plant lovely flowers.
Artifact donations and volunteer help is always welcome at Pas-Ka-Poo Park.
“Anyone who wants to help out with one event or more or has a talent or skill they would be willing to share is more than welcome,” said Jones.