Aspiring writer working at Beatty House

It was built between the years 1924 and 1925 and since then the Beatty House hasn’t changed much, but every year fresh faces

The Beatty House’s STEP student for the summer

It was built between the years 1924 and 1925 and since then the Beatty House hasn’t changed much, but every year fresh faces come to work in the house over the summer and teach its history to visitors.

This year one of two employees of the house is Brianna Buist, who grew up in Rimbey.

“I remember coming to the house when I was very young for something to do with a wedding, I remember teacups …. and I remember it smelled old,” Buist said.

Buist had just finished her first year at the University of Alberta and her mother, who saw the job posting in the newspaper, told Buist about it.

Buist is majoring in English with a minor in creative writing, working toward her bachelor of arts degree.

There’s a book with a pumpkin on the front Buist wrote when she was six. “Every time I take it out I remember my mom saying, ‘You should be a writer’.”

But for now Buist is content at the Beatty House. She’d never been past the front room before this summer and the house had a mysterious quality that drew Buist to it.

When she’s working, Buist regales visitors to the house with its history: how it was built for the Beatty family after their old residence and store burnt to the ground.

Jack and Violet Beatty lived in the house for the remainder of their lives. Their nephew, Donny, stayed with them during the summers.

The Beatty House has received close to 150 visitors this summer and, according to Buist, 20 to 30 per cent have been international guests from places such as India, Italy, Denmark, Holland and the United States.

Talking with the international guests in one of Buist’s favorite parts of the job. “People always have something interesting to say.’

Buist also maintains the grounds around the house and helps with displays. Recently she worked on a antique toy display. “That was fun for me.”

Recently the house received a box, from Donny’s wife, containing photos and a dress that was Violet Beatty’s. Violet lived in the house almost up until her death 1984. The society that runs the house is still cataloging the contents of the box.

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