Rimbey’s prominent historic site, the Beatty House, is being looked after in part by a teacher and self-proclaimed history enthusiast this summer.
Melissa Hambly works for the town and shares the house and information booth duties with the house’s other employee, Brianna Buist. Hambly is at the house two days a week.
When she isn’t at the house, Hambly works at the town office. “I just help out with clerical work.”
Hambly is a teacher and in the fall will look for a position. “I’m on the sub list,” she said.
Driving by the house, Hambly always had an urge to go inside, but until she started working there she’d never had the opportunity.
Once she started work Hambly fell in love with the house’s ornate diamond windows and its fireplace. “The fireplace is petrified wood, not stone, which is pretty rare for that time because that (petrified wood) wasn’t manufactured. Somebody had to go out and get that.”
The Beatty House was built between the years 1924 and 1925.
“People see the house as an information booth,” said Hambly. “They’re surprised the house is a historic house that’s provincially protected.”
Hambly uses people surprise of the house’s history to give them tours, her favorite aspect of the job. “History is kind of a hobby of mine.”
“There’s still a lot of questions we don’t know, not so much about the house but about the family,” said Hambly. Jack Beatty, who lived in it with his wife, Violet, until he died built the Beatty House.
Even with giving tours for up to 15 people a day Hambly says the house can get lonely. She says many people don’t realize the grounds of the house are open to the public for thing such as picnics. The grounds can be used on whim without contacting the house first.
Hambly says if people decide to use the grounds, just to make sure they use the trash cans too.