Fifty years ago, thanks to the efforts of a group of dedicated volunteers, Rimbey’s museum and Pas Ka Poo Historical Park officially opened.
On Aug. 22, Rimbey Historical Society will celebrate the park’s 50th anniversary.
A sawmill demonstration will be held west of the truck museum and truck, tractor and machinery displays will be ongoing as well historical building tours throughout the afternoon.
A concession will be available and 50/50 draws will be held.
The closing ceremonies will be held at 4 p.m.
Fred Schutz, who spear-headed the volunteer effort to create the park and Ken Smithson, who owned the collection of international trucks, are scheduled to be present during the festivities.
Since its opening, the park, a tribute to Rimbey’s heritage, has been an asset to the town, providing visitors and residents alike, with an unique snapshot of days gone by.
The Pas Ka Poo Park became the new home for Rimbey’s first church, narrowly saving the building from the demolition crews or being sold after it was deemed too small for its growing congregation.
The building was slated to be torn down or sold to Heritage Park in Calgary when a group of volunteers, headed by newspaper columnist Fred Schutz, stepped forward to save the church and preserve Rimbey’s heritage.
Thanks to their efforts, Rimbey’s first church, The Church of Epiphany, built in 1908 with vertical logs, is now an interesting cornerstone of the historical village.
Thanks to the efforts of volunteers including Schutz, J. Martin, L. R. MacManus, Jack Parry, Chester Rimbey, Dr. C.C. Spence and Rev. Keith Stokes, the Rimbey Historical Society was incorporated on May 19, 1964. In 1965 Rimbey’s museum and historical park opened and since that time it has continued to expand.
The village at Pas Ka Poo Park allows visitors to take a delightful journey through yesteryear.
As well as the church, visitors are encouraged to check out the original Bluffton Legion Hall which houses several veterans’ artifacts, a barber shop store and meat market built in 1915 and a train station from the early 1900s along with a wooden caboose built in 1947.
Also located on the premises is the Kansas Ridge School, Rimbey’s first school, built in 1902.
Rimbey town office, built as a residence in 1915, prior to becoming the town office is also housed in the historical village as is a hand hued log homesteader’s cottage built in 1932.
Near the park’s playground are replicas of a local blacksmith shop and trapper’s cabin. Just outside the trapper’s cabin stands ‘The Traveler’, a chain saw creation done by local artist Darren Jones and donated by his family in 2002.
In January, 1991 the Rimbey Historical Society added a museum to house Ken Smithson’s collection of 19 restored Internation- al pick-up trucks and The Smithson International Truck museum was created. The collection spans over 40 years and is the most complete collection in the world.
An extensive license plate collection and many vintage photographs are displayed in the truck museum.