The Experience

Start your self-guided tour in our main building exploring artifacts that portray the life of early ranchers. Learn about former US slave John Ware, who immigrated to Alberta after he was freed and became our province’s first Black cowboy. Find out how the Duke of Sutherland attracted settlers to the area, and discover the influence the Canadian Pacific Railway had on the region. Each exhibit showcases an important part of history that won’t soon be forgotten. After the main building, stroll along the Museum’s boardwalk to visit our historic buildings. Walk through our seven acre property to visit the Alberts’ House, the original living quarters for engineers working on the Brooks Aqueduct, and the 1930’s Garage that houses our mint condition Ford “A” Roadster Coupe. Stop in to the Philpott Honey Hut, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Kitchener Schoolhouse, the Sarah King House, and more to experience and engage in the area’s history.

When you spot a blue kiosk at your location, check it out for additional videos, old photographs, and historical re-enactments to further enhance the experience! No two kiosks are alike, so it’s worth it to stop at every one.

On your way back, stop to smell the roses in our Heritage Rose Garden, then sample our delectable homemade ice cream for the perfect post-tour snack. Don’t forget to check out our gift shop before you leave to snag the perfect local artisan pottery or mouth-watering old-style candy.

The Brooks Bulletin

A replica of the 1912 Brooks Banner office where Leonard Nesbitt bought an existing printing press business and renamed it the Brooks Bulletin, a newspaper still published by the Nesbitt family today.

Corner Garage

The garage will be the new home to garage artifacts, old style gas pumps and the Museum's 1931 Model A Ford Roadster donated by Mr & Mrs Ron McConnell.

Sarah King House

As there was no hospital in Brooks, Dr C.E. Anderson asked Mrs. Sarah King to board expectant mothers from the County of Newell around their due dates up until ten days after the delivery. During this time she helped the new moms feed, bathe the new babies, and adapt to the changes in their lives.

Kitchener Schoolhouse

The Kitchener School was built in 1911 on George Kisner’s land east of Berry Creek, north of the Red Deer River. It was later moved to Wardlow where it was in operation from 1930 to 1940. After being closed for several years, it was again in use from 1955 to 1961. The school also served as a community hall for a few years.

Philpott Honey Hut

The Philpott Honey Hut was donated to the museum in memory of Evelyn Philpott in 1994 by the Dale Philpott family. For many years during the summer months, Evelyn would sell honey from the Honey Hut which was located at the intersection of the Duchess and Patricia highways.

Seventh Day Adventist Church

The first meeting of the Cassils Seventh Day Adventist congregation was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Martin in 1919. Services were then held in the school house until a small church was built in 1941. An interdenominational service has been planned for the church annually.

The Barn

Ken Shackleton came to Brooks and built this barn in 1941 with the assistance of some neighbours. In 1990, the barn was moved to its present site at the museum.

The Caboose

The caboose was donated to the museum by the CPR in 1995. The C.P.R. line had passed through Brooks as early as 1883, when Brooks was just a dot on the map. The C.P.R. was responsible for installing the first irrigation systems in the area. They were also primarily responsible for populating the area that is Brooks and District.

Alberts House

The Alberts house was one of the first permanent buildings in the Brooks area, and its relationship to the irrigation system make it historically significant to this area. Due to its use in the building and operation of the Eastern Irrigation District, as well as its saga as the home of a pioneering family, the Alberts House is not only an important part of the museum’s collection, but of the area’s history as well.

Duchess Train Station

The C.P.R. constructed a railway between Bassano and Empress and opened it for traffic in 1914. This stretch was often referred to as the ‘Royal Line’ because the villages along it, such as Princess, Patricia, Empress and Millicent were named after Scottish nobility. The CPR officially opened the station in 1920 and served the Village of Duchess until 1965.

The Parvella

At the request of several ranchers who thought there was some rustling in the area, the RNWMP opened a post in 1912 at the V-V ranch known as the Parvella. This post was closed in 1918 and a new detachment opened in Jenner. The one in Jenner was closed in November, 1940. The Parvella outpost remained in its original location until 1978 when it was dismantled piece by piece and moved to the museum.

Much Much More

Come check out our other exhibits such as the Blacksmith shop, 1903 oil rig, Cory the dinosaur and Sheep herders’ wagon.