There’s plenty to do at the Michener House Museum & Archives over the summer months, including the launch of ‘Fibre Fridays’ which runs every Friday through the month of August.
Join staff and volunteers from 1 to 4 p.m. each Friday for free demonstrations and crafts that highlight the various stages of fibre production.
There is ‘washing wool’ in Aug. 4th; ‘carding wool’ on Aug. 11th; ‘spinning wool’ on Aug. 18th and ‘dyeing wool’ on Aug. 25th.
The idea was sparked via school tours that would come through the Museum, and the efforts of staff to educate the younger set on aspects of pioneer life.
“We wanted to highlight the fibre production, and what went into making clothes 100 years ago just to try and get the kids to understand what life would have been like for them during those pioneer times in Lacombe,” said Becca Stone, archives and programming coordinator. “This year, we wanted to try and expand on what we were offering,” she said. “So we made our fibre production a main focus – primarily of the ‘hands-on, interactive’ aspect of our tours.”
Kim Mickelson, who takes care of visitor services for the Museum, added this summer, they thought it would be interesting to add the step of dying the wool as well.
To that end, the have planted a small garden behind the Museum with plants that various dyes can be extracted from.
“There are a lot of plants that are native to the area, as well as plants that the pioneers would have brought with them as well.
“Now we have the dye garden, and as a Museum, it’s our job to share our knowledge with the community. So we figured that by doing this fibre series, that would be the best way to get that information out there.” The garden was made possible thanks to a grant from the City, she added.
Stone added that anyone of any age or any skill ability with fibre is welcome to join in the sessions. Some local spinners will also be dropping by to lend a helping hand during the course of the month as well.
“Everything we do here is primarily free and of a drop-in nature.”
In related news, in celebration of Canada 150, the Lacombe & District Historical Society has kicked off the Lacombe Community Memory Project, which aims to capture, “Our vibrant and diverse community and document the built and natural environment of the City of Lacombe in the year 2017.
“Learn about the project through this exhibit and help us create lasting snapshots of the community from 2017 to be preserved in the community archives for the next generations of Canadians.”
Go to www.lacombememoryprojectmap.com to upload photos. “People can upload their photos, and put the location of where the photo was taken,” said Stone. “People can upload recent photographs, or if they have historical photographs, those can be uploaded as well.”
Painting for Pride is also coming up on Aug. 15th at 10 a.m. at the Michener House Museum.
The Lacombe and District Historical Society will be showing support for Central Alberta Pride Week by painting the picnic tables at the Michener House Museum in pride colours. Official sponsors for this event is Absolute Custom Design.
“We noticed our tables outside are looking a bit drab, so Becca and I came up with the idea of painting them in rainbow. So we have six tables, and there are six colours in the pride flag – so it works out quite nicely.”
For more information, find the Michener House Museum on facebook.
Meanwhile, according to the Lacombe & District Historical Society web site, the Michener House was built in 1894 as the Village of Lacombe Methodist Church Parsonage.
“Today, it is historically significant as the birthplace of Right Honourable Roland Michener, former Governor General of Canada, and as the parsonage of his father, Edward.
“After the departure of the Michener family, the house passed to successive ministers, was expanded with an addition to the rear in 1918 and subsequently converted for use as a church hall. The church was also used as a hall after the congregation joined with that of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Lacombe to form St. Andrew’s United Church in 1922. In later years the church saw service as the Lacombe’s Boy Scout Hall, and was finally demolished in 1984.”
The Michener House was declared a Provincial Historic Site in 1977 and was restored to its original appearance prior to opening as the Michener House Museum in 1984.
“The Michener House Museum displays items from Roland’s personal and family collections, furnishings from the turn of the century, the original pump organ from Grace Methodist Church, in addition to the bed that Roland Michener was born in.”