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Lacombe Museum hosts another season of historic walking tours

Tour guides bring Central Alberta history to life
Lacombe’s Historic Downtown Walking Tours start from the Michener House Museum at 4 p.m. Courtesy Lacombe Museum

For an intriguing look into Lacombe’s history, check out the Historic Downtown Walking Tours which will be running Saturday afternoons through to the Labour Day weekend.

Walks start from the Michener House Museum at 4 p.m. and while there’s no charge, donations are certainly welcome, says Samantha Lee, interim executive director of the Lacombe Museum.

Several themes are scheduled this year, including Mural Tours, the Historic Buildings Tour and the Intrigue on the Prairies Tour.

The way it works is that the folks who show up on a given afternoon choose the tour they’d like to take.

“Usually, we only assign a certain script to event days,” Lee says. “But when they choose one, the Intrigue on the Prairies tour catches people’s attention,” she adds with a laugh.

In past years, people would drop by three weeks in a row so they could catch all three tours.

“We also have a new tour this year that I think was only done once or twice last year. It’s called Hidden Histories. A student created it for us last year, and she tried to find stories that hadn’t been told before.”

Lee is one of the tour guides and gets a huge kick out of the experience.

“Walking around downtown connects people with the stories much easier than if we sat in the museum, listing all of the historic buildings and hoping that listeners understand all that we were talking about. This is true, especially for the building tour.

“We can stand in front of the building, tell its history, and be able to peek in the windows if there are interesting features inside,” she explains, adding that several business owners enjoy it when folks drop by to check out their particular buildings as well.

“They will come out and talk to the groups,” she says.

One of Lacombe’s many murals. Mark Weber/Lacombe Express

“The tours are one of our more ‘hands-on’ approaches to conveying history. I think that both us here at the museum and the public enjoy that. We could sit and watch a slide show, but it’s just not as much fun!”

Meanwhile, Lee says they’re always interested in developing more tours, further digging into the community’s past.

“I think that as we work on creating more tours that tell personal stories, it’s making a better connection to downtown and to Lacombe as well.”

The tours do run on a ‘drop-in’ basis and Lee encourages folks to call beforehand however if the weather doesn’t look promising.

In terms of museum exhibits, next up is Edwardian Era in the West which opens June 12 at the Flatiron Building Museum and runs through Oct. 31.

The exhibit is inspired by Lacombe’s Edwardian revivalist downtown architecture, and, “unravels the hidden histories of western Canada’s small communities and the lasting impact of this transformative era,” according to the museum’s website.

For more information, check out or call 403-782-3933.

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Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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