Hello everyone. I'm Marvin Thomas, I’m a heritage planning and policy advisor with the Heritage Conservation Branch at the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport. And welcome to all to our first day of our Winter Webinar series. Before beginning, I knowledge that Regina, where I'm located, is in Treaty Four territory, traditional lands of the Cree, Nakoda, Dakota, Lakota and Anishinaabe, and Homeland of the Métis. Wherever you are, I encourage you to reflect on the deep connections Indigenous people have to those lands. Thank you very much.
So in these webinars, we’ll be hearing about several Saskatchewan heritage projects that involved different kinds of historic places that were done for different purposes and are located in a variety of communities of all sizes and collectively illustrate the diversity of benefits they can come. Give me one moment there. I was just saying that all of these projects illustrate many of the benefits that can come from conserving and engaging with historic places. I’ll just ask people to maybe keep their microphones muted until we begin the webinar and some of the discussion. But I was about to say, glad to hear about these projects from people who have first hand knowledge of them, and they can tell us what it took to make them happen and what some other results have been.
So today there will be 3 presentations that show how heritage resources could be valuable tourism resources. Before I introduce the first project, I'll again just a reminder guests to keep their microphones and cameras turned off during the presentations. And also remind our presenters of our tight schedules. If everyone stays on time, there should be time for questions at the end of the hour.
So I'll ask everyone to hold your questions until then. But you can also put questions into the chat as you think of them as we go along if you would like to. So our first presenters are going to be to Theresa and Scott Reesor owners and operators of the historic Reesor Ranch, an award-winning guest ranch and provincial heritage property in the Cypress Hills. And Scott and Theresa, I'll just set up your slide show here as I get ready to turn things over to you and that should be up on everybody screens momentarily. So Scott and Theresa, the floor is yours.
Howdy. I guess our Mike is unmuted. Yeah, we hear you. So thanks for joining us today as we share a bit of our life journey with you, we hope to encourage dialogue and awareness to promote heritage tourism. Before getting into details, we would like to mention that there are numerous people and organizations that have been instrumental in guiding, shaping and encouraging us on this journey. Our children, our families, our Cypress Hills community, Tourism Saskatchewan, Royce Pettyjohn, Marilyn Williams, Saskatchewan Heritage Conservation Branch, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park and the Cypress Hills Grasslands Tourism Destination Area. We're thankful to all those who have encouraged us
and or challenged us because it has helped us to grow and to become who we are today. Heritage tourism is a catalyst for heritage conservation. Every time a heritage building is protected from demolition by being repurposed for a new use, a chain of events happens and a domino effect comes into play for the community and the building that it's located in.
There are economic, cultural and social benefits for conserving buildings and what we've done here at the ranch as a historic heritage tourism destination. We will discuss each of these points individually. So the first one is the economic benefits. Provides a source of employment for ourselves, generates tourism dollars into Cypress County in Alberta and RM 111 Maple Creek. Visitors spend their tourism dollars at local tourism attractions in the Cypress Hills area, which is more than 200 square miles in radius. Fuel, meals, entry to activities and other accommodations keep visitors in the area spending their tourism dollars. We employ local residents and young people from across the country as far as Quebec have come and helped us out with programs, work projects and work experience.
Cultural benefits - we help share the story with visitors that is integral to Saskatchewan and Western Canadian history, that of hopeful pioneers settling in the West to start a new and a better life for themselves and their families. The ranching and farming industry in Western Canada is the backbone of our economy. The sustainable practices that have been passed down through our previous generations continue to this day promising long term viability for our future generations. By preserving and showcasing our history, we demonstrate a sense of pride, a sense of place for our Community and visitors, showcasing where we have come from, where we are today and where we are going. So next social benefits - being a multi-generational ranch operation, the families roots are deep within the community. The Reesor family has always
participated as members of community boards for social functions, educational boards, stock associations, sports associations, and even on history book committees. We have 15 bedrooms and are all log barn rental facility that are named in dedicated to Pioneer Ranch. Sorry. Oh, somebody. Oh, I'm muted. No we hear you. I think you're just getting a little feedback or it should be fine. Thomas, Marvin PCS There. Hi. Sorry Theresa for the interruption. It took me awhile to find the person who's speaking so I could mute them
there. Please, everybody keep muted. Go ahead. No worries. OK. So we have 15 bedrooms and are all log barn rental facility that are named and dedicated to pioneer ranch families from the Cypress Hills area sharing their histories with written stories, photos and keepsakes on the walls helps keep their family names preserved.
Involvement in social events such as dances, baby showers, weddings, work-related activities such as cattle roundups and brandings have always been key to keeping a healthy connection between neighbors and community. We always like to tell our visitors that it's just not about the Reesors and that's we've really enjoyed sharing the stories of all the local ranchers in the area. And we're proud to showcase the history of the area 'cause that's what we do. So Marvin, this is your cue for showing starting our our photo slides. Are you there? Oh, did we lose Marvin? Oh, there he is. OK, good job, Marvin. So one
of the things that we do at the ranch here is we allow people to participate in horse activities. And there's a picture of our guest string going out for some grass after a day of work, I guess. And there's a, of course, the ranch house in the background. Next. So here we have our new photo merge. Credits to photographer (indecipherable) Nicole Rayner from Medicine Hat. Uh,
she was up for the challenge of doing this for us. It was a vision that we'd had a number of years ago. A tribute to the family, so we've got actually, here a 1919, photo on the left of the house. Scott’s Dad is actually the little guy on his mum's knee on the front of the deck there, and then there's friends from the Sarnia Ranch that are visiting that day from down at Walsh. And then of course to the right is called …
Sorry to interrupt. We’re not seeing your photos. Oh. Marvin, are you there? Some people are. I was just putting
a note in the chat too. If you're not seeing the photos, try logging in with a different browser if you're able to, or perhaps download the teams app, I think it's a browser issue. because some people, most people I think are seeing them. There could be another issue. If you click on the ellipses and
and Scroll down to focus on content. Uh, you should be able to. Some folks might be successful in finding the pictures that way. Well, I hope they can see them. Uh, So what was I saying? Oh yes. The picture on the right is our family our immediate family, with the provincial heritage plaque in 19 in 2019. So this this is about 100 year merge of this, of the house. So next Marvin. You're supposed to. I'm sorry. No back again. Back again. Sorry.
So this um and I have to say we spoke to Royce Pettyjohn about writing a tribute for us for the family and he was very kind in doing that. And so I'm going to share it: A tribute to the Reesor family honoring our forefathers and celebrating our Western Canadian ranching industry. The native prairies sweeping across the north slope of the Cypress Hills owes its resilience to root systems that extend deep into the earth where life giving moisture sustains its grasses. These grasses have in turn sustained the area’s ranching industry for well over a century and attracted the Reesor family to put down their roots in the beautiful Cypress hills. For more than 120 years, generation after generation of the Reesor family have served as stewards of the grasslands, stretching across the family ranch. Today, the 6th generation invite guests to share in their family’s connection to these ranchlands with their own brand of cowboy comfort and Western hospitality.
In 2017, the historic WD and Alice Reesor Ranch became the first ranch in the province to be designated as a Provincial Heritage Historic site, commemorating the role that the ranching industry has played in the development of Saskatchewan. This photo merge is a celebration of the deep roots the Reesor family have in this special place and the unbroken continuity of care the family has given to the ranch and historic ranch house. The family extends their deepest thanks to their many friends, neighbors and visitors for sharing in this journey with them. Thanks again Royce. Next, Marvin. For anybody that can see this, uh, this is a picture of the original House 1906. There was another house or some kind of a shack that they lived in prior to that. Log structure. But this 1906 house was partially encased in the house that was built in 1916.
Next. So here we have the 1916 house that is on the very spot that the 1906 house was built on. Built for two families. By A.B. Himmelman and crew of 7 carpenters from Calgary, Alberta using cordless tools. And they didn't have batteries on them either.
So, built for the two families, Scott’s great grandparents on the left side and his grandparents on the right, two living rooms, 2 kitchens and a den. Just beautiful home. But the upstairs all open to the six bedrooms. So next Marvin. So this picture is of the bunkhouse, which is one of the buildings that we had designated. It is the building on the left, the lower building. And there's a picture of my great grandmother and a friend that was visiting. And back then they had wolfhounds and that's one of them
in the picture there and can't see all your faces, but there's some turkeys in that picture as well. Just like you. Rest of these turkeys, if I could see all your faces on the screen. Uh-huh. So that was 19 circa 1920. And so next photo Marvin. So this here is the bunkhouse today. Uh, the same position as we say on the old photo. But of course it's been renovated as a rental for guests, there's big log deck there for sitting out on, and that was built by our son and the folks there enjoying the campfire. Next, Marvin. So that's this is the picture in front of the old log barn. And there's a picture of some Cowboys and or Cowgirls that are heading off to do
something. That is my dad, who is the third from the right, probably about 12 years old circa 1925. Next, Marvin. OK. So front of the log barn today, present-day. the Lots goes on in this building. We have 15 bedrooms in this facility for guests. It's great for family reunions and all kinds of functions. Big kitchen, big games, room, fire pit outback. It's a great place for gatherings. Next, Marvin.
So that’s an aerial photo that was taken of the old log barn and of course on the left on the end of the barn is our ranch hall facility where we serve guests meals. And that picture was taken 2020 when we were hosting the Children Wish ride and all them Cowboys and Cowgirls got their horses all lined up there and Next, Marvin. So I'm not sure how we're doing for time, Marvin, but you better keep track with us here. This is the last of the the 10 the plaque that sits proudly out in front of the barn today of the our Provincial heritage property and I won't read it, but 'cause, I know we're short on time here, but we're going to carry on now with a few photos that with activities at the ranch that to be enjoyed and you can go to email@example.com to get in a better idea of all that you can do here and so as you scroll through these, Marvin Scott's gonna do the Old Home Place. So one of the things that we do after meal times is we share cowboy poetry, and this is the poem that was written by my mother in appreciation to her folks for her, for her childhood home, which is located about 10 miles from here.
There are memories of my childhood that time will not erase of good times and of bad times too back on the old home place. It lies hidden in a valley in the dear old Cypress hills. The Indians likely camped there to escape the winter’s chill. The hills and the trees surround it. They break the fury of the wind. They must have camped there often
while their Buffalo they skinned. There are many Indian cellars, tipi rings and heads of arrows to be found along the Six Mile Creek by the crossings and the Narrows I've tramped along the Creek banks and I waded in the summer. I've listened to the Flicker call or sat and watched the Drummer. I love the old home place down there where I spent my childhood years. There one could feel so close to God and tell him all their hopes and fears. In those carefree days of childhood the folks didn't have much money, and both of them worked awfully hard. But you know, it's sort of funny. We had more than lots of other kids. Love, time and peace were ours. There was space to grow in, and the birds and trees and flowers.
We also had the home we loved. And there's not one of the seven who doesn't feel way down inside, that was pretty close to heaven. I could sit beside the rushing spring and warm and sunny weather and watched the thirsty horses drink with their smell of sweat and leather.
I can close my eyes and see it all. The log house in the coulee, the corrals, the barn, the water trough. I will tell you folks quite truly, so all may go our separate ways as we compete in life’s long race, we may never find the piece we had back on the old home place. There are memories of my childhood that time will not erase. Of good times and the bad times too
back on the old home place. So I hope that made you go drifting back down the trail to your childhood stamping grounds. And that's the end of our presentation. And we went a bit over. But you other people interrupted us.
I think you're doing just fine on time there. We also hope these things will go smoothly without technological glitches, but they do happen. So thank you everyone for bearing with us. And thanks Scott and Teresa or sharing the story of your ranch and some various different aspects of different types of heritage that it represents there. We really appreciated that. So I'll just introduce our next project here. Which is going to answer the question. What can you do with a surplus engineering work? Jennifer Fitzpatrick,
director of Cultural services for the City of Humboldt, is going to tell us about a creative repurposing of the Humboldt Water Tower. Jennifer… Alright, thank you very much. So I just want to confirm that you can see those slides and you can hear me. I can and I do and I hope everyone else does.
Alright, so thank you very much for inviting me to share the story of the Humboldt Water Tower. I just want to begin by acknowledging that I am on Treaty 6 territory and the Homeland of the Métis. I pay my respects to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm my relationship with them today and moving forward. So the Humboldt Water Tower story is a story of passionate volunteers. It's a story of community perseverance and I just want to start by recognizing all the wonderful work of the many many volunteers that have worked on this project and really turned this into a fantastic, wonderful tourism attraction and similar to the previous presentation, there's a lot of people to thank so I won't have time to thank everybody, but just know that this is a real community project.
So just to give you some context, Humboldt became a village in 1905, a town in 1907, and by the time the building of the water tower happened, the population was about 1500 people, so they were having a tough time getting a an adequate source of water. And so the town council at the time decided to spend $300,000 to build a water tower to ensure a stable supply. So the engineering firm of Chipman and Power out of Toronto was hired to construct the tower. It's a standpipe reservoir water tower, so obviously the height of the tank provides the pressure for the the delivery system and there are about 10 of these built in the province. So it was the main source of water for the community. Beginning in 1915,
the water source changed between Burton Lake in Stony Lake, North and South of the community. So the tank capacity was about 156,000 gallons or you metric people 800,000 liters. Uhm, there are seven tiers of concrete at the base that increase in diameter as they go down into the ground. The exterior of the structure is 25 feet in diameter and approximately 95 feet tall. The interior tank itself is about 20 feet in diameter. And so the water tower really served the community well until about 1977.
Obviously, there's a new water treatment system established and really the employee at the time turned off the lights, closed the door, and it was left to sit there. And so it, well, although it was designated in 1985 as a municipal heritage property, there really had not been a lot of work done to the tower. And so by 1996, town council had decided, due to some safety concerns, vandalism, that type of thing that the designation would be repealed and that it would be torn down and actually burnt down. And I think it's important to see the type of shape that this thing was in, you know, and then it really speaks to the enthusiasm of the volunteers.
So when that information was provided publicly that this was the intent, there was a Friends of the Water Tower committee that came together and they got a six month reprieve to kind of figure out, you know, from Council to figure out what to do with the tower. And when you read through the newspaper articles of those community meetings, I think it's really important its connection to our topic today of heritage tourism is it was one thing to consider. You know what, how to conserve a tower and how to keep it. But it's quite another to consider. How are you going to use the tower, what is going to be the use? What's the new use that you can find for the tower. And I think it was really those decisions early on by this group of dedicated volunteers that really have changed the tower into what it is today and a fantastic tourism attraction. So this group gets together and they do some tough work. I mean, honestly, when you kind of look at
these images, so as you can imagine this tower had been sitting empty for 20 years. This is what they lovingly called the Poop Patrol. You had years and years of pigeons droppings to clean up. And the photo on the left is the space between the tank itself and the external wooden structure and that at the top of the tank could only be accessed by this series of ladders and platforms in this small space. So a lot of really hard work at the at the onset. But besides from the actual physical work that they were doing at the tower, they were also publicizing the plight of the tower. They were looking for donations and sponsorships. They were contacting, you know, everybody they could to kind of, you know, gather community support. They started doing
fund raising events and really just a lot of work to kind of establish that that core group and the core funding to kind of move the project forward. They were also really doing a lot of work to plan about the future of the tower. And I think this is really part of the real success story of the water tower. So by 2002, it was decided that it would be redesignated as Municipal Heritage Property.
And also they had got ? Engineering out of Saskatoon. These are plans that were done in about 2004 and 2006 and to really answer that question of what is the tower going to be used for and why are we going to why are we going to save this and what is the new use. So they got some plans together and they really started to continue their work. So work included around the foundation so this is the top level of the concrete foundation being worked on. They had to stabilize the roof was one of the first things they did. They had
to build a dormer to access the roof. And just a note, Michael Bell of Western Restoration from Manitoba did a lot of the work on the tower and really became a really good friend and a supporter of the work. So work was also done on the annex. And part of that part of that answer to the why and what's a new use is part of the designs were we're going to build an internal staircase. And I think this is part of the brilliance of this specific project is that that was determined to be the new purpose and certainly something that was really thoughtful and really far-reaching for the committee. And so this is the
staircase designed by Cochrane Engineering to put in that to put in that staircase. So engineered by Cochrane, they did hire journeyman welder men welders when necessary to do the work, but still a lot of work of very skilled local volunteers. And as you can see, you know, years and years of work. The last step was installed in ‘11, but there was still a lot of
work to be done. And so these volunteers really committed their time to put in this staircase, really make sure that it was well put in. And all of a sudden, and obviously, water tanks don't normally have lights, so a lot of electrical work needed to be done and really a lot of work to repurpose this. So just some fantastic work by the committee. The other thing that needs to be done, the observation deck up at the top was reworked. And a lot of exterior work. So they did try to keep as much of the original siding as they could.
So they repaired and replaced where was necessary. And I think one of the volunteers described this exterior work as a butterfly emerging from a from a cocoon. And so I'll just kind of share with you some of the slides that I believe is that's a really apt description of kind of this metamorphosis. So you can see you know, the exterior has been restored. This tower is looking fantastic. They're moving forward. And one of the other really important things they need to consider was how does this, how does this water tower now function as a tourist attraction? And so the municipal insurance people got involved. We needed to look at how tourists
would work in this space, how they would tour the building, how many people would be allowed and that type of thing. And these these were not easy projects to undertake that the committee had already put a put a man-sized hole, obviously for people to walk into the tank. But what are the insurance requirements was that we put in a second exit. And so the committee really worked hard in those last few years to ensure that all the safety things were ready for tourists, because they were really driving toward the goal, which was in 2015, the 100th anniversary celebration of the Water tower. And so they were, they managed to get everything done on time. And really, we're really excited to open up the tower, you know, more broadly to the community. So at that event, you know, the volunteers were thanked. Norman Duerr was instrumental
in putting this community together and really raising the awareness of the tower. He spoke and you'll see a across the bottom. A lot of those core volunteers who did that work on the tower and, you know, this is for a lot of these people this is over a 20 year commitment. And so just the community was there to thank the committee and the Volunteers who had done so much work on the tower. So at that time the tower was turned back to the Municipality to run through a kind of a tourist operations out of there. My staff did a lot of videos with those volunteers just so that we make sure we have that knowledge about the tower and can share that with the Community going forward. 2016 was the first summer of tours.
So you can see that it's very comfortable. This is one of my summer students doing tours. You can see it's quite comfortable up at the top. This talks about similar to the previous presentation about the cultural benefits, we share the stories, whether that's the interpretation, these are the arrows of the overflow tanks. We talk about why there's windows in a in a water tower when people come into the space, they tour through the annex area. So we talk about the filtration tanks and the software system that you see here. The committee has installed a stained glass window.
People are coming to the top for the best view of the city. So this is one of those views that you can see. Whether no matter if you're young or old, people really enjoy spending a lot of time up at the top. You can see a great image of the city.
But how many steps does it take for you to get to the top? Well, it takes about 143, and this is one of the fascinating things that the water tower community did as well, is they they have sold $500 steps. So you can purchase a step in the staircase of honour and have your name on the steps. And as we tour people up, these plaques are really easy to read. We do stop at the landings along the way. I always encourage my really young summer students to pace themselves, you know, according to the people who they’re touring with to make sure you stop along the way and people love to read these along the way. For programming, we obviously work around the theme of water, so whether it's a fish pond, we have our local fire department will come over a lot of times for our events. We give out free
bubbles. This is the best place in the in the city to blow bubbles from the top of the water tower. We run tour programs. There's a beautiful green space beside the tower so we can have, you know, people can sit there and have picnic lunches and then go up for their tour of the tower.
This is really cool. One of our local teachers has a has created Auroraman and Auroraman actually lives in the tower, so it's a great way to connect to local pop culture. The water tower has become very, very sought after for rentals for wedding photos, whether they're up at the top or along that staircase, people love to take wedding pictures. This is the actual internal
staircase. This is one of the most photographed things in our community as well, so you can see the beauty of this internal staircase. So overall, I think you know it's similar to you know when we talk about economic benefits for the tower, for the Community heritage benefits, we get to share the story about this. And so it's really become a great tourist
attraction for the city of Humboldt. So we charge $5 for people to go for adults to go up the tower. We are, we continue to fundraise, obviously because we are working toward, we know that we'll need to do a paint job again in the next few years. So we're putting money away from that. So this is one of only four towers that are still remaining in Saskatchewan and certainly the only one I would argue that has such a beautiful and unique use in Saskatchewan. So thank you very much.
Thank you, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing the story of the amazing job the community has done there, creating a unique tourism resource. So Jennifer will be staying till the end of the hour as will Scott and Theresa for people who have questions. So at this point, I will just go ahead and introduce our third speaker. Our next project has his blended, tangible and intangible elements of Saskatchewan heritage to create a very popular tourism experience. So that tell us about the Southern Prairie Railway. I'll introduce Carol Peterson, Mayor of the town of Ogema and chairperson of the
Ogema Heritage Railway Association. And Carol, I will turn it over to you. We are also on Territory Four, the same as Regina is and I just want to explain a little bit about the Southern Prairie Railway as part of Obama Heritage Railway Association. Our mission and vision statement are to promote the history of the train and its ties to settling Saskatchewan and also to build a sustainable operating Railway Museum that showcases southern Saskatchewan's diversity. So basically what we do is people come to Ogema and we show them how the people the settlers came here to settle Saskatchewan. And then we also tie in with the Deep South Pioneer Museum, which is located in Ogema as well, which has over 33 buildings that are full of artifacts. We have
over a million artifacts and so they can go on the train and see how the settlers got here and then they go to the museum and they see how they work, played, went to school, that sort of thing. So the inside of this school room is exactly the same as it was back in the day. A lot of it set in the early 1920s, the church is the church. We've had a wedding in there, a small wedding.
The farmhouse has all the farmhouse stuff in it, so it gives you a feel of the going back in time. We have a lot of people that really enjoy it because it's not cordoned off or anything like that. It's all out for everybody to see. We are one of the few places in Saskatchewan, or maybe a lot of places in Canada even that have two museums in our Town. We're about 383 as of our census last year. So we're a small population, but we have two charitable nonprofit museums in town here. So the train idea started back in 1998. We have a annual fair day. It's the second Saturday in July and Sunday is a museum day. So they kinda hinge together.
And we decided we needed something else to do and we had a train, a railway that went right through Ogema, and we thought, Gee, we could use that maybe for a train type theme and we could do something different for Fair day, not realizing how long it would take to get everything done. Our train station was at the end of Main Street but in the 1960s it was moved off and so we wanted to make sure that we had the train station where people could stop at, and so we found one in Saskatchewan in Simpson that was exactly the same as ours. And the fellow there had saved it and was using it as grain storage. So we traded three bins for it and we moved it to Ogema in 2003 in two pieces. It took two days to move it, and that cost over $6000 just for SaskPower to raise the power line so we could get it down here. Simpson’s north of Regina about 125 kilometres.
We're south of Regina about 125 kilometres on Hwy. 13 between Weyburn and Assiniboia. So we moved the train station there, we set it down and we started renovating it. We cleaned it all up. We painted it and scraped it. And there's a small CPR park right beside it. So we
landscaped that. For a fundraiser, we sold trees there that were already there and they were $1000 each. And then we put plaques there for whoever wants to put their family name on them. We also had benches that we sold for $1000 each and the family names were put on them as well, so it was a good fundraiser to get some of that done. So once we have the train station, we had it up and running for 2005 and it was the Saskatchewan Centennial and it was also Ogema’s homecoming. So we had all that ready to for everyone to see.
And so we got a lot of people and a lot of interest on that. So once we have the train station, we decided we needed the train. So we looked around and we found a 1945 44-tonner in North Conway, New Hampshire and I, oh thank you, Marvin, there's a picture of our train.
I'm just sharing a few things from your website Carol, as you speak. I appreciate it. And so we found the engine. It's a 1945 44-tonner. It's a push-pull engine. It was being used as a yard engine there and they were no longer using it. And so we bought it. And the
passenger car we found in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and it's uh Pullman, 1922 Pullman car. It has walk over seats so that when we don't have any turn around. So when the train unhooks off of one end once we get out to Horizon it goes around on the siding, goes on to the other end and hooks up, and we just flip all the seats so nobody is riding backwards 'cause nobody likes to write backwards.
So you can see there, there's the elevator. Some of our tours go out to Horizon and some go to Pangman in the other direction. So it's about 45 minutes either way. We have the Heritage tour. We go out the Horizon. We talk about how the elevator functions and it's a 1922 elevator that's there that’s still standing. We have seven working elevators on our line, so we're 117 kilometers here. It's a … It hauls producer cars during the week, so we run on the weekends and we go from June until September.
We have a lot of different trains. We have the kids fun train. That's very popular. We started out with it and we started with one a month and then it upped it to 10 in total because they sold out quite quickly. We do food trains such as a pitchfork fondue. We do the settler supper, the Texas style barbecue, rum runner. And all this is at Horizon at their Community Center there. It's a decommissioned Roman Catholic church. And we pay to use the church so it helps them with the fund-raising well. We pay for everybody that goes into the elevator, so it helps with some
of the expenses there. We pay for everybody that rides on the rail line. We pay that to Redcoat Road and Rail. It's a short line. It's one of the 13 short lines in Saskatchewan. And we have tried different trains. It didn't work. The Starlight Tour, the All-day train, the Sunday morning train, they just didn't work, so we just switched them up. The craft beer train was very popular. I think we're going to try that again this year and Christmas in September because we only run from June until September because we don't have any heat. We tried Christmas in September and that was very good.
So some of the positive outcomes are we had our joint venture with the two neighboring villages. So it helps Pangman. We do at farmers markets there, they have the farmers market. So we go out there and people can go to the farmers market. It isn't very big, but it does help the locals there. It has increased tourism for our town. It's nice to see a lot of people from all over the world that are in our town. And we have a lot of other things around town that are heritage. We have a walking tour of Main
Street and we have a firewall or had a firewall and a fire hall. Last year our firewall went down. It was 80 feet long. It was one of the two remaining firewalls in Saskatchewan. That was brick. It was over 100 years old and the wind on January 19th last year and knocked it down. So we're in the process of putting up a plaque there wth a monument so that people can remember that it was there and what it did for the town. It has increased the jobs around the
for the summer jobs so that some of the younger people can work there. It's nice to have something different to do. It has increased the visitors to the museum as well because each of our tickets gets you into the museum for free. So it's a joint venture with the museum. So again they can come see how the settlers got there and then go to the museum and see what they did there. Ogema has won municipal, provincial, national and international heritage conservation awards. We’re quite proud of all these as we're not very big. We went to Dongguan, China to present our community
to the world. There was 50 communities there. We were the smallest ones there. I was talking to the representative from Ireland and she was talking about all the different issues that they had. And I said, well, you know, you have. The same issues as ask 'cause. We're talking about water, sewer and heritage and all that sort of thing housing. And I said you just
have more houses than us and she says, well, how big are you? And at that time we were 308, and she says 380,000. And I said no, 308. We’re now 382, so we're a lot bigger now, but we were the smallest community there. The 50 communities that were presenting and we won the heritage conservation. So basically we were less than 100 years old at that time and we won heritage conservation. Because what happens at the museum is when a building on Main Street is basically decommissioned and not being used anymore. It's taken out to the museum and we use it out there. That's how we got
the 33 buildings out there. This year the museum is celebrating its 45th anniversary, so there's lots of heritage out there. Uh, we have a large Filipino community in our community here. It's over half of our school is Filipino now and we have a lot of different jobs for them. One of the things is the tourism, of course, and we try and incorporate a lot of things. We found that if long as you ask them to the different events that they join in with us, so it works out really good.
We have a small governing board. We're very fortunate that two of our Members are in their 30s, so they're quite gung ho about all this tech stuff. I should have let him do that today. We also have on our board, with just the six members, the two are the younger ones. We also have one from each of the neighboring communities. So we have a very diverse Board that really helps a lot with all the things. The thing with our project was we started in 1998 and of course it's taken quite a few years to get it going. In 2012 when it was Ogema’s 100th Anniversary's
is when we had our grand opening and that's when our train tours started. And so we've been going every year since then and increasing visitors each year, except for 2020, we didn't run at all, but last year we cut back on some of our train runs. We didn't do a lot of the specials, but we still had 60% capacity. So we still did well. So basically, that's how Southern Prairie Railway got started and how it affects Ogema and the surrounding community. I'd like to thank you Marvin for all your help too. I appreciate it.
Well, thank you all for coming and telling us about it and for so deftly adjusting on the fly like you were able to do there, but hopefully we're able to show enough photos to wet people’s appetites, so that now they can go and see it for themselves so. Yes. If you go on to southernprairierailway.ca, it's all on there and you can also book from there. So it's quite easily to go on there and use that website, so. OK, great. Well, certainly invite questions from anyone for Carol or for Jennifer or Scott. We do
have a few minutes off still at this point, so feel free to put something in the chat or to raise your hands using the little icon there. I see a few things coming in here. I’ll just look in the chat, there's a question. Would we be able to get a copy of the webinar? We hope to post recordings of them to our ministry website. I'm not quite sure of the date they will be available but I can circulate the links out to you when those are available. And uh, and I do you see somebody, Peggy, has a question?
Go ahead Peggy, there you go. OK, I think I'm unmuted. Yeah, you're good now. Thank you. It was really a question for, I think, Jennifer from Humboldt, right? And I can't hear you, by the way. Uh, it was a question about I wasn't clear about the relationship between the water tower and the city's administration. Is it a separate organization that runs the tours or
is it tourism or it it's that sort of thing? It's that relationship OK, we had all these volunteers, that wonderful work that Norm Duerr did was incredible and all his volunteers. But then we have this facility, which is all done all ready for the public, beautifully done, tremendous amount of work, but then it's the operation of that and I don't I wasn't clear about how that worked and how much the city was involved in that because we have been involved with stuff in Saskatoon. You repair something, you bring it up. Wonderful. And then what happens, right? Yeah, absolutely. And thank you so much for the question, Peggy. So for sure the water tower was saved by that group of volunteers.
The city did provide funding throughout the years, but really the bulk of the work for that, for that restoration and rehabilitation was through that volunteer committee. And then after the anniversary, the committee decided that they would like to give that back to the city to operate. So then it became part of my department, which is the Department of Cultural Services. So
I run a museum, a gallery, the water tower, Original Humboldt and public art. So my staff and on the summer students actually provide the tour programs. We run the tower as an operational thing. Any donations for example, we're still selling those steps. Any donations in that are specifically put into a reserve specifically for the water tower. So that that work can you know be done. So the fund raising stays with them. The city provides the staff. and that type of thing to make sure that we have the the capacity to run the tour program throughout the year.
OK. Well, thank you. So it's really a city run facility. It certainly is, but we do have we do have that water Tower committee and we do have, you know, we do still have people from those original volunteers on our committee to help us. As you can imagine, there are many idiosyncrasies of running a water tower. And so we're really, yeah, we're
really excited to still have those volunteers with us that we can consult and and I and I, you know, meet with them on a regular basis. OK, alright. So there's no funding or anything for the Board or the committee? There's not a formal relationship between the committee and the city of Humboldt?. Oh, for sure there is. So
there's a terms of reference … Is it a formal sort of agreement or something? Yes, yes. So there's a there's a formal terms of reference for the Humboldt Water Tower Committee, which reports to the to the board that I work for. So they report to the board and then it's all done through municipal administration and right up to City Council.
OK. OK, we still do have time to get in a couple more quick ones here. I see one more question in the chat, right on actually this could be to any or all of you I guess and it's actually a pretty big question, but maybe could just touch on it very briefly. Someone is wondering what your marketing strategies might be for any local, provincial, national or international tourists. Does anybody have a brief comment on that they would like to make? I can answer a little bit on that. What we do is we join up with Tourism Saskatchewan
and they have a bit of funding for it. So it helps us to expand our tourism dollars. We go into the South Saskatchewan guide every year and the odd time will go into Prairies North. It covers a lot of Saskatchewan and you see it in a lot of doctors offices and that type of thing. And we've
also go into the CAA Magazine in both Alberta and Manitoba. So that's what we do as well as any time we get to speak about our community, we do that. OK. Thanks Carol. Ah, any of the others wish to make a comment? I do see another question coming. Bridget, Brigitte. So if I can jump in here.
Yeah, sorry. Go ahead, Scott. So Tourism Saskatchewan. But then we buy ads and or do other things that we think might work for us. And if things don't work for us, then they don't work for us and they go away.
That's how it works, but for the international market, definitely Tourism Saskatchewan has some really good people there that really promote us. And so we're very thankful for them that they're the key international ones. But like Scott says, we do … over the years we've tried many different venues or you know different publications and you just go with what’s the best, the best results and of course the web, the Internet is so amazing for opening the world to us. So right we get lots of word of mouth. That’s always that's always some of the best promotion for sure. So Brigitte. We could squeeze one more quick question in under the wire probably Leibel, Brigitte PCS I just wanted to put a plug in that I work for the Francophone Affairs Branch with Parks, Culture and Sport, and we translate the Sask Tourism Guide to French every year. So in case some of the some of you presenters might not be aware of that, the guide, as long as it's provided to us from Sask Tourism, but they've been really good at doing that every year. So
just so just so you know, and I guess I'll just say, I really want to get to that water tower and the rail station. I've been to the Reesor Ranch and it's just awesome. Just we loved it and we booked ab evening dinner. We stayed overnight and a ride, and yeah, it's great. So thank you. Yeah. Thanks. So that pretty well brings us to
the end of the webinar. There's one last comment in the chat here that that I will second, it says so many great things to see in Saskatchewan. Thank you all for taking such pride in your projects, for the work you do and sharing your wonderful work today. And I'll second that with a big thank you to all our presenters as well as to all the all the attendees who joined us today. Some of
you will be coming back for other webinars in the series. On Thursday we’ll be hearing about historic buildings redeveloped for business occupancy. On Tuesday we’ll see some projects that have broad community benefits and the final webinar on March 10th has an archaeological theme, including a presentation on ground penetrating radar and there still are some late registrations available. I’ve put the contact information for that in the chat which I’ll leave open for a few
minutes after we leave the meeting here, but I'll just say again thank you and hope to see some of you back, and enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you. Thank you. Now, it was our pleasure. Well done guys. Thank you very much. Thank you everyone.